Students who fail to meet minimum standards required for high school admission and are too old to remain in elementary school (age 15 by December 1) are enrolled at their regional Academic Achievement Academy.
The seven achievement academies are housed at Senn, Westinghouse, Crane, Tilden, Robeson, Chicago Vocational, and Julian high schools. (Initially, there were nine free-standing centers)
During the first semester, students take double periods of math and reading and a seminar that teaches study skills, conflict resolution and goal setting. Those who pass all their classes earn an 8th-grade diploma
Second semester, all students begin 9th-grade classes taught by academy teachers. Those who fail the first semester but pass the second earn an 8th-grade diploma.
Classes continue over the summer, and those who pass all their 9th-grade courses enter a regular high school program as sophomores at the beginning of the next school year.
Central office has not yet decided what to do with academy students who fail to earn sophomore status by August. They might repeat the academy program, enter the regular high school program as freshmen, or enroll in yet another alternative program the district might develop.