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Area parents join forces to create new school

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. - Update: 4:15 pm, 5/18/16, Wednesday 

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- There are six high schools in Champaign-Urbana. Now, one group is moving forward with plans to add a seventh.

Academy High School is officially in the works. Before, it was just an idea, but Wednesday, it came in with a bang. More than 100 people showed up to learn exactly what it's all about.

Organizers don't have teachers or a location yet, but they do have somewhat of a philosophy. They brought in education experts to talk about how Academy High School will be different.

One focus is the idea is modern-day education is somewhat outdated and they want kids to have a more diverse and active environment. Organizers say, once they nail down a plan, they'll proceed with the next steps.

Leaders say they're working on an experimental plan for education unlike anything else currently offered in Central Illinois. They say Champaign-Urbana is the best place to launch such a project.

A second meeting takes place at 7 pm, at iHotel. 

Original: 5:20 pm, 4/27/16, Wednesday

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- A high school could soon completely change how kids learn. If it sounds too good to be true, it's because it doesn't exist yet.

But, a group of parents in Champaign and Urbana are working to open a new high school. It could be ready in time for your child.

The curriculum isn't completed yet. There aren't even teachers or a location yet, but those behind Academy High School say they'll be ready to open by fall 2017.

A Champaign mother of three elementary school-aged kids says the plan was hatched in her living room and now she says she's working with about 50 other families to make the new high school a reality.

While there are already six high schools in Champaign and Urbana, they say Academy High will be different from any of them.

"So, there'll be cutting-edge technology. There will be community- and service-based learning. There will be integrated-project based learning, the arts and athletics. I would say that joy, integrity and balance will be challenged and diversity will be embraced, so we're excited."

Whether or not your child will be entering high school next year, you're invited to an informational session to learn about the school. Academy families even brought an education consultant on board to help with the process.

Eventually, the school would be tuition-based. Right now, everything's being funded with private donations. Once it's built, it will still be a small school. They're looking to enroll about 150 students per class, with 600 students total.

Academy High Informational Session
May 18, i-Hotel
Noon & 7 pm
*Correction: An earlier version of this story reported the school would include 150 students total. It has been updated to note a number of 600 students total. 

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