Community Unit School District 303
When formal school districts were originally created in the late 19th century and early 20th century, they were usually drawn along township boundaries. However, legislation was passed in 1946-47 that encouraged school districts to consolidate.
Community Unit School District 303 was born in 1949 when, through a referendum, voters approved consolidating High School District 150, Elementary District 87 and Little Woods District 79.
People served by the Wasco two-year high school program voted in 1950 to consolidate with District 303 after another change in state law eliminated two-year high schools.
The district operates 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools, serving about 13,590 students. Athletes from both high schools belong to the Upstate Eight Conference
- Elementaries (K-5)
- Anderson Elementary School
- Bell-Graham Elementary School
- Corron Elementary School
- Davis Primary School
- Richmond Intermediate School
- Ferson Creek Elementary School
- Fox Ridge Elementary School
- Lincoln Elementary School
- Munhall Elementary School
- Norton Creek Elementary School
- Wasco Elementary School
- Wild Rose Elementary School
- In 2005, District 303 purchased 43 acres (170,000 m2) at the corner of Crane and Silver Glen roads with the intention of building an additional elementary and middle school (in a single-joined facility) at that location. Since the land purchase, two referendums intended to finance construction of the schools (2005 and 2006) have failed to pass, the last by a narrow margin.
- Middle Schools (6-8)
- High Schools (9-12)
District 303's composite ACT score for 2005 was 21.8 compared to a state average of 20.1.* 81.7 percent of all District 303 students met or exceeded state learning standards in 2005 (85.8 percent ISAT; 70.4 percent Prairie State Achievement Exam.) Statewide, an average of 64.9 percent of all students met or exceeded state learning standards in 2005 (68.9 percent ISAT; 54.9 percent PSAE.)*
Approximately 90% of the district's graduates go to college. St. Charles High School (now St. Charles East High School) was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School in 1996 for its excellence in teaching and instruction, student achievement, leadership and parent involvement. In 2003, St. Charles North High School received the Governor's Hometown Award for its contributions to the overall quality of life in the community. In 2006, Haines Middle School was honored as a USDE No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School. In 2010, St. Charles North High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award.
The Davis Richmond Merger
In 2010, the school district decided to put together Davis, the best elementary school which was overcrowded, and Richmond, a weak school that had only 50% of the capacity of students it could have, to create Davis Primary grades K-2 and Richmond Intermendiate grades 3-5. The schools are close together so transportation was easy. Richmond Intermediate also offered students extra experiences that little other public elementary students had at that time. They made school days 40 minutes longer, offered Spanish and French language courses and gave every student their own iPad. With the iPad also came Sci-Tech, an outside of class special. Many parents didn't like the idea though. Families sometimes moved away or started petitions. There was even a lawsuit against the school district. But in the end, it continued. The Richmond community has many Spanish speaking families so there are bilingual teachers. Davis also offers Pre-K for Spanish speaking students.
District 303's educational program is characterized by a tradition of recognized academic achievement, talented faculty, many highly successful championship level athletic teams and award winning fine arts programs.
Guided by the District 303 Vision Statement and Goals, and led by the Department of Learning and Teaching, District 303 staff is actively involved in curriculum renewal and redesign in partnership with the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy along with Brown University. Many staff members and instructional teams have been recognized at the state and national levels for successful and innovative programs.
All staff members benefit from a variety of continuing education courses offered through the district's own university-caliber professional development program. As of summer 2005, eight District 303 teachers had achieved National Board certification, the highest level of certification available to educators.
District 303 operates on a $118.3 million annual operating budget (FY '06) Total operating revenues are about $120 million. Total expenses including construction and bonded debt are $137 million, versus total revenues (all funds) of $134 million.
District 303 employs about 1,750 full and part-time staffers in 2005-06, including about 1,065 certificated staff. That number includes about 1,000 teachers.
Staff are represented by four professional associations—the St. Charles Education Association (representing certificated staff); the St. Charles Transportation and Maintenance Association; the St. Charles Educational Support Professionals Association; and the Therapy Association of St. Charles.
The average teacher salary in 2005 was $52,502. The average teacher had 10.9 years of experience in 2004-2005. About 57 percent of District 303 teachers hold Master's Degrees or higher.
District 303 has grown significantly in recent years. About 250 new students enrolled in District 303 for the 2005-06 school year. Growth of 300-500 new students is expected to continue for the next three to five years.