About Our Schools

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Safe and Orderly Learning Environments

Each school is expected to promote a positive school culture and climate that provide students with a supportive, culturally responsive environment in which to grow both socially and academically. Schools are expected to take a proactive role in nurturing students’ prosocial behavior by providing them with positive behavioral supports as well as meaningful opportunities for social and emotional learning.

The district’s multi-tiered system of supports that includes restorative practices is the cornerstone for building the capacity of staff to provide safe and supportive learning environments. Effective social emotional learning helps students develop fundamental skills for life effectiveness, including recognizing and managing emotions, developing caring and concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively and positively.

Recognizing the pervasive negative effects of racism on students, families, staff, and faculty of color, Champaign Unit 4 Schools adopted a resolution to declare racism as a public health crisis. The district seeks to reduce the effects of structural and systemic racism, in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms often reinforce ways to perpetuate inequities among marginalized groups.


Quality Two-Way Communication

The district is committed to regular communications to keep the community up-to-date on what is happening in our schools. Ad hoc committees allow parents and community members to provide input into district-wide programs in areas such as achievement, attendance, and discipline. Each campus has a building council that includes parent representation, and strong PTA and PTSA groups offer support for students and staff. Hundreds of volunteers work with Unit 4 students each year as mentors, tutors, and guest speakers as well as provide classroom support.

Champaign Schools have a presence on social media and regularly post updates and answer questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also view past board meetings and informational videos on our Vimeo channel.

Quality Teachers and Staff

To recruit and retain high-quality teachers and staff members, Champaign Unit 4 offers highly competitive salaries and benefits, including District-paid state TRS contributions. In fact, starting salary with Unit 4 is better than salaries in many of the Chicago suburbs. Stipends, differentials, and extra-duty compensation are among the opportunities to earn additional salary. More than 55 percent of our staff hold master’s degrees and continue to pursue advanced degrees. As of fall 2020, the District boasts 32 National Board-certified teachers. Champaign teachers are regular recipients of the Illinois State Board of Education’s Those Who Excel Awards in addition to other state and national honors. The district’s strong partnerships with the University of Illinois and other institutions of higher learning enable educators to earn advanced degrees at minimal or no cost due to the availability of tuition waivers from those institutions. 

World-Class Students in Hometown Schools

To prepare students for success in higher education or in the workplace, all Unit 4 schools offer an aligned, rigorous, and relevant curriculum. Classrooms are positive, student-centered environments. Faculty committees are proactive in integrating racially and culturally relevant content in the curriculum. Champaign Schools are also dedicated to the implementation of the Illinois Learning Standards in the curriculum to increase rigor and deepen understanding. Champaign Unit 4 offers numerous special programs, including gifted education, foreign language at an elementary magnet school, and art programs at all campuses.

Our students are a diverse body: 36.1% are Black, 33.4% are white, 13.1% are Latinx, 8.7% are Asian, 8.5% are multi-racial, and 0.3% identify as another race; all with unique experiences. Adopted in 1998 as a means of maintaining diversity, our Schools of Choice program at the elementary level offers parents several options to meet their children’s unique needs. For information about our Schools of Choice program, contact the Center for Family and Community Engagement at 217-351-3701 or visit champaignschools.org/choice.

Our District has been named in the College Board’s Annual AP District Honor Roll—a list of 547 districts across North America honored for increasing access to AP coursework for minority and low-income students while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. In addition, our class of 2018 earned more than $6 million in scholarships to postsecondary institutions.

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