Olney, IL
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A Pledge to Our Future
Richland County provides its residents with the education necessary
to achieve excellence in any avenue of life.

Educating those who are the future of the community is of the utmost importance in Richland County. To ensure success, East and West Richland schools, public and private institutions, secondary schools, and colleges work together to create an educational environment that is one of the finest in southeastern Illinois.

Olney Central College
Founded in 1963, Olney Central College (OCC) is one of four institutions that form the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges district, the largest such district in southeastern Illinois. OCC offers a quality, affordable education with individualized instruction to an average of 1,700 students each semester.

For students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution, OCC offers associate's degrees in a variety of specializations, such as business, education, engineering and many more.

The college also offers associate's degrees in applied science for such fields as accounting and computing, administration of justice, administrative assistant, corrections/parole, corrections/youth supervisor, information processing, medical office assistant, nursing, paraprofessional educator and radiography. Certificate programs are available in certified nurse's aide, cosmetology, CISCO, massage therapy, medical transcription, Web design and welding.

Olney Central College has an applied science complex that allows students to receive hands-on training and experience in industrial maintenance, auto service technologies and collision repair. The college also provides community-education services, including Adult Basic Education courses that cover computer literacy, online communication and job-seeking skills. OCC has free day and evening GED classes. Olney Central College has a variety of extracurricular activities. The athletic program offers women's tennis, basketball and softball and men's baseball and basketball. The Cavalier Band and Singers present concerts throughout the year. OCC also supports a thriving theater system in the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center, where the college and community unite to present two plays each year.

Student services and facilities include the Anderson Learning Resource Center, the Fitness Center, walking trails, and the Student Union and Banquet Room -all of these facilities are also open to the public. OCC students and employees who are also parents can take advantage of Cozy Corner, a licensed childcare center that cares for children ages 2 to 5. A pre-kindergarten program for 3-to 5-year-olds, Kid's College, is available to the general public as well.

Richland County Schools
Richland County schools are divided into two districts. East Richland Community Unit School District No. 1 serves the majority of Richland County, with Olney being the largest community. The West Richland School District is located on the western side of Richland County in the village of Noble, a rural community with a population of 750. More than 2,500 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade attend the public school districts serving East and West Richland; St. Joseph parochial school enrolls approximately 210 more in pre-kindergarten through middle school grades. Two other local Christian schools serve approximately 40 students.

Even the best of educational programs requires assistance and support from the community; for that reason, both East and West Richland school systems have established foundations for academic excellence. The foundations exist to enrich the educational experiences of students by supporting innovative programs within the classroom, providing opportunities for schools and/or classes to host guest speakers and programs, encouraging and supporting individuals and groups in competitive endeavors, providing materials for enrichment of the classroom experience, and recognizing and rewarding outstanding student and teacher performance in both academic and fine arts endeavors.

A tradition of support for extracurricular activities exists for children of all ages. Students have opportunities to participate in strong athletic programs, outstanding fine arts programs and many other student organizations. CHARACTER COUNTS!(sm) is a program that has been integrated into the KŠ12 curriculum and is supported by the community as well as the business community.

To allow students to get a head start on higher education, both East and West Richland offer dual-credit courses in cooperation with Olney Central College, which allows high school students to participate in courses in business, trades and industry, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, and most honors classes. Dual-credit courses in child day care and agriculture are offered in conjunction with Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel. All colleges in the state of Illinois honor these dual-credit courses. Students have opportunities to attend local and state colleges and universities, many within driving distance, such as Illinois State in Bloomington-Normal; the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana; Southern Illinois University, with campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville; Eastern Illinois University in Charleston; and public and private institutions in St. Louis, MO and Evansville, IN.

East Richland Community Unit School District No. 1
The East Richland Community School District, working cooperatively with the community, has achieved national and state recognition as a lighthouse district. Students experience high achievement in academic areas with a strong rigorous curriculum.

Accredited by the North Central Association of Illinois, East Richland High School (ERHS) serves Olney and the surrounding area as a quality learning environment for students in grades nine through 12. With more than 700 students, ERHS is the largest high school in Richland County. Its mission is to maximize the potential of each student, building on the student's strengths and inspiring in him or her a love and respect for education that will continue well into the future.

As a four-year, comprehensive high school, ERHS has adopted the "block" schedule, with each day consisting of four 85-minute periods of instruction. The school offers honors courses in a multitude of subjects, including English, anatomy/physiology, calculus, physics and U.S. history. Math, English, science, foreign languages and social science are all offered as college prep courses. The school also provides career-related opportunities to students in all available vocational areas. ERHS offers a complete curriculum in special education as well.

East Richland Middle School (ERMS) houses nearly 500 students in grades six through eight and has been recognized by the state of Illinois as an "Exceeds School." ERMS promotes academic excellence for all students.

The media center/library, with three computer labs, serves as the hub of the school. A remediation lab provides students with additional assistance. Gifted students have extended opportunities with foreign language enrichment and advanced math classes in algebra and geometry.

The mission of East Richland Elementary School (ERES) is to provide children the support they need to become respectful, responsible citizens. By creating a secure, nurturing environment, ERES strives to develop a quality educational program that helps each child reach his or her potential and supports lifelong learning.

ERES is a modern, state-of-the art school facility built in January 2000; it serves 950 children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The elementary school typically has six sections at each grade level, with class sizes averaging between 20 and 25 students. Classrooms are equipped with four networked computers. ERES has two computer labs and one portable wireless laptop lab. The library houses over 14,000 books; additionally, each classroom has a library of books.

St. Joseph School
St. Joseph School is proud of its ability to meet the ever-changing academic and spiritual needs of its students. There is a strong focus on small group instruction, enabling teachers to quickly recognize and meet the needs of students with diverse abilities. Teachers and administration work closely together to ensure the curriculum exceeds the state standards. This mission, carried out in cooperation with students' families, results in a nurturing and caring environment that provides students with the skills to maintain a lifelong development of mind, body and spirit.

St. Joseph School is proud to offer a comprehensive curriculum and educational excellence that has been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education.

West Richland School District
The West Richland School District, in partnership with parents and the community, exists to serve and educate all students in a quality learning environment; to maximize the potential of all students; to develop responsible, lifelong learners; to create informed decision makers; to empower students to develop strong self-esteem; and to produce responsible, contributing citizens of the 21st century.

West Richland Junior-Senior High School serves 219 students in grades seven through 12. The upper grade school has two modern networked computer labs, comprehensive business/technology integration and an agriculture curriculum. The strength of the junior-senior high school curriculum is the wide range of personalized academic and vocational offerings for students.

West Richland Elementary School serves over 250 students in pre-kindergarten through grade six. The elementary school has adopted four-block reading and school-wide accelerated reader programs. Housed in the elementary school is a modern, networked computer lab; networked computers are located in every classroom as well. The elementary students gain personal attention from being in small classes.