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. The competency-based model removes the constraints of "seat time" and empowers student-driven learning inside and outside the classroom. This approach allows students to earn credit toward graduation requirements in ways other than traditional coursework, incorporates real-world knowledge and challenges, and allows students to attain career-related competencies. 

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.

Fall registration for Compass Academy is now closed. 

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 students will receive a Mastery Transcript in addition to the traditional transcript they will receive from their home high school. The Mastery Transcript Consortium offers colleges an alternative to the traditional transcript, one that offers more nuance and depth than grades and GPAs, while still providing consistency and validity for admission purposes. Follow this link to see an updated list of colleges that have accepted the Mastery Transcript in the last two years.

Compass Academy Parent Information Meeting

SS Sharon Stanley

Director of Compass Academy