• District Profile

    The Village of Mt. Zion, located nine  miles southeast of Decatur, has a population of approximately 5,000.  The Mt. Zion School District includes an  area of 68 square miles with a population of over 14,000.  The total Macon County population, including  the City of Decatur, is approximately 110,000.   It includes a substantial amount of grain farming:  corn, soybeans, wheat and oats.  Commuter service at  the   Decatur Airport  allows  Mt. Zion to be less than an hour by air to a  major airport.  Mt. Zion is located  approximately one hundred seventy-five miles from Chicago, one hundred thirty  miles from St. Louis, and one hundred fifty miles from Indianapolis.

    The Mt. Zion  School District #3 serves a highly capable student population in  pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades.   The student population is approximately 2,450.  There are 150 certified staff members in the Mt. Zion School  District in addition to 110 educational support staff.

    There are two  elementary schools, with one PreK-1 building and another 2-3 facility.  The Mt. Zion School District offers both  all-day and half-day kindergarten options to all parents.  The Intermediate School, grades 4-6, with an  enrollment of approximately 550 moved to a new facility in 2001.  The Junior High School, grades 7 and 8, has  approximately 400 students, and the Senior High School has approximately 800  students.  All school facilities are  air-conditioned.

    Mt. Zion is well  known as a leader in technology and technology-related curriculum throughout  Central Illinois; the District has recently begun implementation of National  Technology Standards for all students.   All computers in the District are connected by a WAN (Wide Area Network)  with a fiber optic backbone that provides access to the Internet. 

    The curriculum of  the School District is designed to challenge students’ abilities at all  levels.  The elementary school program  is strong in reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies.  Specialists teach the areas of music,  physical education and art.  Formal  gifted programming extends throughout the District.  Computers are available to students in all elementary  classrooms.  McGaughey Elementary has 73  computers in the classroom and offices; Mt. Zion Grade has 52 computers in the  classroom and offices.  Wireless  24-laptop portable computer labs have just been added at McGaughey and at Mt.  Zion Grade.

    The Intermediate  School offers outstanding facilities and programs, including daily band, vocal  music, and physical education; Spanish and Pre-algebra are also offered to  sixth grade students.  The Intermediate  has an instrumental strings program and a sixth grade Honors Choir.  Keyboarding is taught to all fourth, fifth  and sixth graders.  The school has over  94 IBM PCs located throughout the building in classrooms, offices and two  dedicated computer labs.

    The Junior High  School is housed in a recently renovated building.  The pupil-teacher ratio is one teacher per twenty-two  students.  Industrial arts, foreign  language, art, home economics, and a wide variety of other courses are offered,  including excellent instrumental and vocal music programs.  The Junior High School has over 98-networked  IBM PCs throughout the facility.

    The Senior High  School offers a wide variety of both vocational and college preparatory courses  including Advanced Placement and dual credit classes.  Courses in the Mathematics Department include advanced algebra,  trigonometry, calculus, and advanced calculus.   The Science Department offers several courses including medical science,  biology, physics, advanced chemistry, and botany.   A wide variety of courses are included in the English Department,  along with an accelerated program.  High  School students can enroll in college courses prior to graduation and receive  dual credit for certain classes.  The  High School has over 180 IBM PCs networked in classrooms, offices and four  computer labs; a 30-laptop wireless computer lab has just been added.

    The Music  Department has several fine programs, including Show Choir and Band; numerous  options exist in the Vocational/Technical Department as well. Swingsations, the Mt. Zion High  School Show Choir, has won numerous State and National competitions and  performs across the country.   The  Mt.  Zion High School Band has competed in Orlando, Florida and Washington, D.C.  The Vocational Department has over fifty  students enrolled in work co-op programs.   In addition to this program, seventy students are bused daily to the  Area Technical Academy in Decatur and to the Richland Community College  campus. 

    Interscholastic  sports for boys are offered in football, soccer, cross-country, golf,  basketball, track, tennis, wrestling, and baseball.  Girls participate in basketball, volleyball, track, softball,  golf, tennis, cross country, and soccer.

    Universities that serve Mt. Zion and the immediate  area include the following: University of  Illinois (at Champaign), Eastern Illinois  University (at Charleston), Illinois State  University (at Normal), and University of  Illinois at Springfield. Millikin  Universityand Richland Community  College are both located in the City  of Decatur. All of the above schools are within a fifty-mile radius of Mt.  Zion.

    Sports and recreation in the local area include the  following: several golf courses in the Decatur  area, four lakes within a half-hour's driving time, several state parks  located nearby, and numerous historical sites located in Springfield, including  the new Abraham Lincoln museum.

    There are more than eighteen churches located in the  Mt. Zion School District, representing most religious denominations. However,  the diversity of the Macon County Community is probably best exemplified by its  industry: a large Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries Plant located in the Mt.  Zion School District, plus a Caterpillar Tractor Plant, Mueller Company, Tate  & Lyle North America, Inc., and Archer Daniels Midland Company located in  Decatur, IL.