Academy students tackle an intense curriculum in dedicated facilities with the latest learning materials and state-of-the-art equipment that complement each program's focus. Each of the U-46 high schools have an academy program with a unique focus to encourage the development of students' talents and interests.
The focus areas for the academies are: Science, Engineering and Technology; Gifted and Talented; Visual and Performing Arts; World Language and International Studies and Broadcast Education and Communication Networks. Students enrolled in the academies are immersed four or five periods daily in classes related to the academy's focus. The remainder of their studies are in the comprehensive programs where they take classes with students outside of the academies.
Students are admitted through an application and review process. Informational fairs are held at the high schools each fall and a call for applications is extended to eighth grade students. Selections are generally announced in mid-February.
Any student in good standing who has the interest and ability to perform the academic and specialized work of the program is eligible to apply for admission to any of the academies. Students must fill out an application form for the academy in which they are interested. Students are encouraged to talk to a counselor about enrollment in the academies.
The five academies are:
- Bartlett High School --- Science, Engineering and Technology Academy
- Elgin High School --- Gifted and Talented Academy
- Larkin High School --- Visual and Performing Arts Academy
- Streamwood High School --- World Languages and International Studies Academy
- South Elgin High School --- Broadcast, Education, and Communication Networks (BEACON).