“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
-John Dewey, early 20th century American philosopher and educational reformer

Located next to the technology and research hub of Research Park at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Academy High is a co-ed, independent day school dedicated to helping today’s students solve tomorrow’s challenges. It was founded in 2017 by a group of visionary families looking for a more innovative educational experience for high school students. Academy High offers students a remarkably progressive, ‘real-world’ program that captures the true spirit of what 21st Century Teaching and Learning’ is all about— learning that is project-based, hands-on, experiential, interdisciplinary, and highly student-centered in its focus and outcomes.

As a forward-thinking institution dedicated to fostering student curiosity and innovation, Academy High’s curriculum and school culture are different by design. Starting with a strong foundation of core subject-area classes built around the ‘The Six Cs,’ our students have considerable freedom to choose from a wide array of specialty course electives (‘modules’) and co-/extracurricular activities. “Choice and voice” give students agency in creating a truly customized program that reflects their unique academic and personal interests. During their junior and senior years, Academy High students have the opportunity to apply their education to the greater world around them through internships with local companies and civic groups. Academy High’s proximity to Parkland College and the University of Illinois offers further opportunities for students to earn additional independent credits for courses in our local community. Our dedicated faculty is as passionate about teaching high schoolers as they are about their subject matter. When outstanding faculty are combined with small class sizes, our students enjoy daily opportunities to think, create, explore, and discover while developing the essential skills, habits, and mindsets needed to realize their full potential.

Now is a particularly exciting time to be part of Academy High! As we prepare for the opening of our new campus this fall, Academy High is poised for significant growth both in our program and in our commitment to civic engagement and service to our local community. Academy High’s Vision Statement says, “We believe that by nurturing students to develop adventurous minds, bold spirits, and compassionate hearts, our students can change the world.”

If this sounds like the type of school where you or your student might thrive, please spend time exploring our school website or—better yet— come visit our campus to see for yourself. We’d love to meet you!


John W. Carpenter
Head of School