Ignite creativity and innovation ∎ Inspire personalized learning ∎ Prepare students for multiple paths to success

Compass Academy is a new District 303 program that will open in the fall of 2021 at the Haines Center. Key features of the Academy include flexible scheduling, project-based learning, interdisciplinary courses, and competency-based education. Any District 303 student entering grades 9-12 is eligible to enroll at the Academy. There are no entrance criteria and all students are invited to apply. This program is designed to support all students, including those interested in early college courses and/or career pathway experiences.

Registration is now open and will continue on a rolling basis until the end of May. Parents/guardians of District 303 students entering grades 9-12 in the fall may register students by completing the Compass Academy Registration Application form.

Compass Academy students who are interested in the Dual Credit program at Elgin Community College must complete this application by Friday, April 23, and then email Ms. Stanley to inform her of their interest in the program.

Please note that students applying for registration at Compass Academy who have not completed their 2021-22 course selection should still complete the process with their high school counselor. Students who have registered to attend Compass Academy in 2021-22 will be able to finalize their course schedule for the fall during their individual conference with the Director of Compass Academy in May or June. The link to sign up for a conference will be shared here and via email in early May. 

Because Compass Academy is a student-selected school, it is the goal of the District to admit every student who has selected the school, but if the number of students applying for registration exceeds the school's capacity for the 2021-22 school year, the District will institute a lottery system and families who have completed the registration application will be notified of this.

To see more detailed information about Compass Academy, including course offerings for 2021-22, you may view the Compass Academy Information Guide.

Información de Compass Academy en Español

At Compass Academy, students will:

  • Engage in "hands-on" project-based learning throughout all courses
  • Have a voice and choice in personalized learning activities
  • Attend school on a schedule that is flexible and built around their needs
  • Be able to work at their own pace - whether they want to delve deeper into content or take additional time to learn a concept
  • Be part of a small learning community

Support services available to students at the district’s comprehensive high schools will also be available to students at Compass Academy, including:

  • Special education and related services
  • English language support
  • Embedded social-emotional learning and counseling
  • Post-secondary planning

Students who attend Compass Academy will continue to have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities at their home high school.


∎ Flexible Schedule - Students have the opportunity to build a schedule around their needs and preferences, so they may have:

  • a later start and/or earlier end to their day
  • a break in the middle of the day
  • one day a week for learning opportunities outside the school
  • the opportunity to take remote, blended, and/or evening courses, along with courses at other locations (ECC, FVCC, EHS/NHS)

Impact on students:

  • Access learning at times that meet their needs
  • Increased exposure to post-secondary options and environments

The schedule at Compass Academy was intentionally designed to complement the schedules at the comprehensive high schools and Fox Valley Career Center. (Because classes are offered throughout the day and evening at Elgin Community College, that schedule is not shown.)

Flexible Schedule (Daily Model Comparison)

At Compass Academy, students will advance in coursework by demonstrating mastery of competencies. The curriculum will address all of the Illinois Learning Standards just as it does at the comprehensive high schools, but the way in which instruction occurs and the learning activities in which students engage will be different. The coursework students complete at Compass Academy will enable them to meet all graduation requirements, and students who complete those requirements will receive a diploma from either St. Charles East or St. Charles North High School upon graduation.

∎ Competency-Based Education - Students advance upon demonstrated mastery of competencies. Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.

Impact on students:

  • Students are able to work at their own pace
  • Student learning is individualized and personalized
  • Student learning is focused on skill development and application of knowledge

Compass Academy Competencies

opportunities for career pathway exploration through:

  • On-site engineering, manufacturing, and culinary labs
  • Weekly work-based learning opportunities, which could include job shadowing, internships, and field trips
  • Courses both at Compass Academy and at other sites where students may earn stackable industry credentials
  • Opportunities to compete in career-related competitions

Compass Academy Parent Information Meeting

SS Sharon Stanley

Director of Compass Academy