Carbondale Connections | Education |

Carbondale Connections | Education |

Carbondale Connections | Education |


Education is a cornerstone of Carbondale at all levels. Each educational institution, from pre-kindergarten to the university level, offers programs and opportunities to challenge, inspire and equip students for both current and future success. A variety of school systems, both public and private, work to educate students.

Public Education

There are three public school systems serving Carbondale and the immediate area. Carbondale Elementary District 95 serves students within most of the city limits. The Giant City and Unity Point districts serve students residing south of the Southern Illinois University campus.

Students from all three districts as well as those from nearby DeSoto attend Carbondale Community High School District 165. Each district is administered by its own board of education.

Carbondale Elementary District 95

With more than 125 teachers and 30 support staff, Carbondale Elementary District 95 educates more than 1,300 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The district is very proud of the rich cultural diversity of both its student and staff populations, which reflect that of the community as a whole. Many of the staff hold degrees at the master’s or doctoral level and numerous teachers and specialists have been recognized on the state and national levels as outstanding educators.

Facilities, curriculum and programs are constantly evaluated to assure students are getting the best education possible. Students have regular access to computer laboratories and other technology, to make certain that they are ready to compete in today’s world.

Education in the Carbondale Elementary School District is not all about books. Students have the opportunity to explore music, drama, career education, athletics and foreign languages. Many students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including science and history fairs, fine arts, sports, environmental efforts and more.

The district has been honored with national awards for both students and teachers including recognition in history, science, math and reading and for distinguished performance in standardized testing.

Giant City School

Giant City School is located a few miles south of Carbondale off the Giant City Blacktop. Giant City School serves approximately 200 students in a rural, family-style setting. Our highly qualified staff is dedicated to helping all students become well-rounded citizens. This quality elementary school provides a variety of opportunities for students and families from age two through the 8th grade. Giant City offers students an engaging environment that challenges their academic, creative, and intra-personal intelligence. Giant City’s high academic achievement for all students reflects our commitment to creating partnerships with our students, and families. Each student benefits from a daily curriculum in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, physical education, and technology. 

In 2018, Giant City School was nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program by the U.S. Department of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education. Giant City School was honored to be named among the top 15% of schools in the state of Illinois with this nomination. The Giant City Board of Education demonstrates a continued pursuit of excellence by supporting the district vision: “Inspiring Our Students”. Innovative technological upgrades are evident in every classroom, while renovations are currently occurring in the Media Center. Progress towards this overhaul will let children experiment, and invent, in a  new “Maker Spaces” area. The Board of Education has worked consistently to maintain a wide variety of extra-curricular opportunities for students in the arts, and athletics. 

The district offers an on-site daycare that works cooperatively with the Southern Region Early Childhood Program to provide wrap-around services. The district also provides after-school care for school-age students, as well as student care for our community at large, during the summer months. Giant City benefits from several positive community and parent-led organization partnerships such as Southern Illinois Healthcare, the SIU School of Medicine, the Jackson County Health Department, our own Giant City School Progress Association, and Booster Club. These collaborations extend and enrich the environment provided for our students and families. Giant City feels a strong sense of commitment to our educational mission and is thankful to be a part of such an amazing community in the Southern Illinois area.

Unity Point

Unity Point offers nearly 700 students pre-k through eighth grade with opportunities to access challenging and current curricula in language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, art, music, and technology. The district fosters student independent learning lead by dedicated staff with access to resources in both print and technology. Each teacher delivers their instruction through a differentiated approach to learning that best meets students and their individual educational needs. In our current school improvement process, we have set our goals of continuous improvement in both student achievement and whole-child progress. We strongly believe all students can learn, and therefore focus on both academic achievement and responsive teaching as the means to ensure the success of our students.

Unity Point is fortunate to have the support and leadership of a strong Board of Education that cares about our students, their parents and guardians, and our community. The district understands that these three groups are essential to its success, and we proudly serve them. The board and administration continually support a diverse set of extracurricular programs and organizations to meet students’ interests and enrich their education. The dedicated PTO and Boosters organizations allow for parent involvement, and each supports events designed to bring our families into the school for fun and learning. As a community partner, the district opens its doors to several student-centered organizations and supports local initiatives that benefit the extended Unity Point community. All of the above is valued throughout the district’s mission, vision and goals. 

Unity Point is proud to be a member of our community and serve our parents and students. Our staff and programs are beyond compare, and we love the opportunities we have to make a difference in the Carbondale community.  

Carbondale Community High School District 165

The success of Carbondale Community High School students and alumni has earned the school recognition and respect as one of Illinois’ top institutions year after year. The most recent graduating class included 42 Illinois State Scholars, 10 National Merit Commended honorees, and five National Merit Finalists. Graduating seniors earned over $3,000,000 in scholarships to attend 40 universities, as well as pursuing opportunities in the US Army, Navy and Air Force.

CCHS offers ten Advanced Placement and sixteen dual credit courses. The music program has been a Top 3 State Finalist for eight years in a row (winning the State Championship in 2014.) The Scholar Bowl and Physics teams are nationally ranked, and CCHS students have been state finalists in Speech and History Fair, Science Fair, Science/Engineering Team and Skills USA. CCHS has produced National Scholastic Art winners four years in a row, and CCHS students have been named to the IHSA All-State Academic Team in three of the last five years.

Private Education

For families desiring a private or parochial education for their students, several options are available.

Brehm Preparatory School

Since 1982, Brehm Preparatory School has been empowering students with learning disabilities and differences to recognize and optimize their potential throughout their lives.

Brehm’s caring, highly qualified faculty and staff welcome students in grades six through 12 into a dynamic new learning environment brimming with optimism. Working quickly to break down barriers, build trust, and rebuild self-confidence, they embrace students in a nurturing environment where each child feels accepted and supported.

This holistic experience produces students with the tools, skills, and confidence to become effective self-advocates and independent learners able to succeed in school, find fulfilling careers, and lead balanced, multi-faceted lives.

Carbondale New School

Carbondale New School is a privately owned and operated school offering quality, progressive education for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. For more than 30 years, Carbondale New School has offered small class sizes which allow children to learn at their own pace. A strong sense of community among faculty, students and parents is a hallmark of the school, which maximizes students’ intellectual, social and emotional growth.

Trinity Christian School

Trinity Christian School provides a high standard of academic excellence from a biblical worldview for grades K3 through high school. Trinity’s goal is to provide support to Christian families and their churches in educating students for lifelong learning by emphasizing a classical perspective in education, integrated with the truth of scripture.

Higher Education

John A. Logan College

John A. Logan College is an open admission, comprehensive community college designed to provide high-quality affordable educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds. Located just minutes east of Carbondale, JALC offers a variety of degree programs in both traditional baccalaureate transfer and occupational programs. John A. Logan College is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships for its dual credit program and designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research to promote higher education for a growing number of students interested in information assurance and cybersecurity. A special focus on retraining and continuing education make JALC a leader in adult education.

The college serves most of Jackson and Williamson counties as well as parts of three other area counties. Nearly 4,000 students enroll at John A. Logan College each year.

John A. Logan College traditionally has one of the lowest tuition rates in Illinois and offers approximately 66 degrees and certifications. Articulation agreements with a number of universities make transferring credits easy, and scholarship programs, as well as other forms of financial aid, ensure that a quality education is affordable.

Southern Illinois University

More than 220,000 alumni throughout the United States and around the globe got their start at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Since its founding 150 years ago, SIU has grown from a small teachers college to one of the nation’s top comprehensive public research universities. Today, SIU is home to nearly 15,000 students from around the world.

The university offers a myriad of programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and specialist degrees as well as degrees in medicine and law. Academic programs are offered in agriculture, art, aviation, business, computer science, education, engineering, history, media, music, radio-television, recreation, science and more — more than 200 majors in all.

The university takes pride in offering the personalized, hands-on education students would expect to find at an elite private university. Students get real-world experience through extensive research, creative, volunteer and work opportunities; study abroad programs; internships; and an extern program that places undergraduates with alumni. They also benefit from a vibrant campus life, welcoming community and beautiful campus and region.

Students at SIU excel, both in their chosen fields and in academic competitions. From the design of moon-buggies and concrete canoes to national championship aviation teams and debate squads, the university and its students are recognized for academic excellence.

A commitment to the region is core to the university’s mission. Cooperative efforts between SIU and the community benefit both students and residents. The university serves as a training ground for business leaders. Faculty members often consult and advise local business owners and civic leaders, and graduates offer a steady pool of talented and trained interns and employees.

In addition to its strong regional economic impact, SIU serves as a center for performing arts, culture and recreation. The university fields NCAA Division 1 athletics teams, popularly known as the Salukis.



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