News Local/State

Rantoul HS Among Ten Participating in State Pilot Program


Rantoul Township High School District 193 is among ten school districts in the state taking part in a pilot program using competency-based learning. The idea is to advance students based on their mastery of skills and knowledge in a particular subject — instead of how much time they spend on the subject in the classroom.

Rantoul High School Superintendent Scott Amario says he’s been developing a competency-based program for the past five years. He hopes it will help some students complete their graduation requirements sooner.

Kids come in on August 17th — and they leave a first semester class on December 18th," he said. "And they’ve all sat in that class for the same amount of time. What they’ve learned has all been different. And so we’re trying to flip the script on that, and say ‘for this class, this is what we want our kids to know, and if you can demonstrate that by October 18th, we’re going to give additional opportunities.”

State School Superintendent Tony Smith says the pilot initiative could have implications for districts statewide.

“We think that there’s a lot of folks out there that have been doing work like this for a while and we want to build more of a community of practice for it," he said. "And we do think that it will have a big impact on the direction the state goes in understanding this.”

Other high schools participating in the pilot program are located in Chicago and its suburbs, and in downstate communities including Peoria, East St. Louis, and Kankakee. 

Educators from the participating high schools will discuss their progress in a series of conference calls – the first is two weeks from now.