Process, performance criteria and examples for the April Dunn Act (Act 833)

The process for the April Dunn Act (Act 833):

  • When and how to implement it is decided by the IEP team. (Remember, this includes you and your child!)

  • Can apply to all or only some courses

  • IEP team has to set the performance criteria within 30 days of the student enrolling in a course (usually the beginning of the year)

  • The course teacher must also be involved

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

What does performance criteria mean?

It means the things a student has to learn in a course in order to pass, and the methods of showing that they have learned them. A student has to show that they have learned the required "standards" (specific skills or knowledge) that are required in each course.

  • Students must be taught all standards for the course, but the team can decide which of the standards will be assessed and in what way. (maybe not all 29 in Bio, for example)

  • General education teachers of the affected courses should be involved in deciding the performance criteria. They are the only ones who can decide if your child passes their course. Their own professional judgement can be one of the criteria you choose.

  • There is a box to check on the IEP if student is eligible

  • Qualifying for Act 833 does not guarantee a diploma

Examples of performance criteria the IEP team could choose:

  • Portfolio

  • Writing a play

  • Summative oral report

  • Science fair type project

  • (Things that demonstrate knowledge of the standards they have learned)

IGP: Individual Graduation Plan:

  • A plan that describes a student's path through high school. It includes what courses they will take and how the teachers will asses their performance. The IEP team will work together to create this plan.

  • This is a key part of of Act 833

  • Guidance Counselors must be part of IEP team in order to make sure this is done right

Example of April Dunn Act 

Example: Meet Vivian! 

Vivian has autism and is entering the 9th grade.  She has trouble with timed written tests and has done poorly on her math and reading tests for the past 3 years. In the assessments for these classes, she did not get scores of basic or approaching basic.

This means that Vivian meets April Dunn Act eligibility. In other words, she and her IEP team can choose different assessment criteria for her classes in high school.

Her team decided on different ways she could prove her learning. For math, she can do a take-home test in her own time. In English, she will complete a portfolio with examples of writing and artwork that show her understanding of the subject matter.

Vivian is much less stressed and able to engage with her courses! And this will also allow her to move on to the next grade and get her credits towards a diploma.