Thomas Metcalf and University High Schools provide a unique educational option from pre-kindergarten through the senior year for approximately 1,000 students in the community. Laboratory school students are selected by application process. To fulfill the research and teacher education mission, the student population at Thomas Metcalf and University High Schools is representative of the academic and socio-economic characteristics typical of public school students in the surrounding community.
Thomas Metcalf School and University High School, laboratory schools administered by the College of Education at Illinois State University, serve as clinical experience and practice sites for pre-service teachers and experimental teaching activities. The schools provide a "living laboratory" for research and applied practices to improve teaching and other educational practice. This tradition is reflected in the four-part mission of the Illinois State University laboratory schools, which aims to provide a school in which excellence in education theory and practice can be observed, studied, and practiced by teacher candidates and other pre-service school professionals; an environment in which research and development activities may be conducted; a comprehensive, high-quality academic program for Thomas Metcalf School and University High School students; and effective, high-quality education throughout the teaching profession, aiding other educators in the process of improving the quality of education in their schools.
Thomas Metcalf School offers 400 preschool through eighth grade students a wide range of educational programs and a variety of extracurricular activities. Students are admitted through an application process. Applications are normally available in February for admission to the following school year. A basic curriculum, consisting of instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies is offered to all students at Metcalf. An extensive collection of quality literature enhances the instructional program. A strong arts program, taught by specialists in music, art, and drama, is available to students beginning in kindergarten. Physical education is taught by specialists at all grade levels, and a variety of extracurricular activities are offered. Foreign language instruction, consisting of French and Spanish, begins in fourth grade. With computers in every classroom and labs throughout the building, students are surrounded by technology. Formal keyboarding is taught in third grade followed by instruction in word-processing and multi-media. Internet access is provided through the University's computing department. A comprehensive co-curricular program with over 30 offerings in academic areas, athletics, and the arts, complements the instructional program. Future teachers, enrolled in education programs at Illinois State University, learn from observing these extensive educational offerings and from working with the exemplary faculty who implement them. Metcalf takes great pride in its ability to engage learners in a variety of learning experiences.
University High School is a modern, well-equipped educational facility serving 600 students in grades nine through 12. Students are admitted through an application process. Applications are normally available in February for admission to the following school year. With students enrolled from many school districts, University High is a diverse community of learners who are committed to providing a laboratory environment in which the very best classroom practice can flourish. The freshman curriculum, for example, is interdisciplinary in nature, and reflects the belief that learning is enhanced when connections can be made between content areas. In the other grade levels, courses are offered at both the regular and accelerated levels, and numerous advanced placement courses are available. University High School strives to keep pace with changing technological challenges by offering Internet access to students through the University. Firm in the belief that co-curricular programs enhance the experience of the high school student, University High School also offers over 60 programs in both academics and athletics. At University High School, students can choose from a wide range of curricular and co-curricular offerings. The school is proud of the level of commitment and involvement reflected in the activities of our students.