Boone County is served by two districts, both of which exemplify the best in public education. Parents are encouraged to become involved the area’s educational system and communicate openly with 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 fifth grade. At the end of the program, students will be bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.
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 extracurricular activities. Dual credit courses are offered on-site at each high school. Both high schools also offer 16 different advanced placement courses for students to enroll in.
North Boone Community Unit School District 200 serves approximately 1,650 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. North Boone schools are recognized as accredited schools by the Illinois State Board of Education.
The mission of the North Boone educational community is to provide students with exceptional experiences that continuously develop their minds and characters, fostering lifelong learning and responsible citizenship. 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 U.S. 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.
Boone County also has two parochial schools that address the educational and religious needs of students that transition to the parochial high schools in Rockford.
Immanuel Lutheran School is committed to providing a Christ-centered education to children pre-K through eighth grade. Immanuel offers one of the area’s best bargains with a combination of strong academics and reasonable tuition.
Immanuel Lutheran School achievement tests are among the highest in the region. The eighth grade class of 2018 scored 87% above national average in reading, 87% above national average in science and 96% above national average in math.
Tuition rates are among the lowest in the region. Best Member Rate for 2019 is $2,960 per student, which breaks down to $57 per week or $2.36 per hour of instruction.
Also offered are before school and after school care, SMART boards and wireless internet, computer lab with chrome books, fully equipped science lab, a music program with choir and band and an athletic program.
Graduates of Immanuel stand out and are ready for the future. Both church and school work together to help parents bring up the next generation, and that generation will be prepared for tomorrow and eternity.
St. James Catholic School in Belvidere provides an educational opportunity for students to succeed through excellent instruction from professionals who care about the academic and moral development of its students. Education focused on Christian values will provide them with a foundation for a strong, healthy life.
Students enjoy small class sizes that allow teachers to follow a curriculum that engages students in hands-on learning, leadership activities and individual academic support. St. James has a curriculum for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade that involves all core content subjects, in addition to daily classes in religious instruction. Students in fourth through eighth grade may be part of the band, soccer, basketball and volleyball. Numerous extracurricular activities for families provide for an engaged community of learners. Call (815) 547-7633 for more information.
The Ida Public Library in Belvidere houses more than 70,000 items including books, audiobooks and DVDs. In addition, the library offers over 50,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks 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.
Aurora University-Woodstock Center brings many accredited degree and certificate programs closer to home for Boone County residents. The AU Woodstock Center offers a path for adults who wish to complete master’s or doctoral degree in education, business or public policy. Certificates and endorsement programs are also available, along with a Bachelor of Social Work that can be earned through an adult degree completion program.
Most classes meet one evening a week, providing adults with the flexibility to pursue a degree while working. AU Woodstock Center’s courses are eight weeks or 16 weeks long and are offered year-round, so new programs can begin in spring, summer or fall.
AU Woodstock Center is in downtown Woodstock, just 25 miles east of Belvidere. Visit aurora.edu/woodstock, to learn more about the possibilities at Aurora University Woodstock Center, or call (815) 337-6051.
If you’re thinking of returning to school, Judson University has you covered. Judson’s Division of Professional Studies offers curriculum challenging enough to prepare you to lead in your field, delivered in a format flexible and affordable enough to fit in with your life’s other demands. Programs at the university’s Elgin or Rockford campuses offer classes one night per week, and most programs are also available 100% online. There’s even an option for free child care at the Rockford campus.
Judson University’s Department of Professional Studies offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Find out more information about Judson and its specific programs at judsondegree.com or call (224) 276-5692.
Northern Illinois University is the second-largest university in Illinois and is located south of Belvidere in DeKalb. The university also has a branch in Rockford.
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. Rock Valley College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college boasts more than 30 student clubs and organizations, and 10 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports.
Rockford Career College is all about student success and community partnerships. Its mission is to not just provide a relevant, well-rounded occupational education but also to ensure our graduates are well-prepared heading into the local community workforce.
Program offerings include welding, HVAC, electrical technician, computer numeric controls, computer-aided drafting, diagnostic medical sonography, surgical technology, veterinary technician, medical assisting, paralegal, business administration, medical office billing and coding and dental assisting. These programs range from 10 months to 24 months and require students to commit to full-time schedules in the day or evening. Students get experience working every day in college labs, simulating real-world experiences and many programs require externships as well.
In the last 12 months, Rockford Career College has graduated 331 students from all career training programs and placed a staggering 278 graduates into jobs in their respective fields.
Rockford University 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 Bachelor of Science in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education.
Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. The university was named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College and is a U.S. News & World Report Best Midwest Regional University. Rockford University currently serves approximately 1,200 full-and part-time students.
Saint Anthony College of Nursing is a private, Catholic, upper-division college offering opportunities for degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s 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. The college offers two Rockford locations, one on the campus of Rock Valley College, and the other at Guilford Square on Featherstone Road.
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 each year, its competitive academic curriculum and acclaimed research opportunities attract top students and faculty worldwide to its scenic 20-acre campus in Rockford. The college offers quality medical education, provide exceptional health care to the community and impacts the future of medicine through advanced research.
For over a decade, Upper Iowa University – Rockford Center has been providing its students an Education Built for Life. Students can blend traditional in-person coursework with an online program that helps them achieve their educational and career goals.
A highly supportive and caring faculty and staff, helps students of all ages become confident in their abilities and inspires them to reach their full potential. Students have more than 40 undergraduate majors and graduate programs to choose from and the university has highly skilled professionals available to help students understand and make the most of financial aid.
To learn more, call Center Director Pamela Timmons at (815) 332-1414 or email Timmonsp12@UIU.edu. For more information about Upper Iowa University, visit uiu.edu.