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Education

Boone County is served by two districts, both of which exemplify the best in public education. Parents are encouraged to become involved with the area’s educational system and communicate openly with the teachers and school administrators.

Belvidere Community School District #100 provides a quality education to more than 8,000 students from pre-kindergarten to graduation. The district is home to five elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and one STEM academy.

To accommodate and challenge all levels and types of learners, the Belvidere School District also offers special magnet programs that focus on a particular subject area or skill. In the Dual Language Program offered at Lincoln and Seth Whitman Elementary Schools, native English and native Spanish speakers learn alongside one another. Instruction in all core subject areas is given in both languages. Students enter the dual language program in their kindergarten year and exit at the end of 5th grade. At the end of the program students will be bi-lingual, bi-literate, and bi-cultural.

Washington Academy, the district’s only K-8 school, offers a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum. It houses three science labs, one STEM lab, four technology classrooms, and two library media centers. STEM students have daily experiences with science, math at least an hour a day, 125 minutes weekly in technology classes, and daily project-based learning.

For middle school students, Project Lead the Way offers an activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum. Students apply classroom concepts in real-world situations to identify problems and find unique solutions.

Through a partnership with Rock Valley College, high school students can get a jump on their college education through participation in the Running Start program. Qualified students attend classes at Rock Valley College during their junior and senior years and receive dual credits that meet the requirements of a high school diploma and an Associate Degree simultaneously. Students do not pay for tuition at Rock Valley College and can return to their high school at the end of the day to participate in after-school athletics and extra-curricular activities. Dual credit courses are offered on-site at both high schools as well.

Beginning with the 2015-16 school year the Belvidere School District will offer a Blended Preschool Program for preschool age students. The program will be housed in several elementary buildings, and classrooms of 20 will consist of tuition-based, at-risk, and special education students.

Also new in 2015-16 is a workforce readiness course for all freshmen. This course is the beginning of an overall Career Magnet concept under development that includes curriculum for health care and trades-related fields, and possible future coursework in the technology and manufacturing sectors.

North Boone Community Unit School District 200 serves approximately 1,800 students in preschool through high school in the villages of Caledonia, Capron and Poplar Grove as well as the northern tier of unincorporated Boone County, Illinois. North Boone schools are recognized as accredited schools by the Illinois State Board of Education.

The mission of the North Boone Schools is to provide exceptional experiences that vigorously develop the mind and character of 21st century learners. Due to its forward-thinking leadership and teaching staff, North Boone was recognized as one of the top schools in the nation in preparing students for their digital future by the US Department of Education in a ceremony at the White House in 2014. North Boone was one of six such districts recognized in Illinois and one of only 120 from across the nation. North Boone students at the secondary level have 1:1 tablets for instructional support. North Boone works with the CEANCI Vocational Cooperative to provide vocational courses for students. Students can earn their associates degree through a cooperative program with Rock Valley College in grades 11 and 12.

Boone County also has four parochial schools that address the educational and religious needs of students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Ida Public Library in Belvidere houses more than 82,000 items including books, audiobooks and DVDs. In addition we have over 30,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks available for cardholders. The library also provides programs for all ages, public meeting rooms, inter-library loan services and a summer reading program.

Boone County is conveniently located near several accredited colleges and universities that offer undergraduate, graduate and post graduate degrees.

Northern Illinois University is the second-largest university in Illinois and located south of Belvidere in DeKalb. NIU also has a branch in Rockford.

Rockford University, formerly Rockford College, is a four-year, co-educational institution founded in 1847 offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. It offers approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through our Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College and one of only 81 colleges in the nation as a “College with a Conscience,” Rockford University currently serve approximately 1,250 full- and part-time students. Its mission is to educate men and women to lead responsible lives by means of a curriculum grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented and extended by professional and practical experience.

Rock Valley College is a comprehensive two-year community college in Rockford, offering more than 100 courses for transfer, career programs, and certificates. Founded in 1964, the college is part of the 48-institution Illinois Community College System. The College serves all of Winnebago County, most of Boone County and portions of Ogle, Stephenson, McHenry and DeKalb counties. The total population served is more than 340,000. The college boasts more than 30 student clubs and organizations, 10 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford provides the finest community-based medical training, and offers educational development of health professionals through health services to the Northern Illinois region. The College is internationally recognized as a leader in medical education. As a collaborating center to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year, its competitive academic curriculum and acclaimed research opportunities attract top students and faculty worldwide to our scenic 20-acre campus in Rockford, Illinois. The College offers quality medical education, provide exceptional health care to the community, and impact the future of medicine through advanced research.

Upper Iowa University, which was established in 1857, offers 12 majors in Rockford. Rasmussen College offers a variety of programs. Rockford Career College is a nationally accredited two-year college serving the Rockford area for the past 140 years. Judson College offers working adults the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in as few as 16 months.

Saint Anthony College of Nursing (SACN) is a private, Catholic, upper-division college offering opportunities for degrees at the bachelor, master and doctorate levels of nursing. For 100 years, Saint Anthony graduates have been sought out by local and regional employers because of the excellent reputation the college has for preparing knowledgeable, highly skilled and value driven professional nurses. SACN offers two Rockford locations, one on the campus of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center and the other is located at Guilford Square on Featherstone Road.

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