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​Community High School District 155 includes four comprehensive high schools and one alternate education campus. Serving grades 9-12, each institution has full State of Illinois recognition and accreditation. Enrollment includes 6,137 students from Bull Valley, Burton's Bridge, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood, Oakwood Hills, Prairie Grove, and Ridgefield. The district covers 67.75 square miles and is located approximately 45 miles northwest of Chicago in McHenry and Lake counties.​

Beginning in 1884, a single public school, Union School, taught all Crystal Lake elementary and high school students. In 1907, the high school moved into its own building on the Union School grounds. Twelve years later, Community High School District 155 was established by a ballot measure in December of 1919. H.A. Dean served as the district's first superintendent. Crystal Lake Community High School opened at the current site of Crystal Lake Central High School on May 12, 1924. The school served students from Crystal Lake, Cary, Fox River Grove, and the surrounding areas, all of whom attended Crystal Lake Community High School until 1961, when Cary-Grove High School was opened. Crystal Lake South High School opened in 1978. At that time, Crystal Lake Community High School became Crystal Lake Central. A fourth high school, Prairie Ridge, opened in 1997. The district opened an alternative education campus, Haber Oaks Campus, in 2008​.

Students come to the high schools from several public elementary school districts including Crystal Lake District 47, Cary Community Consolidated School District 26, Fox River Grove School District 3, and Prairie Grove School District 46.

All District 155 juniors take the SAT which measures academic progress of curent juniors and assesses college readiness. Previously, all juniors took the American College Test (ACT). The composite score for Community High School District 155 seniors graduating in 2016 was 23.1 compared to a state average of 20.8. In other testing, the district is one of only 433 districts in the U.S. and Canada named to the 7th AP Honor Roll by the College Board for increasing AP participation while maintaining student success rates. Only 22 Illinois school districts were recognized. During the 2015-16 school year, the district’s students took 3,507 Advanced Placement exams in subjects including biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, drawing, English language & composition, English literature & composition, European history, French, German, physics, psychology, music theory, U.S. history, Spanish, statistics, studio art 2D, and studio art 3D. Honor scores (three or higher) were received on 78% of these examinations. Further, 91% of the students in the class of 2017 continued their education beyond high school at 2- or 4-year colleges/universities or technical/vocational schools.

In 2017, The Washington Post honored District 155 for maintaining a high level of rigor in its schools. Cary-Grove (1,149), Crystal Lake South (1,345), and Prairie Ridge (1,254) all ranked among the top nationally. The Washington Post's national list includes about 22,000 with three District 155 schools ranking in the top 2,000. Further, Newsweek lists Cary-Grove and Crystal Lake Central in the top 3% of all U.S. public high schools.

The district employs nearly 750 people including approximately 380 teachers, 16 building administrators, and a full complement of district administrators, guidance counselors, social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, support staff, and special education services personnel. In the core subjects, all of the district's teachers are teaching in their academic major. In fact, approximately 85.5% hold master's degrees or higher.

District 155 is one of Illinois' most financially healthy school districts, having received the highest financial rating from the Illinois State Board of Education for each of the last ten school years. The Financial Recognition rating is based on fund balance to revenue ratio, expenditures to revenue ratio, days cash on hand, short-term borrowing, and long-term debt. Community High School District 155 received a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International.  The district was recognized for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the 2016 Fiscal Year.

Steve Olson serves as the Interim Superintendent, succeeding Dr. Johnnie Thomas in 2017.



2017 Washington Post - Most Challenging High Schools
Each year, The Washington Post determines the nation's and each state's most challenging high schools according to a set of factors. Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake South, and Prairie Ridge all ranked in the top 10 percent of the most challenging high schools.
Cary-Grove: 1,149
Crystal Lake South: 1,345
Prairie Ridge: 1,254

Enrollment & Staffing:
District 155: 6,284

District 155 Average Class Size: 17

Teachers with a Master's Degree or Higher: 85.5%

Continuing Education
Students Continuing Their Education After High School: 91%

4-Year Graduation Rate
District 155: 98%
State: 86%

2016 ACT Composite
District 155: 23.1
State: 20.8

2016 Advanced Placement

Exams Taken
District 155: 3,507

Percentage of Exams Earning Honor Scores
District 155: 78%

District 155's Mission Statement:
For each student, we will inspire a love for learning, empower the pursuit of personal aspirations, and nurture the desire to contribute to the world.


​(updated 11/13/17)

Community High School
District 155
1 South Virginia Road
Crystal Lake IL 60014
Phone: 815-455-8500