13 Illinois schools recognized as state ‘democracy’ schools

Collinsville High School one of thirteen named "democracy school"

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COLLINSVILLE – The Illinois Civics Mission Coalition (ICMC) has recognized 13 exceptional Illinois high schools as Democracy Schools. Democracy Schools are recognized for providing students with authentic experiences in the rights, responsibilities and tensions
inherent in living in a constitutional democracy.

Through these experiences, participating schools strive to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for informed, effective engagement in our democracy.

Since 2006, only 54 Illinois high schools have successfully completed a school-wide civic assessment and have been subsequently recognized as Democracy Schools.

Illinois Democracy Schools embrace the mission to provide high-quality civic learning opportunities for all students. Their leadership emphasizes civic learning through professional development of faculty, and proven civic learning practices are woven throughout the formal curriculum.

Democracy Schools foster a school climate that nurtures and models civic dispositions and builds reciprocal relationships within the surrounding community.

The new Democracy Schools will receive funding from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation which convenes the ICMC to invest in high-quality civic learning initiatives.

“Our Democracy Schools network spans the state and represents its rich diversity,” Sonia Mathew, Civic Learning Manager at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation said. “With the implementation of the new civics course requirement in Illinois, our 2016 Democracy Schools stand as models for their peers throughout the state to emulate.”

Democracy Schools provide numerous opportunities for students to participate in the democratic process through a range of classes and clubs. From class discussions on current issues and democratic simulations to extracurricular and service learning opportunities, students are able to experience first-hand the critical role they can play in shaping their government and society.

Collinsville High School’s work to fulfill its mission as a Democracy School includes the recent memorial flag display at the school in memory of 9/11 victims, a mock presidential election in November and creation of a permanent Veterans Memorial at the high school.

According to the McCormick Foundation, “Collinsville High School has truly embraced the spirit and commitment that is needed to become a Democracy School.  The Democracy School Team’s enthusiasm and commitment to civic education is contagious.”  

The Democracy School Team at CHS includes social studies teachers Barbara Lindauer and Mary Sue Noeth, counselor Karen Olsen, Assistant Principal Stevie Brown and Principal David Snider.  

The Democracy School Team will officially present information about the Illinois Democracy School program during the September 19th Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 School Board Meeting.

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