The responses to the following frequently asked questions are designed to assist parents of children will be entering District 220 who have questions regarding placements in the Extended Program. For lists of available programs and criteria for identification to participate in the program, please see the section on this website entitled "Overview of District 220 Extended Services".
1. How is a child new to the district tested for the Extended Services program?
Identification for each of the Extended classes involves specific criteria (listed in the Extended Placement Review Process section). If a child is in grades 3-8 s/he will take assessments measuring academic achievement and some may then be recommended to take a cognitive abilities assessment, also. These assessments will be used along with teacher recommendation to determine whether Extended Reading and/or Math placement is appropriate. Information from the child's previous school (standardized test scores, report cards, documentation of participation in gifted programs in other districts, etc.) should be shared with the child's current teacher and the Extended Resource teacher at the school. Previous test scores and placement into a gifted program in another district do not guarantee a child's placement into the Extended Services program in Barrington 220.
If a child is entering 6th grade, s/he may join other incoming students in late spring for a standardized test as well as informal assessments that will provide information regarding his or her math and reading level. Information from the child's previous school as listed above, while not guaranteed for receiving Extended Services, is still very important for middle school placement. Parents should contact the Barrington 220 District Office (contact information on web homepage) as soon as they know they are moving, so that the district registrar may provide forms giving permission to contact staff at the child's previous school.
If a child is entering 7th or 8th Grade, cumulative records including the items listed above, are crucial, as well as an opportunity for Barrington staff to contact staff from the child's previous school. To be placed in Extended Math classes, a proficiency test must be given prior to 7th Grade. To be eligible for placement in Extended English classes, student work samples documenting above grade level critical-analysis responses to advanced literature are required. A child will also be asked to take an assessment requiring written responses to above grade level advanced literature in District 220 at a time to be arranged. Placement in Extended Science requires documentation of above grade level skills and qualifying eligibility in Extended Math and Extended English Language Arts. The requirements listed in this section for math and reading will be part of the identification process as well as a written critique of a scientific article that will be given in District 220 at a time to be arranged.
If a child is entering grades 9-12, s/he will meet with his or her counselor at Barrington High School to determine appropriate class placement. Incoming freshmen who wish to be considered for placement in English Honors Gifted classes, will be asked to submit work samples and take a District 220 assessment similar to that mentioned above for 7th and 8th grade students.
2. How should parents pursue Extended Placement if they plan to enter the district mid-year?
Once the school year has started it is best to contact the Director of Extended Services as soon as possible. Much of the information in the response to FAQ #1 applies, but some adjustments may be needed.
3. Are there services available for a child entering 2nd grade who was in a gifted program in another district?
District 220's Extended Resource program (enrichment and daily replacement for reading and math) starts in 3rd grade. Teachers of grades K-2 differentiate as needed for their high ability students. Extended Resource teachers at each school and the district Director of Extended Services support classroom teachers with in-class differentiation through consultation and sharing of materials. Parents should share information with their child's teacher regarding participation in the gifted program in the child's previous school.
4. Why can't a child who was in a gifted program in another district be automatically placed in Extended classes in District 220?
Gifted programs are not the same from one district to another. At this time, the state of Illinois does not require districts to have gifted programs. Since funding for these programs varies at the state or federal level, districts must rely on local funds if they choose to offer programs. The districts that offer more gifted program options attract many families looking for greater challenges for their highly able children. Districts structure their gifted programs to meet the needs of their population. Those with a greater number of high performing students would be likely to offer more accelerated classes.
A child new to the district may have the potential to participate in accelerated classes, but his or her new school needs to be sure s/he has the background or prerequisite coursework necessary to be successful. For example, an “Honors” 7th grade math class in one district might cover completely different content than a class with the same name in another district. It is also possible that the needs of high readers might be better addressed in the general education classroom in one district than they are in another.
5. What about a family living in District 220 whose children attend a private school? Parents do not want to move their children unless they qualify for the Extended Program. May the children be tested for the Extended Resource and Extended Self-Contained programs so that they can decide to enroll them in the district?
We are unable to assess children for the Extended Program unless they are currently enrolled in the district and attending school here.