Elgin Area School District U-46 opens doors Aug. 14

Updated 8/9/2019 9:37 AM

Classes resume Wednesday, Aug. 14, for more than 38,000 kindergartners through 12th-graders across Elgin Area School District U-46.

The school year promises continued innovation and excellence, including the district's universal play-based, full-day kindergarten program, the addition of Chromebooks for students starting in fifth grade and, at the high school level, the continued expansion of the award-winning Dual Language program.


"We've been counting down the days until we open our doors to students," said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. "Our U-46 team -- principals, custodians, bus drivers, teachers, food service providers, administrators, and more -- have been hard at work preparing our buildings, classrooms, curriculum, and resources to serve students and families during the 2019-20 school year."

The district will expand its one-to-one device program with the distribution of Chromebooks to all students in fifth through eighth grades. This follows the distribution of about 14,000 Chromebooks at the onset of the 2018-19 school year to all high schoolers and to middle school students enrolled in specific math classes.

This expanded 1:1 technology program means students across the district in fifth through 12th grade can use their own computers in class and take them home in the evenings to use for homework.

The district's Dual Language program, which moved up to ninth grade last year, will now also be available to 10th-graders at all of the district's five comprehensive high schools.

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The plan is to add a grade in each of the subsequent years, maintaining U-46 as home to one of the largest Dual Language programs in the United States. More than 11,000 U-46 students are on their way to becoming bilingual and biliterate, better ready to build careers in a global society.

U-46 will also continue its partnership with Elgin Community College to offer a full-time Dual Credit program for seniors. These students, who must demonstrate certain college readiness benchmark scores for acceptance, take all of their courses at ECC. They earn both high school and college credit for each class. In May 2019, 44 graduating seniors were honored for their participation in this valuable program.

For the fifth year, U-46, in partnership with the community through the Alignment Collaborative for Education, will offer a free career expo for eighth-grade students. Explore 2019: A Community, Curriculum and Career Expo is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

It is specifically aimed at educating students about the connection between U-46 middle and high school classes and opportunities that best prepare them for further education and careers following high school graduation.


The eighth-graders will attend Explore 2019 during the school day with their teachers. Parents will be invited to an expo preview from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Sears Centre.

With the support of the Alignment members, Explore gathers local businesses and industry leaders to showcase career options, demonstrate skills used in those fields, and explain what courses will prepare students to work in a particular area.

Explore 2019 also ties into the District's plan to roll out Educational Pathways to incoming freshmen for the 2021-22 school year. These pathways will offer students a creative, supportive environment in smaller learning communities, with access to engaging and relevant coursework.

The specific pathways that will be offered at individual high schools will be presented to the Board of Education this fall.

As part of the #U46FirstDayReady initiative, U-46 has been urging parents to use the last weeks of summer break to ensure their children meet health-related requirements, including having up-to-date physicals and immunization records. Students starting preschool, kindergarten, sixth, ninth, and 12th grades must show proof of meeting specific state health requirements by the first day of school.

The policy aims to ensure a healthy environment for all students. The requirements and necessary forms can be found here and within the menu of the Health Services page on the district website at www.u-46.org.

The district strongly urged families to register their children for the new school year via the online "Parent Portal" on Infinite Campus. But for parents and guardians who needed help, U-46 held a walk-in event in July at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin and accepted appointments over the summer at the Educational Services Center and individual school buildings.

Families who still need help registering are encouraged to call the school their child will be attending to set up an appointment.

Students who qualify for bus services can find their bus pickup and drop-off times and locations posted on the Parent Portal under the "Transportation" tab starting Aug. 9.

Families with questions about busing can call the Transportation Department's special "back to school" call center Monday, Aug. 12, and Tuesday, Aug. 13, at (847) 888-5095. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days.

Students enrolled in the district's preschool programs will have their first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

U-46 serves families in 11 communities: Bartlett, Elgin, Hanover Park, South Elgin, Streamwood and Wayne, as well as portions of Carol Stream, Hoffman Estates, St. Charles, Schaumburg, and West Chicago.

In total, the district encompasses 90 square miles within the Fox River Valley, approximately 45 minutes west of downtown Chicago, and includes communities within Cook, DuPage and Kane counties. Nearly 39,000 pre-K through 12th-graders attend the 57 district schools and programs.

To learn more, visit the U-46 website at www.u-46.org.


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