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updated: 9/14/2017 10:44 AM

U-46 to host open houses for academies next week

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Elgin Area School District U-46 hosts a series of open houses highlighting the five high school academy programs Monday and Tuesday.

The events are designed for seventh- and eighth-graders and their parents. Sessions are at 7 and 8:15 p.m. both days.

"These focused learning communities offer a supportive environment that nurtures interests and the application of knowledge and skills, keeping students engaged in high school and preparing them for college and careers," U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said.

At the open houses officials preview the academy program at their school. Completed academy applications can be submitted starting Monday through Oct. 16. For more information, visit

Academies offer hands-on, industry-specific training using state-of-the art technology. Students are encouraged to pursue independent study, mentorships, and internships. The academies are:

• Bartlett High School's Science, Engineering and Technology Academy offers instruction in laboratories, accelerated math and science curriculum, advanced placement opportunities, next generation technologies, robotics and STEM workshops/competitions, Project Lead the Way curriculum, college credit courses, and STEM-focused internships.

• Elgin High School's Gifted and Talented Academy provides a rigorous academic environment challenging students' intellectual and creative abilities.

• Larkin High School's Visual and Performing Arts Academy provides a comprehensive arts-based education offering honors curriculum in dance, drama, instrumental music, visual arts and vocal music.

• South Elgin High School's BEACON (Broadcast, Education and Communication Networks) Academy provides students experience in audio and video production, broadcast journalism, webcasting and web design, and training with media professionals.

• Streamwood High School's World Languages and International Studies Academy offers honors history, language arts, foreign language and business courses. Students can earn the equivalent of six years in Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish.

District officials are considering expanding the academies to provide more students access to the specialized and career-oriented learning. New academies could be established as early as the freshman class of 2019-20, but no later than the 2020-21 school year, officials have said.

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