There are 29 public and five parochial elementary and junior high schools in the Illinois Valley. These schools are all located within residential neighborhoods and make it convenient for children to walk to school. Youngsters living beyond walking distance are transported by bus.

The Illinois Valley's public school systems strive to provide each child with the opportunity to learn and the desire to learn, as well. Elementary schools stress basic reading and math skills and provide excellent musical, athletic, and other programs. In all facets of the educational system, the support of involved parents and an interested community is evident. There is excellent parent and community support of school functions; funding for athletic equipment, travel, and other expenses. Loyal volunteer workers assist in many educational programs and committees.

The Illinois Valley has numerous preschool and day care centers where children learn to socialize, play, and work with other children to effectively prepare them for entrance into kindergarten.

The Lighted Way Association, Inc., Children's Developmental Center is a private day school, approved by the Illinois State Board of Education, which provides direct services to students from LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam and DeKalb Counties. The school provides services for students, ages three to twenty-one (3 - 21), with developmental disabilities to special learning needs due to physical and mental impairments. Students are instructed by certified special education teachers and assisted by teacher aides and volunteers. Related services are also available. They include Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. set among some 400 acres of oak, walnut and pine forest, Illinois Valley Community College's picturesque campus overlooks the Illinois River Valley south of Peru.

Illinois Valley's eight high schools and a vocational center offer courses ranging from Shakespeare to German, plus computer programming, beauty culture, and farm management. There are advanced and independent courses of study, structured classes, remedial reading labs, and a comprehensive special education program at all levels. Total enrollment in the Valley's high schools is about 3,430.

graphicOne of the area's largest high schools is LaSalle-Peru Township High School (L-P), with an enrollment of about 1,250 students. Its facilities include an impressive newly renovated 4,000-seat football stadium, an indoor pool, a beautifully appointed auditorium, a gymnasium seating 2,600, and a library containing more than 20,000 volumes.

L-P provides a technologically sound environment to prepare research for the future. Available to L-P students are four computer labs, used for writing and business purposes. Its library is equipped with multimedia computers for reference and Internet access. The school also has a home page on the Internet.

In 1995, L-P implemented an extended school day allowing students a full seven course selection. L-P offers a wide range of extracurricular activities as well as competitive athletic programs. The high school is also home to the LaSalle-Peru Area Career Center, a cooperative school for L-P and other area high schools, that offers 14 different career programs.

Hall High School is a secondary school serving grades nine through twelve with an enrollment of 425 students and a staff of 50 professionals. The school offers a wide range of academic, vocational, and co-curricular courses, plus interscholastic sport programs.

Additionally, Hall High School has earned a reputation as an innovative school by developing highly motivational programs for students. The school progressively updates its computer lab, and has a modern word-processing lab, as well as a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) lab. The library is linked with the Internet, allowing students unlimited resources for researching projects.

Academically, Hall is very competitive, always placing near the top in Scholastic Bowl contests with other area schools. Each year, a high percent of Hall's graduates continue their education at the college and university level.

The Hall Red Devils have become perennial contenders in regional, sectional, and state play-offs in baseball, basketball, football, and track. The Hall Red Devils football team achieved its ultimate goal in 1995 and 2001 by becoming the class 3A state champions.

In music, the school has hosted numerous band presentations. Hall also offers the full spectrum of trade courses. It boasts a modern and fully-equipped auto shop that enables students to learn auto mechanics and auto body repair. Students may also attend the Area Vocational Center at LaSalle-Peru Township High School.

graphicThree years ago, the Hall administration implemented a "job-shadowing" program in which a student (usually a junior or senior) is allowed to spend time "shadowing" a person who works in their chosen field of interest. This has met with a highly favorable response from students.

Hall places great emphasis on "Core" classes, such as English, mathematics, science and social studies, providing a solid background and foundation for students by aiding them in the transition to college or employment.

Hall High School remains a progressive institution where a quality education and continuous improvement are the priorities of the staff, administration, and Board of Education.

Putnam County High School, in Granville, offers a strong academic and broad vocational program to students in Putnam County. Its campus includes a commons/student center, music room, auditorium, academic classrooms, science suites, industrial arts facility, and a gymnasium. The schools has set records in both basketball and baseball at state tournaments, and has captured the state track championship.

Putnam County High School boasts a strong academic program as well as offering its students a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Approximately 50 percent of its graduates go on to a college or university. Putnam County has established a reputation as a state leader in the School-to-Work Initiative, Integrated Curriculum, and Cooperative Work Experience.

DePue High School is consolidated in a unit district with its grade school system and has a combined enrollment of about 430. DePue High School, situated overlooking Lake DePue, has a curriculum designed to give students skills in using computers, as well as tech-prep and vocational training.

Fieldcrest High School, in Minonk, was created in 1992, with the consolidation of Minonk-Dana-Rutland, Toluca, and Wenona school districts. It is a fully accredited four—year high school. The school's broad curriculum offers several educational opportunities for the approximately 375 students enrolled. Four-year college preparation, two-year college preparation, vocational training, and work study are emphasized.

LaMoille High School has a student population of 200 and covers grades eight through twelve. The school emphasizes both academic and career training and offers a full roster of extracurricular activities and competitive sports.

St. Bede Academy, set on a 100-acre campus near Peru, is an outstanding coeducational Catholic high school. College preparatory programs are emphasized for its 340-plus students. The Academy's family atmosphere and small class size insure individual attention and academic success.

Each year, 96 percent of the graduates go on to post-secondary institutions. The Academy has a tri-level program and students are placed with students of similar ability. All levels are college preparatory. A wide range of extracurricular activities are also offered and 99 percent of the students are involved in these activities. Integral to the life of the Academy is its Christian Formation Program. A dedicated faculty, 80 percent of whom have master's degrees, and involved parents heighten student achievement.

LaSalle-Peru Christian School is a ministry of the First Baptist Church of LaSalle. The high school was organized in 1979 and has about 40 students enrolled in ninth through twelfth grades. The school offers a full range of classes for both college prep and general studies students. All courses are taught from a Christian point of view.

The school's interscholastic sports program includes soccer and basketball for boys and volleyball, basketball, and cheerleading for girls. There are also interscholastic tournaments in fine arts and academics. All these programs are organized through the Illinois Association of Christian Schools and the American Association of Christian Schools.

IVCC is a comprehensive two-year institution with a reputation for producing graduates who excel academically and on the job.

Year after year, grade point average reports show IVCC graduates are flourishing at Illinois senior universities. Part of the reason for IVCC's academic success is a commitment that puts student interests first. The highly qualified and experienced faculty know their primary mission is teaching — not research or publishing. And, IVCC has a sterling reputation for offering courses that transfer to senior universities.

IVCC offers 37 two-year Associate in Art and Associate in Science programs. IVCC also offers 14 career programs which award Associate in Applied Science degrees, and 32 certificate programs. Each is designed for employment after two years or less, and more than 90 percent of IVCC career program graduates receive immediate employment and continue to live in the district.

Customized training for area businesses and industries is available through the college's Business Training Center — a long recognized leader in high technology training. Up to 4,000 area residents take advantage of non-credit enrichment courses conducted through the college's Continuing Education Office.

The IVCC Cultural Centre, a 600-seat facility, is the setting for a continuing Arts and Letters Series that includes concerts, plays and lectures featuring major artigraphicsts and speakers.

IVCC meets the needs of the community. Consider this:

• One third of all district high school graduates choose IVCC.

• More than 225 licensed drivers have been produced in just two years through the Truck Driver Training Program after industry leaders asked for a program to be created.

• More than 70 percent of the nurses working in local hospitals are IVCC graduates.

• 80 percent of the district's ambulance personnel are IVCC-trained. The EMT program is so important to our community, IVCC offers the class every semester.

For these reasons and more, IVCC is Your College, Your Family, Your Future.

Horizon House of Illinois Valley Inc., is a private, not-for-profit corporation serving adult persons with developmental disabilities. Their philosophy is that all people should be treated equally with dignity and respect and supported in making their own choices. Horizon House is committed to supporting individuals with disabilities as valued members of the community. Horizon House offers on-site subcontract work, respite services, developmental training, supported employment and 24-hour, intermittent residential support. Horizon House supports persons with developmental disabilities to live as productive and participating members of their community.


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