District Programs

Waukegan Community Unit School District #60 provides many educational programs to help our students succeed in school and in life. Below you will find an overview of educational programs in our district.


Library Media Services
A library assistant at each elementary school and a certified Library Media Specialist at each middle and high school provide Illinois Learning Standards-based curricular support, reading incentive programming and library skills instruction.

Fine Arts and Music Programs
Provides services that include the visual arts and music at the K-8 level, e.g. band, orchestra, general music, and choir. The visual arts program includes the general study of all disciplines, e.g. drawing, painting, 3-D design, 2-D design and a general study of art design.


A wide variety of academic and enrichment programs take place before school, after school, and sometimes on Saturdays or during lunch. They usually last one to two hours per week and vary per building. Some of the many ongoing programs available throughout the district include the following:

  • SES Tutoring
  • 21st Century S.T.A.R.S.

Extended Day S.T.A.R.S.
S.T.A.R.S., Successfully Targeting and Reaching Students, is an extended day program that provides elementary and middle school students at seven schools with a wonderful opportunity to increase their academic achievement, while at the same time build social skills in a fun and innovative way. The program consists of a 10-month program that meets five days a week (elementary) and two days a week (middle schools), in 6-week sessions. Students are provided a nutritious snack and mandatory academic assistance. Enrichment activities are offered in the following areas and activities: Performing Arts, Dance, Martial Arts, Fine Arts, Life Skill Development (dealing healthily with emotions), field trips, college tours, and summer camp.

Summer S.T.A.R.S. Program - Elementary School
Summer Bridges students can participate in elementary Summer S.T.A.R.S. They will enjoy Arts and Crafts, Drama, Community Projects, Field Trips and more...

Summer S.T.A.R.S. Program - Middle School
All participants who sign up for Summer Bridges at one of the S.T.A.R.S. sites will get to participate in the following Lake County Tech Campus Career Exploration Camp clinics: Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Photography, TV Production, Animation, Auto-body (auto painting) and Carpentry. All classes teach why math and reading are important to career choices. The Summer S.T.A.R.S. program will also include creative activities, fun field trips and college tours. (The program is four weeks and is free to 50 families.)

S.T.A.R.S. - Leadership Institute, University of Illinois and Discover Card
30 kids will be selected to attend a 4-week leadership camp, which includes team-building games, goal setting, college prep, community service projects and field trips. This group will visit the U of I Campus this summer, in Urbana and continue to meet during the school year!


College Studies Program
C.S.P. is a nationally recognized college preparatory program. Upon graduation, students complete four years of English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Foreign Language. Graduates of this program experience considerable success in college.

Co-Curricular Activities and Athletics
All students have over 75 clubs and organizations to which they can belong, including all major sports: badminton, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, drill team, football, golf, pom-poms, rifle, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, and wrestling.

Fine Arts
The Fine Arts Department serves over 400 students. It has a proud history of excellence. All musical groups, including Band, Orchestra, Choir, Marching Band, The Bulldog Big Band, Rendition (a madrigal and vocal jazz group), and The Bulldog Percussion Ensemble, consistently win award in contests. Art students have their work on display nationwide.

Our J.R.O.T.C. is the largest and oldest in the nation. The program consistently scores near perfect in federal inspections. The cadets are active in both the school and community.

Hewitt Career Center
Hewitt Associates sponsored the construction of a career center, located in the library. Two full-time career and education specialists staff the center. To date, over 2,000 students have utilized its services.


Parent Infant Education (PIE) - (Birth to Three Program)
The Parent Infant Education/Prevention Initiative program provides families who reside in District 60 with free developmental screenings for at-risk infants and toddlers, home visits, educational resources, parent-child interaction groups, parent workshops, and referrals for developmental therapy. Our mission is to empower parents to be their child's first teacher by providing strategies and activities to do with their child to enhance their development. We ensure a seamless transition for children receiving early intervention services who are turning 3 years old and entering the early childhood program.

Early Childhood Partners In Collaboration (E.P.I.C.)
The mission of the Early Childhood Partners In Collaboration (E.P.I.C.) program is to offer children, from birth to the kindergarten door, and their families a system of high quality, well-coordinated, easily accessible services that promote the education and care of young children. That's an E.P.I.C. mission! There are six E.P.I.C. preschools, and all students must be residents of Waukegan.

Early Childhood Developmental Screening
Free screening of all preschool aged children by appointment to assess their development and school readiness skills.


Department of English Language Learners
ELL offers a full continuum of Bilingual and English as a Second Language programs to meet the needs of more than 5,000 English Language Learners in pre-K, elementary, middle and high school. The district has a strong parent involvement program and parent resource center serving families of English Language Learners.

  • WIDA Standards for English Language Learners
  • ELL Professional Development and Mentoring for new teachers, Type 29 and 03 Teachers
  • ESL Materials (Hampton-Brown) K-5
  • Parent Involvement and Leadership Training (BPAC, PAC, Leadership Training, Parent Information Center)
  • ESL Scholarships
  • DIBELS (Spanish)
  • Language Assessment

Earobics Literacy Launch Steps 1 and 2
A scientifically-based early literacy program that combines technology with multimedia tools, print materials, and teacher training to provide instruction and practice in the following crucial areas of literacy development: language development, phonemic awareness, alphabetic knowledge, decoding and spelling, beginning reading, and beginning writing. This program is used at three schools.


The Department of Specialized Instructional Programs and Services offers a full continuum of direct and related services for more than 3,000 identified special education students aged 0-21 in elementary, middle, and high school settings.

Specialized Services and Programs

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Autism
  • Bilingual Special Education (BIPAS)
  • Transition Planning (14-21 years old)
  • Private Placement

Waukegan Student Connection
Supports student field trips for middle school special education students to local businesses, helping students to connect with the world of work and transition to life.


The Department of Pupil Personnel Services provides health services to all district children, assistance to school teams helping to problem-solve and support the development of at-risk students, and provides needed crisis intervention, speech and language, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and psychological evaluation and counseling services.

Pupil Personnel Services

  • Social Work
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Psychological evaluation and counseling
  • School Health Services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Hearing Impaired / Vision Impaired
  • Central File


The A.O.E.C. / Stephens' Center encompasses programs designed to target middle and high school students who have not found success within the traditional school setting. There are eight alternative programs managed through the Stephens' Center for student placement, and two non-district programs students are referred to that do not meet requirements to enroll in a district alternative program.

  • A.O.E.C.
  • Credit Recovery
  • Graduate Recovery
  • Extended Day
  • Ombudsman
  • ROE
  • Twilight School
  • S.T.A.R.S. Program


Teacher Development and Support

  • Waukegan Teacher's Academy (WTA) Coaching and mentoring support for teachers
  • Grow Your Own Paraprofessional and Teacher Development
  • Ongoing professional development in reading instruction for special education and reading coach teachers
  • Five School Improvement professional development half days for all teachers
  • Two one-hour School Improvement meetings per month for all teachers
  • Optional ongoing teacher professional development workshops in integrating instructional technology tools
  • University collaborations for continuing education

Student Assessment

  • Community Wide Developmental Screening (Pre-K)
  • Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) in English and Spanish
  • Pupil Personnel Service Teams
  • English Language Learners-LPTS and Home Language Survey (ACCESS Test)
  • State Tests
    • ACCESS Test for ELL Students - Kindergarten through Grade 12
    • Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) - Grades 3 through 8
    • Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) - Grade 11

READ 180 is an intensive reading intervention program designed to meet the needs of students whose reading achievement is below the proficient level. The program directly addresses individual needs through adaptive and instructional software, high-interest literature and direct instruction in reading skills. It is currently used at eight schools.


Summer Bridges, English for Successful Learning (ESL) and Special Education Summer School
Summer Bridges provides an extended learning program designed to improve the reading, writing, and mathematical skills of students exiting from grade 1 through 6 for students who do not meet state learning standards and local promotion criteria. The District 60 Bridges program offers extended learning opportunities in the summer for participating students to become strategic readers and skilled mathematical problem-solvers. The ESL Summer School Program offers intensive ESL classes to K-5 students who are limited in English proficiency. The Special Education Summer School provides extended instruction to Special Education students as specified in their Individual Education Plans.


  • Parent Teacher Organizations at all schools
  • Parent Mentor support for parents of handicapped children

Evening Parent Programs
All schools hold some special evening programs. Varying by school, all programs celebrate student learning and/or help parents learn new strategies to help their students succeed at school or learn a new skill themselves, ex. English as a Second Language. Some of the evening programs include the following: Family Reading Night, Literature Circle Night, Environmental Conference, Science Olympics, Math and Reading Carnival, Celebrity Readers at Waukegan Public Library, and Parent and Community Award Night.

Family Resource and Support
We provide practical information to Waukegan Public Schools parents and families pertaining to their specific needs, and referrals on family and educational-related issues.

Community Collaboration
We coordinate and encourage joint efforts between schools, community members, businesses, and agencies on behalf of the school age children of the District and their families and parents.

Educational Meetings for parents and families
Workshops and presentations are given for parents and families of our District, community members, and our District staff, on different subjects, such as child development, reading readiness skills, discipline, improving communication and learning issues.

Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) Meetings
BPAC Meetings are held at least four times a year to address the specific needs of the bilingual population of the District.

Special Education Parent Teacher Advisory Council (SEPTAC) Meetings
Meetings and workshops are offered on family and school related issues to families with children with special needs.

Special Education Parent Mentors
Parent Mentors are available to accompany and support parents at district IEP meetings when requested by either families or educators. Also, they hold numerous workshops for parents to provide them with important strategies to use with their child.

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