Early Learning Center
How do students qualify for Honors courses?
Placement into the Honors program is based on a broad range of criteria. Language Arts and Math continue to look at MAP scores, and all four subject areas also consider the students’ grades, as well as their work ethic and motivation. Language Arts, Science and Social Studies also include a mid-year assessment, and in Math, 7th graders take the Orleans Hanna algebra-ready diagnostic test. The data from each of these sources is considered to determine which students are recommended for placement.
What courses are included in the Honors Program?
The Honors Program includes 6th, 7th, and 8th grade language arts and math, as well as 7th and 8th grade science and social studies.
How are the Honors courses different from the regular classes?
The Honors courses are rigorous. The reading level of material is often higher than that used in the regular courses and the expectations for student work are much greater. Students are expected to be able to read and write above grade-level, to think creatively and analytically, have a strong work ethic, and be self-directed learners.
How will I find out if my child is recommended for an Honors class?
Students recommended for placement will receive letters from their current teacher(s) in April. Parents and students are asked to take time to consider the rigorous nature of the course(s) before they agree to the placement.
Will my 5th grade AT student automatically be placed in the Junior High Honors Program?
All 5th grade students who are demonstrating success in the 5th grade AT language arts and/or math program will be recommended for placement in the Junior High Honors language arts and/or math courses. However, students in 5th grade AT who are struggling to keep pace with their AT peers will be recommended for regular courses.
Will students who struggle to meet the expectations of the Honors Program have the opportunity to exit the program?
We are determined to provide an appropriately challenging educational program for all our students. At the same time, the social-emotional well-being of our students is also one of our highest priorities. Students who are placed in Honors courses but struggle with the pace or expectations of the program may be exited. Teachers, students and /or parents may initiate the process. When teachers have concerns about a student's progress in an Honors course, they will contact the student and parent and discuss placing the student on a continuation contract. This contract outlines the expectations the student is expected to meet by a certain deadline. If those expectations are not met, the student will be exited from that Honors course.
Should I be worried if my typically high-achieving student is getting lower grades in the Honors Program?
It is our belief that it is far better for high-ability learners to be challenged at their level in an Honors course and earn Bs or Cs than to be in a regular class, earning “easy” As. Class rank and grade point averages are not calculated at the junior high level, so it is the perfect time for a student to expose themselves to more rigorous courses to determine whether they will be able to handle the rigor and pace of Honors classes at the high school level.
If my student was not recommended for the Honors Program but I'd like him/her to be considered, who should I contact?
Please contact the current teacher for the subject area you would like to discuss. That teacher will be able to share the data collected on your child—MAP scores, local assessment scores, first and second quarter grades, and the teacher recommendation—and can explain what areas your child should focus on in order to be considered for the Honors program for the following year.
Do Honors teachers have any special training or qualifications to teach these courses?
All Honors teachers participate in a training program which focuses on differentiation strategies to meet the needs of gifted and high-ability learners.
Where can I learn more about meeting the needs of high-ability learners?
Parents and Community for Excellence - PACE is the parent and community organization that supports the education of the academically talented (AT) and gifted students in District 308.
Illinois Association for Gifted Children
National Association for Gifted Children
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
Center for Talent Development
The “all things gifted” page