A single public school district serves the seven communities of the Cardunal area. Community Unit School District 300 is one of the 12 largest districts in Illinois, and continues to grow. Current enrollment is more than 14,600 and the district projects an enrollment of more than 16,000 by 2004. The district serves an area of 118 square miles which include the seven Cardunal area communities and small portions of Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Barrington Hills, Cary, and Fox River Grove.

In 1996, the district was one of two in the state to receive the prestigious Lincoln Award for Exemplary Practice for its site-based improvement process. At the same time, Jacobs High School was honored by the Illinois State Board of Education for Exemplary Partnerships with local businesses. Several of the districtÕs teachers also received awards and recognitions.

In the fall of 1997, all District 300 high schools began block scheduling. Tested at Dundee Crown High School, block scheduling is a means of intensifying study by arranging the school day into four 90-minute classes. Eight 50-minute classes is the traditional norm. Increasing class lengths to 90 minutes allows instructors to cover subject matter in more detail and bring specifics into greater focus.

There are 19 education centers in the District 300 system Š two high schools, a combined middle school/high school, three middle schools, 11 K-5 elementary schools, Westfield Š a new K-8 elementary school, and a family education center. The new 172,000 square-foot Westfield Community school is unique in the district, combining elementary and middle school in the same building.

The elementary curriculum focuses on language arts, math, and citizenship. In the fourth and fifth grades, science and social studies increase in emphasis. All grades receive the benefits of physical education, general music instruction, and career awareness. There is also an extensive program for gifted and talented students.
The curriculum of middle schools includes language arts, math, science, social studies, and physical or health education. Electives enter the educational framework in the sixth grade and include band or orchestra. In seventh and eighth grades, the variety of electives and extracurricular activities increases. Interscholastic sports also become available in these grades.

The high schools offer more than 220 different academic and career courses. Several are advanced courses and there are advanced placement courses in English, U.S. history, biology, chemistry, and calculus Š each a college level course that can award college credit.

District 300 high schools also offer a Middle College Program in cooperation with Elgin Community College (ECC). The program enables select college-bound students to take college level courses during the regular high school day. Academically talented students who participate in the Middle College Program meet the districtÕs graduation requirements and earn transferrable ECC credit at the same time.

The districtÕs high schools provide four years of technical training for students who desire to enter the job market after high school graduation. Introductory courses are taught at the high school level and advanced technology courses are taught at Elgin Community College. More than 70 occupational courses are offered, including such skills as accounting, office technology, computer aided design and drafting, construction technology, business law, advertising and sales, and welding. While gaining the skills needed for entry level employment, students also earn Elgin Community College credit.

Human services is another four-year cooperative program with ECC. Like the technology program, introductory courses in child care are taught at the high school and advanced child care courses are taught at ECC. College credit is earned and entry level employment skills are acquired.

The high schools of District 300 field a full roster of boys and girls sport teams and a variety of extracurricular clubs and organizations appeal to students interests and activities.

In addition to the schools and programs of District 300, parents have access to Summit School for Exceptional Children, located in East Dundee. Working parents have access to nearly 30 private and parochial daycare and preschools in and around the Cardunal area. For parents seeking alternatives to public education, three churches operate kindergarten through eighth grade schools. Each offers a solid, religious-based educational program. More parochial schools are located in nearby Elgin.

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