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The Connecticut State Department of Education Releases​District Guidance for Developing an Advanced Course Participation Policy



(HARTFORD, CT) - The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is releasing guidance to districts for developing an advanced course participation policy. Public Act 21-199 requires that by July 1, 2022, boards of education adopt a policy addressing eligibility criteria for student enrollment in an advanced course or program. Additionally, boards of education must ensure the creation of an academic plan for every student. The plans must be designed to enroll each student in one or more advanced course program, allowing students to earn college credit or result in career readiness before graduation from high school. 


The guidance was developed through a review of evidence-based practices, discussions with Connecticut school and district leaders, and feedback from a variety of stakeholders. The guidance is organized around four guiding principles:


1.      Start in Middle School by building a strong academic and social emotional foundation because evidence suggests that the middle school experience in terms of academic achievement and engagement are strong precursors to high school success.

2.      Partner with Families by providing them with timely, relevant, and accessible information so that they can help their children navigate high school by staying on top of important dates, monitoring progress, and intervening when necessary. 

3.      Reduce Barriers to enrollment in advanced courses and programs so that we honor our collective commitment to ensure equity and excellence for all Connecticut students.

4.      Increase Supply so that there is a broad range of advanced courses and programs appealing to the greatest number of students, allowing them to earn college credit in high school, participate in work-based learning opportunities, and earn industry recognized credentials for high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand careers. 


The guidance provides specific recommendations aligned with each principle. Though many Connecticut districts are implementing some of the practices highlighted in the guidance, this is an opportunity for all district and school leaders to reflect on past practices and identify ways to further expand student access to challenging coursework that aligns with student interests and postsecondary plans.





CSDE Contact:

Eric E. Scoville

Director of Communications

Connecticut State Department of Education

Office of the Commissioner

Cell: 860-424-1988



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