What Is the April Dunn Act (Act 833)?

The April Dunn Act is the new name for Act 833. It allows the IEP team to decide on a different set of criteria for a student to pass a course and get credit, or to move on to the next grade.

Performance criteria are the specific things a student has to learn in a course (called “standards”), and the methods of proving they learned them. Sometimes a child’s disability lets them learn the course material but interferes with their ability to show their knowledge through traditional testing for all the standards.

The April Dunn Act allows students with disabilities to prove what they’ve learned with non-traditional assessments instead of regular tests. It also allows the IEP team to decide that they will only need to show their knowledge of certain standards, rather than all of them. 

A student must qualify, and then work with the IEP team to set it up. 

Facts about the April Dunn Act:

  • It's a law that lets a student use different methods of showing what they learned besides the regular LEAP assessment or End of Course (EOC) test.

  • It can allow some students who struggle with traditional testing to move on to the next grade, or to get credit for a course towards graduation requirements.

  • Your child can qualify for this before 9th grade, even as early as 3rd or 4th grade!

  • See Louisiana's Graduation Pathways page for more details.

 If your child qualifies:

  • They would not have to pass the LEAP assessments to move to the next grade, or pass the regular EOC tests to get course credit.

  • Instead, you and the IEP team could choose different kinds of assessments to prove they have learned the material.

  • For example:

    • Say a course requires a student to be proficient in (learn) 29 standards (things they have to learn). The IEP team may decide they only have to show that they are proficient in 15 of these standards.

    • Instead of a written test, the student could do an interview, oral presentation or a portfolio of their work.

To qualify, students must meet one of these criteria:

  1. Did not meet the required scores on state assessments in two out of three most recent years (in middle and elementary school).

  2. Did not get a score of Fair, Good, or Excellent on two tries of the same EOC test, or "approaching basic" on the LEAP 2025 test

Note: Act 833 was renamed the April Dunn Act in June of 2020 to honor April Dunn, a long-time advocate for people with disabilities. April’s tireless work, among other things, helped to pass Act 833 in 2014.

 

Source: Louisiana Department of Education