American School Blog Archive

Welcome to the American School Blog Archive!

Since 2006, the American School Blog has kept students, parents and school officials up to date on what’s happening at American School.  Below are several noteworthy blogs from over the years.  Please note that some information posted in the blogs below may have changed since the date the blog was originally posted.

December 17, 2020

American School Celebrates 123rd Anniversary

It’s December 17, and today American School is celebrating its 123rd anniversary.  Our charter is dated December 17, 1897 and comes from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts because R.T. Miller and his friends founded American School near Boston.  We were based in Massachusetts for a few years before moving to Chicago in the early 1900s.  The Chicago area has been our home ever since.  R.T. Miller established American School because many people worked during the day and still needed an education.  Doing correspondence courses was a way for them to do that.  R.T. Miller was a visionary but even he could not have imagined that one day high school correspondence courses would be offered along with online high school courses, online middle school courses and middle school correspondence courses, but that is how we have evolved over the years.  American School continues to evolve to best serve our students, and we are grateful for the three million students and graduates who have made us their distance education high school or middle school.  Be a part of our great history by enrolling today!

October 27, 2020

American School Holds 123rd Annual Meeting

Yesterday American School held its 123rd Annual Meeting of Trustees and Corporate Members.  The annual meeting is a time to look back at the challenges and triumphs of the past year and to look ahead to the next year and beyond.  The 2019-2020 fiscal year had its share of challenges, most notably the pandemic and how it affected American School students and staff, but it also had plenty of bright spots for students and staff, most notably how they responded to the pandemic and the challenges it presented and how they plan to move forward during and after the pandemic.  For more than a century, American School has offered a correspondence high school diploma program, and actions at past annual meetings resulted in us offering an online high school diploma program and an accredited middle school program, both of which debuted in recent years.  Now more than ever, students are in need of a strong distance education high school or middle school that will allow them to work at their own pace in a safe environment.  American School is happy to be there for our students, and the ideas discussed at this year’s annual meeting will help us be there for our students for many years to come.

October 20, 2020

Christopher Paolini Pens New Book

American School graduate Christopher Paolini recently wrote To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, and the novel appeared on many best seller lists shortly after its release.  We are proud to call Christopher our graduate and recall the time he visited our building while on a book tour promoting his Eragon series.  Under normal circumstances, we welcome students and graduates to our building for tours, but we cannot accommodate guests during the current pandemic.  We look forward to once again welcoming people to our building when the situation improves.  No matter where you live we are happy to have you take our high school correspondence courses, online high school courses, middle school correspondence courses and online middle school courses.  Taking them will prepare you for sleeping in a dorm room while you attend college, sleeping in your bed at home after a long day of work, or perhaps even sleeping in a sea of stars.  Become a star of your own by enrolling with us today!

October 1, 2020

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

American School is proud to earn a nomination to receive the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics presented by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.  According to the Better Business Bureau, the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics is the most prestigious award the Better Business Bureau presents to a business. Being a recipient indicates that a business not only believes in the high standards promoted by the Better Business Bureau but also consistently demonstrates and integrates them into daily business practices and maintains positive marketplace relations.  American School has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau since 1934.  We strive to offer outstanding customer service and swift resolution to anyone with questions or problems concerning our high school correspondence courses, online high school courses, middle school correspondence courses and online middle school courses.  We are proud of our long affiliation with the Better Business Bureau and grateful to receive a nomination for a Torch Award in 2020.

September 28, 2020

About Duplicate Diplomas and Transcripts

Today’s blog is about duplicate diplomas and duplicate transcripts.  All requests for duplicate diplomas and duplicate transcripts should follow the instructions listed on our FAQ page.  Following the instructions listed on the FAQ page is the quickest way for us to get you the documents you need.   We look forward to helping you receive proof of completing your accredited high school program, accredited middle school program or high school independent study program and are grateful you chose us for your education in grades 6-12.

September 18, 2020

Today’s Special Occasion: The 2000th Blog Post

It’s September 18, and right now you’re reading the 2000th post by the American School Blog.  We started this blog in 2006 as a way to communicate with our students on a regular basis, and unless circumstances dictate otherwise, we publish a new blog post every day American School is open.  Sometimes our blog promotes new courses that can help you earn a high school diploma at home.  Other times our blog announces new services like our accredited middle school program for students in grades 6-8.  Our blog also focuses on birthdays or historical events and makes a connection between them and American School.  If you haven’t made us your distance education high school or middle school just yet, give us another reason to celebrate today by enrolling and becoming our student.  Thank you for reading this blog over the years, and check back on Monday as we begin the next 2000 American School Blog posts.

September 15, 2020

Looking Back at 22 Years at American School

It’s September 15, and today the person who regularly writes this blog celebrates 22 years of employment at American School.  Like today, September 15, 1998, was also a Tuesday, but American School has evolved quite a bit since then.  Back in 1998, the American School was strictly a distance education high school.  We didn’t add an accredited middle school program until 2016.  Moreover, 22 years ago we only offered high school correspondence courses that students could take to earn a high school diploma at home.  Now we offer online high school courses and allow students to pick which courses they do online and which they do on paper.  We’ve always offered an independent study high school program, but we also offer individual courses to anyone who may wish to take them for enrichment.  One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is our commitment to our students.  We strive to offer accredited courses at an affordable cost and provide the best possible service.  It’s the vision our founder, R.T. Miller, had when he and his friends founded the American School in Boston in 1897.  That philosophy was passed down and instilled in other School leaders over the years, including those in charge in 1998 and those leading the School today.   All of us are grateful to work at American School and look forward to serving you after you enroll and become our student.

August 27, 2020

Accepting Non-Passing Scores

Today’s blog has information for accepting non-passing scores on exams in courses as part of your accredited high school program or accredited middle school program.  Students now have the option of accepting a non-passing score for an assignment or exam and forgoing up to three total reattempts.  If students forgo attempts to improve their scores, they cannot change their minds at a later date.  Once students accept a non-passing score, that score is final.  Second, if students get too many non-passing scores in a particular course, they risk failing the course and thus receiving no credit.  Their only option to earn credit would be to re-enroll in the course and start over.  Finally, taking a zero on an exam or assignment is not allowed.  All students must make at least one attempt to pass an exam and earn a numeric score in the process.   If you have questions about this policy, please email us.  We are happy to help and happy you made us your distance education high school or middle school.

August 19, 2020

Saving Work in Edmentum

Today’s blog has a reminder for students who take online high school courses and online middle school courses with us. We strongly recommend that you save your work in these Edmentum courses on a regular basis, perhaps every five to ten minutes. Many web sites or programs will automatically sign you out or time you out if you do not save your work or show some form of activity over a certain period of time. Edmentum is among those sites, so please save your work on a regular basis, again, perhaps every five to ten minutes. We are working to find a permanent solution to this issue and will do our best to ensure that no work you have done is lost. In the meantime, please remember to save your work often, and thank you for making us your distance education high school or middle school.

August 11, 2020

American School Featured in WUSA Story

Last night American School was featured in a story on WUSA, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.  Reporter Kolbie Satterfield focused on the increase in homeschooling during the pandemic, and American School has noticed an increase in interest and enrollments in advance of the 2020-2021 school year.  Some parents are choosing to enroll students in our accredited middle school program, while others are choosing to enroll students in our accredited high school program.  Both programs consist of five units of credit per year at a cost of $900.  Tuition is all-inclusive, meaning that all study materials, grading and access to the online student center are all included in the cost of tuition.  American School accepts enrollments year-round and does not have an enrollment cap, meaning that if you want to make us your distance education high school or middle school, you can do that without delay and without worry that classes will be filled.  We thank Kolbie for reaching out to us and thank all of our prospective students and families for reaching out to us as well.  We are always happy to help anyone in need of our services but most especially during this pandemic.

August 7, 2020

Do Not Reply to studentcenter@americanschoolofcorr.com

Today’s blog has another reminder about not replying to emails you might receive from studentcenter@americanschoolofcorr.com. The studentcenter@americanschoolofcorr.com email address is used to send automated emails to students. You may receive an email from this address when you get an exam graded, for example, but the email address is not monitored.

If you have questions about your online high school courses or online middle school courses, you should write to americanschoolonline@americanschool.org instead.

For general questions, write to studentservice@americanschool.org.

If you have questions about billing, write to studentaccounts@americanschool.org.

We have an automated reply to send back to you if you do write to studentcenter@americanschoolofcorr.com, but please do not send anything to that email address. Thank you for your cooperation and for making us your distance education high school or middle school.

August 6, 2020

Do Not Reply to donotreply@americanschool.org

Today’s blog has another reminder about not replying to emails you might receive from donotreply@americanschool.org. The donotreply@americanschool.org email address is used to send automated emails to students. You may receive an email from this address when you get an exam graded, for example. As its name implies, you should not reply to any email you receive from donotreply@americanschool.org.

If you have questions about your online high school courses or online middle school courses, you should write to americanschoolonline@americanschool.org instead.

For general questions, write to studentservice@americanschool.org.

If you have questions about billing, write to studentaccounts@americanschool.org.

We have an automated reply to send back to you if you do write to donotreply@americanschool.org, but please do not send anything to that email address. Thank you for your cooperation and for making us your distance education high school or middle school.

July 15, 2020

American School Holds 82nd Annual Scholarship Meeting

Yesterday American School held its 82nd annual Scholarship Meeting during which a distinguished panel of judges awarded scholarships to several deserving 2019 graduates. Among the awards were the Henry Buresh Alumni Award, the R.T. Miller Founders Award and the Presidents Award. All applicants demonstrated outstanding academic ability in our accredited high school program while participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities in their communities. Our scholarship awards will help winners continue their educations at the accredited college or university of their choice. Many of them were enrolled in our college preparatory program, which is designed especially for students who wish to attend a four-year college or university, but others enrolled in our general high school program, which is designed for students who may wish to attend a community college while joining the workforce. Since the first scholarship meeting, American School has awarded $926,200 in scholarships to more than 1548 deserving graduates, and we are happy to do so. Information on the 2021 scholarship competition will be available early next year. To be eligible, you must earn a high school diploma at home with us in 2020 and meet other eligibility requirements. Check this blog in early 2021 for more details. In the meantime, let us thank our judges and applicants and congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients. We are proud of you!

July 13, 2020

American School Blog Celebrates 14th Anniversary

The American School Blog celebrated its 14th anniversary on Saturday, July 11, by taking the day off and not posting a blog entry. If you’re a regular blog reader, you know that we post blog entries on weekdays when the School is open unless we are unable to do so. The American School Blog has served many purposes over the years, but its main purpose is to keep our students and parents informed about what is happening at American School. We post about adding new middle school and high school correspondence courses, and we post about adding online middle school courses and online high school courses. We post about new American School policies, changes to our prices and enrollment applications and much more. We post about attending conventions and holding important meetings of American School leadership to help plan our future. Finally, sometimes we post about popular culture and how events such as statehood anniversaries relate to American School. We appreciate your support of the American School Blog and we look forward to your readership for many years to come.

June 10, 2020

Emails to Start Your Online Courses

Today’s blog is about emails to start your online courses. When you enroll in online middle school courses or online high school courses with us, you should receive a welcome email which includes information on how you can access your courses. If you do not receive these emails shortly after you enroll, please let us know. Sometimes emails get sent to the wrong address by accident, or they may wind up in your spam folder by accident. We do not want you to become frustrated or fall behind because of this and will do everything we can to get you started right away. Thank you for making us your distance education high school and middle school. We are happy to have you as our student!

June 5, 2020

Writing Respectful Emails

Today’s blog is about writing respectful emails. We understand that there might be some frustrating moments as you work through your accredited middle school program, accredited high school program or independent study high school program. Those moments, however, are not an excuse for you to write an email to us that contains profanity. We are under no obligation to reply to emails which include profanity or which do not respect our staff. On the other hand, we are happy to assist you if you politely tell us your name, student number and specific problem you’re having. You can expect assistance within one business day, as is our policy when replying to emails. Thank you for your cooperation.

June 4, 2020

Please Be Thorough When You Email Us!

Today’s blog is a reminder about email etiquette.  We receive thousands of emails a day from students taking online high school courses, high school correspondence courses, online middle school courses or middle school correspondence courses.  When you email us, please include your full name and student number in the body of your email and a give your email a detailed subject line.  This will help us find your records quickly and give you the assistance that you ask us to provide.  Many times we get emails with no subject line.  These often wind up in our spam filter, and, although we find and release them, it causes a delay in replying to you.  Other times students will say, “Hi, my name is (fill in the blank) and I’m stuck on question 5,” but we have many students who might share a first name and many exams that include a question 5.  In those cases, we will reply to you and ask for your full name and student number so that we can find your records and assist you, but that ultimately delays our response time to you.  Please keep these things in mind when you write us.  We appreciate it and appreciate giving you the kind of quick and helpful service you deserve.  Thank you for your cooperation.

June 2, 2020

Better Business Bureau Reaccredits American School

American School is pleased to announce reaccreditation by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.  American School has been a BBB member since 1934, and we are proud of our 86-year affiliation with the Better Business Bureau.  We are also proud of our A+ Better Business Bureau Rating.  The A+ rating and our long history with the Better Business Bureau indicate that we are honest in our business dealings.  If you enroll in our accredited high school program, accredited middle school program or independent study high school program, you will get a quality education from a reputable business.  Get started by enrolling today!

April 8, 2020

ISBE Visit Postponed

Today American School would have welcomed a team from the Illinois State Board of Education to evaluate us and how we serve our students. That visit has been postponed, and we hope to welcome an ISBE team later this year. We have been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education since 1978, when we became the first homeschool to receive that recognition. When they visit, the ISBE will look at the quality of our online middle school courses, middle school correspondence courses, online high school courses and high school correspondence courses and review our building, how we keep student records, the qualifications of our staff and much more. We welcome their feedback and recommendations. If they find that we are doing things well, we will be grateful for their kind words. If they find areas that need improvement, we will be grateful they pointed them out and will begin creating a plan to address them. Our policy is to be transparent about accreditation and recognition visits, and we look forward to receiving ISBE’s final report in the weeks following their visit.

February 27, 2020

Rosetta Stone Courses for Middle School Students

As you know, American School offers more than 20 world language courses through a partnership with Rosetta Stone.  While many people consider Rosetta Stone courses to be online high school courses, it is permissible for students in our accredited middle school program to view them as online middle school courses too.  In other words, students in grades 6-8 can take Rosetta Stone courses as electives, but if they take Rosetta Stone courses while in middle school, those courses will count only toward their middle school credits.  Additional Rosetta Stone courses taken in grades 9-12 will count toward their high school credits.  We enjoy offering Rosetta Stone courses to our students and appreciate your cooperation with this policy.

February 19, 2020

Logging into Edmentum Courses

Today’s blog is about logging into Edmentum courses.  If you’re taking our online high school courses or online middle school courses, you have two ways to access them.  The first is through the Online Student Center.  Log in using the code and password we gave you shortly after you enrolled, and you’ll see links to your online courses on your page in the Online Student Center.  The second is to log in directly through Edmentum by using the information below:

Edmentum Login Page: https://login.edmentum.com/

Account Login: ASOC

User Name (Plato Name): First name + First letter of your last name + American School Student Number (for example:  JohnD1234567)

Password: The same generated password you received for your Student Center account

We hope these tips will be helpful to you as you study with us.  Thank you for making us your distance education high school and middle school!

January 24, 2020

About the Online Counselor Office

Today’s blog is about our Online Counselor Office.  The Online Counselor Office is available to school officials who have students enrolled in our middle school and high school independent study program.  Counselors can log into the Online Counselor Office anytime to view their students’ records, download final exams, and much more.  We allow for one school code and one password per school, so it is important for school officials to share their information with others on staff so that everyone can have access to the site.  When counselors access the Online Counselor Office, they will see a list of names of their students who are taking our accredited middle school courses or accredited high school courses.  They can click on the name of a particular student and view that student’s records.  We are happy to offer this service to counselors who have students in our independent study high school program or middle school program and hope you visit the Online Counselor Office often!

January 23, 2020

About the Online Student Center

Today’s blog is about our Online Student Center.  Any student who takes any course with us receives access to the Online Student Center at no extra charge.  The Online Student Center contains academic records, help sheets, additional links and much more.  Students in our print or online high school courses and print or online middle school courses should check the site often.  If you are under age 18, your guarantor (often your parent) will have a separate login to the Online Student Center to monitor your progress.  It is important to note that the Online Student Center is for current students only.  Shortly after you complete your courses or earn a high school diploma at home, you will no longer have access to the Online Student Center.  If you need to retrieve your records, please contact our student service department or follow the steps on our FAQ page to request a transcript.  We are happy to offer you online services and hope you visit the Online Student Center often!

January 22, 2020

American School and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Recently American School renewed its membership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. The Illinois Chamber is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and American School has been a part of it for more than 70 years. We joined in 1946 when we only offered high school correspondence courses and our independent study high school program was in its infancy. Today we offer online high school courses and print and online middle school courses to students in all 50 states. We are proud to be a member of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and wish the Illinois Chamber another 100 years of success serving businesses throughout our home state.

December 17, 2019

American School Celebrates 122nd Anniversary

It’s December 17, and today is our 122nd anniversary.  We received our charter on this date way back in 1897, and our founder R.T. Miller would probably be surprised to see what we’ve become in 2019.  High school correspondence courses have always been an important part of us, and we have no plans to eliminate them even as we expand our online high school courses and online middle school courses.  One thing that hasn’t changed is that American School has always been willing to serve those individuals who cannot attend traditional school for whatever reason.  We allow our students to work when and where it is convenient for them, and although students work on their courses independently, they are never alone.  Our staff is always available for assistance.  In this past year, we debuted a new high school diploma program and new enrollment applications for our accredited middle school program, accredited high school program and individual subjects which sometimes are taken through our independent study high school program and other times for enrichment.  We have more changes planned for the coming year, and you can take part in them and help us celebrate our anniversary by enrolling today.  You’ll be joining more than three million others who have made American School their school of choice!

October 22, 2019

American School Holds 122nd Annual Meeting

Yesterday American School held its 122nd Annual Meeting of trustees and corporate members. The event was an opportunity to look back at the challenges and accomplishments of the past year and plan for the future. A major accomplishment of the past year was the move to Edmentum for our online high school courses and online middle school courses. So far feedback from students, parents and counselors has been positive, and we expect that to continue in the coming year. We’re also excited about the new 20-unit accredited high school program that will better serve students who plan to go to a four-year college or university, two-year college or the workforce after they earn a high school diploma at home with us. Those are two of the major highlights of the past year, and the Annual Meeting helps us to plan for more highlights in the year head. We’re grateful to our trustees for their support, and all of us are happy to serve you!

October 4, 2019

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

American School is proud to earn a nomination to receive the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics presented by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.  According to the Better Business Bureau, the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics is the most prestigious award the Better Business Bureau presents to a business. Being a recipient indicates that a business not only believes in the high standards promoted by the Better Business Bureau but also consistently demonstrates and integrates them into daily business practices and maintains positive marketplace relations.  American School has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau since 1934.  We strive to offer outstanding customer service and swift resolution to anyone with questions or problems concerning our high school correspondence courses, online high school courses, middle school correspondence courses and online middle school courses.  Click here for more information about our relationship with the Better Business Bureau, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.

September 16, 2019

Looking Back at 21 Years at American School

It’s September 16, and over the weekend the person who regularly writes this blog celebrated 21 years of work at American School.  Today is the perfect occasion to look back at how the American School has evolved over the years.  Back in 1998, the American School was strictly a distance education high school.  We didn’t add an accredited middle school program until 2016.  Moreover, 21 years ago we only offered high school correspondence courses that students could take to earn a high school diploma at home.  Now we offer online high school courses and allow students to pick which courses they do online and which they do on paper.  We’ve always offered an independent study high school program, but we also offer individual courses to anyone who may wish to take them for enrichment.  One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is our commitment to our students.  We strive to offer accredited courses at an affordable cost and provide the best possible service.  It’s the vision our founder, R.T. Miller, had when he and his friends founded the American School in Boston in 1897.  That philosophy was passed down and instilled in other School leaders over the years, including those in charge in 1998 and those leading the School today.   All of us are grateful for you and look forward to serving you after you enroll and become our student.

August 28, 2019

New Pricing Structure and Application for Individual Subjects

Today’s blog has information about a new pricing structure for individual subjects that will go into effect on September 3.  Previously students who wished to take individual subjects as part of an independent study high school program filled out one application, while students who wished to take individual accredited high school courses or individual print or online middle school courses simply for enrichment filled out another application.  We’re going to combine those two applications into one, and students who wish to enroll in courses to recover credit will need to fill out a special section on the application with pertinent school information.  At first, only printed applications will be available, but later in September or in October, students will be able to enroll online in individual subjects by going to the description of the course they wish to take and then adding that course to their shopping cart.  For your convenience, most individual subjects will be priced the same regardless of course delivery method.  The standard cost will be $300 for a full unit of credit and $250 for a half unit.  Some courses will be value-priced at $200 for a full unit of credit and $150 for a half unit, while AP courses and lab courses will be priced at $400 for a full unit of credit and $350 for a half unit.  As usual, all study materials and grading are included in the cost of tuition, and the enrollment fee on the previous independent study application has been eliminated.  If you have questions or comments about this new pricing and enrollment structure for individual subjects, please let us know.  We enjoy hearing from you and appreciate having the opportunity to serve you.  Thank you for making us your school of choice!

August 27, 2019

New Structure for High School Diploma Programs

Today’s blog announces some changes to our high school diploma programs starting September 3.  Currently a diploma program consisting entirely of 18 high school correspondence courses costs $2250 and a diploma program consisting entirely of 18 online high school courses costs $3600.  At the time of enrollment, students had to declare which course delivery method they preferred, and it was difficult to take courses in the other delivery method.  Today we are announcing that students will no longer be locked in to a course delivery method at the time of enrollment.  For example, if a student wishes to take math online but literature in print, she will be able to do that.  If another student wants to take math in print but literature online, he will be able to do that.  The choice is entirely up to the student.  Because we know students have different education and career goals, the general high school program and college preparatory program will remain in place, but now each will consist of 20 units of credit rather than 18.  The increase in the number of credits required to graduate will help prepare students for college or the workforce and will allow our students to take 5 units of credit per year rather than the previous 4 1/2 units of credit.  In addition, students will have more flexibility in choosing what subjects they want to take as long as they take a minimum number of subjects in required subject areas.  Because students can now mix and match courses and because the cost of printed textbooks and study materials continues to rise, a full 20-unit high school diploma program will cost $3600.  We thought it was important to make the cost of the new diploma program no more than the cost of the previous online diploma program, and a diploma program consisting of 20 units of credit for $3600 averages out to $180 per course with all study materials and grading included.  The average cost per course is far cheaper than many of our competitors and continues our long-standing policy of offering accredited high school courses at a cost students and parents can afford.  In addition, a new monthly payment plan structure will go into effect for students who enroll on or after September 3.  Students will pay $200 down and then make five monthly payments of $140 to finish the year.  Students will have access to all online courses at the start of enrollment but will receive additional printed materials as they make additional monthly payments.  If a student follows the payment plan, by the sixth month he or she will have access to all courses.  We appreciate your patience, cooperation and understanding as we implement these changes to better serve our students.  If you have questions or comments, please let us know.  We enjoy hearing from you and appreciate you making us your school of choice.

July 29, 2019

American School Once Again Receives BBB Accreditation

Last week American School received official word of its accreditation with the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.  We have been accredited by BBB since 1934, and their accreditation verifies that we strive to uphold eight BBB standards for trust.  They are to build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safeguard privacy and embody integrity.  We do these things for students in our accredited high school program, accredited middle school program or independent study high school program.  It doesn’t matter how many classes you take with us.  We want to give you an excellent experience, and upholding the eight standards listed in this blog post helps us do that.  We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with the Better Business Bureau, and we hope you are as well!

July 23, 2019

Mary Pierce Joins International Tennis Hall of Fame

American School graduate Mary Pierce was recently inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.  In her career she won the Australian Open and French Open and was runner-up in four other Grand Slam tournaments.  We are proud to call her our graduate, and to this day an autographed picture of her in a cap and gown holding her correspondence high school diploma from American School is posted in our office.  When Mary was our student, we didn’t have online high school courses so students couldn’t earn an online high school diploma, but now those are options for students who want to earn a high school diploma at home.  We are proud of Mary and her Hall of Fame career, but a good high school education can help you become a Hall of Famer in whatever career you choose to pursue.

July 11, 2019

Today’s Anniversary: The American School Blog

It’s July 11, and we posted our very first American School blog entry on this date in 2006.  Today is a good occasion to look back at some of the things that have happened here since we posted our first blog.  Back then we didn’t have online high school courses.  Now we do.  We also didn’t have an accredited middle school program consisting of print and online middle school courses.  Now we do.  Back then we didn’t have AP courses for students in our accredited high school program.  Now we do.  Back in 2006 we had an extensive curriculum of high school correspondence courses.  We still do.  As you can see, we’ve added more courses and more programs to better serve our students, and this blog is often the place where we first announce important news.  The way people receive information has changed a lot in the past 13 years, and so the All American newsletter has been retired and replaced by this blog and our social media pages, especially Facebook.  Be sure to bookmark this blog and like us on Facebook to be the first to know what we’re doing.  Thank you for reading the American School blog for the past 13 years.  We appreciate it and appreciate your interest in American School!

June 24, 2019

New Grading Policy Effective July 1, 2019

Today’s blog contains an important notice regarding a change in grading procedures that will take effect July 1, 2019. In order to receive credit for any individual submission (exam, assignment, project, etc.) in high school correspondence courses, online high school courses, middle school correspondence courses or online middle school courses, a student must receive a grade of 65 or higher. A student who does not earn a score of 65 or higher on the first attempt on any course submission will be given up to two additional attempts. If that student does not earn a score of 65 or higher by the third attempt, the highest of the three grades will stand. No student will receive more than three attempts on a course submission. Students must pass a course with an overall grade of 65 or better in order to receive credit. Please contact our Student Service department if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we make changes to better serve our students.

June 3, 2019

American School Announces Partnership With Edmentum

American School is excited to announce a new partnership with Edmentum that will allow us to better serve students who wish to take online high school courses and online middle school courses.   Just as we pioneered high school correspondence courses, Edmentum has been a pioneer in online courses, offering a wide variety of courses in core subject areas such as English, math, science and social studies, and a large variety of elective courses in career and technical education, fine arts and world languages.  Within weeks, any student who enrolls in an online course will be placed in an Edmentum course.  Students who previously enrolled in an online course offered by our previous online course provider will have until their regular deadline to complete their course or courses.  We are taking steps to make this transition as smooth as possible and appreciate your understanding as we upgrade our curriculum.  As always, if you have questions, you may email us and we will reply within one business day.  Thank you for choosing us, and we hope you are as excited about our partnership with Edmentum as we are!

May 14, 2019

American School Holds 81st Annual Scholarship Meeting

Last week the American School held its 81st annual Scholarship Meeting during which a distinguished panel of judges awarded scholarships to several deserving graduates. Among the awards were the Henry Buresh Alumni Award, the R.T. Miller Founders Award and the Presidents Award. All applicants demonstrated outstanding academic ability in our accredited high school program while participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities in their communities. Our scholarship awards will help winners continue their educations at the accredited college or university of their choice. Many of them were enrolled in our college preparatory program, which is designed especially for students who wish to attend a four-year college or university. Awarding scholarships is one of our greatest traditions, and to date, we have awarded $906,200 in scholarships to 1541 graduates. Plans are already underway for the 2020 scholarship season. To be eligible, you must earn a high school diploma at home with us in 2019 and meet other eligibility requirements. More information will be available later this year. In the meantime, let us thank our judges and applicants and congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients. We are proud of you!

April 8, 2019

American School Unveils New School Seal

We’re starting off a new week of blogs by unveiling a new seal.  We removed the word “chartered” and put the word “established” in its place.  Charter schools do good work for students across the country, but we are not a charter school ourselves.  To avoid confusion and to remind people that we’ve been around since 1897, we changed our seal.  We believe education is the key to success, and we are happy to offer an accredited middle school program, an accredited high school program and an independent study high school program to students who take our courses.  We are happy to be your school of choice and your distance education high school and middle school.  Look for our new seal to appear in multiple locations in the coming months, including enrollment applications, our new web site, and perhaps the diploma you will earn after you enroll with us!

March 18, 2019

Deanna Stellato Shines at U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Heads to Worlds.

Today the World Figure Skating Championships start in Japan, so it’s a good time to remind everyone that American School student Deanna Stellato and her partner Nathan Bartholomay finished third in the pairs competition at the recent United States Figure Skating Championships.  This is the second straight year her team finished third after a fourth place finish in 2017.  Before then Deanna took time away from the sport but realized how much she missed it and returned to competition.  Her story can be an inspiration for students interested in our accredited middle school program and accredited high school program.  You’re never too late to get your education, follow your dreams and have the life you’ve always wanted.  Don’t have any regrets.  We’re confident that you won’t regret becoming our student and taking middle school or high school correspondence courses with us.  The same goes for our online middle school courses and online high school courses.  We’d be happy to pair up with you and help you get a quality education at an affordable cost!

December 17, 2018

American School Celebrates 121st Anniversary

It’s December 17, and today American School is celebrating its 121st anniversary. R.T. Miller and his colleagues founded us in Boston, Massachusetts, and we remained there for a few years before moving to Chicagoland, where we’ve been ever since. Our founders had no idea that one day we’d offer online middle school courses and online high school courses, but much of what we do now is based on the vision they had back in 1897. They saw a need for people to receive education in non-traditional ways. Some people had to work full-time from a young age to support their families, and attending traditional school simply wasn’t possible. Eventually we became a leading distance education high school and to this day have helped more than three million students worldwide earn an accredited high school diploma. Over the years we’ve adapted to best serve our students. Adding an accredited middle school program in recent years is one example of this, but we continue to evolve. Next year we’ll be introducing new programs and services that we believe will best serve our students. Serving our students has always been important to us, and no matter how we evolve, that commitment won’t change. On our anniversary, we thank all of you for making us your school of choice. We’re proud to serve you, and we hope you are proud to be taking courses from American School!

November 13, 2018

American School Officially Receives MSA-CESS Accreditation

American School is proud to officially receive accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools/Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS). This news comes on the heels of earlier accreditation by Ai and NCPSA. We are grateful to be accredited by three reputable accrediting bodies. Their accreditations allow us to continue to offer an accredited high school program and accredited middle school program whose entire focus is on the student and helping him or her succeed. Our accredited high school courses and middle school courses are available in print or online, which ensures students learn by the method that is more comfortable to them, and our affordable cost ensures that our courses are available to all. In the coming months, we plan to look at some of the recommendations given to us by MSA-CESS, Ai and NCPSA, and we look forward to implementing their suggestions which will help us become an even better school.

October 23, 2018

American School Holds 121st Annual Meeting

Today American School is holding the 121st Annual Meeting of its Board of Trustees and Corporate Members. The meeting is an occasion to look back on the events of the past year and plan events for the coming year. One of the major accomplishments of the past year was the introduction of middle school correspondence courses to complement our online middle school courses. One goal for the coming year is to expand and change the college preparatory program and general high school program our students use to earn a high school diploma at home. When these changes are in place, students will get an even better educational experience. In addition to reviewing and planning, the Annual Meeting serves as an opportunity to review financial matters, elect officers and more. We look forward to a successful meeting and an even more successful year for our students!

September 17, 2018

American School Officially Receives NCPSA Accreditation

Recently we told you that we have received accreditation from Accreditation International, commonly referred to as Ai.  Today we are proud to announce that we have received additional accreditation from the National Council for Private School Accreditation, commonly referred to as NCPSA.  We are grateful for this accreditation, which further solidifies us as a leader in accredited high school courses and middle school courses.  Take them collectively as part of an accredited high school program or accredited middle school program, or take them individually to enrich an existing homeschool program.  Either way, you’ll feel comfortable studying with us!  Enroll today!

September 14, 2018

Looking Back at 20 Years at American School

It’s September 14, and tomorrow the person who regularly writes this blog will celebrate 20 years of work at the American School. Today is the perfect occasion to look back at how the American School has evolved over the years and express gratitude to several groups of people. Back in 1998, the American School was strictly a distance education high school. We didn’t add an accredited middle school program until 2016. Moreover, 20 years ago we only offered high school correspondence courses that students could take to earn a high school diploma at home. Now we offer online high school courses and an online high school diploma program. We’ve always offered an independent study high school program, but we also offer individual courses to anyone who may wish to take them for enrichment. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is our commitment to our students. We strive to offer accredited courses at an affordable cost and provide the best possible service. It’s the vision our founder, R.T. Miller, had when he and his friends founded the American School in Boston in 1897. That philosophy was passed down and instilled in other School leaders over the years, including those in charge in 1998 and those leading the School today. There are too many great memories and too many great relationships and friendships to mention in one blog, but a deep sense of gratitude exists for all of them, as well as for the students, parents and school officials who have made the American School their school of choice. All of us are grateful for you and look forward to serving you in the next 20 years and beyond.

September 5, 2018

American School Officially Receives Ai Accreditation

Late last week, American School received a certificate of accreditation from Accreditation International, commonly known as Ai.  The certificate is valid until 2023 and ensures that we will be able to offer accredited high school courses and accredited middle school courses for years to come.  Some people may wonder why it is so important for us to offer an accredited high school program and accredited middle school program.  The answer is quite simple.  Accreditation proves that our courses and services are valid and carry the same merit and value as courses and services offered by traditional schools.  Without accredited courses, some people have difficulty finding a job or being accepted into the college or university of their choice.  You shouldn’t have to worry about that with American School.  Enroll today and take our accredited courses yourself.  You’ll be on your way to the college or career of your choice!

August 22, 2018

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

American School is proud to earn a nomination to receive the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics presented by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.  According to the Better Business Bureau, the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics is the most prestigious award the Better Business Bureau presents to a business. Being a recipient indicates that a business not only believes in the high standards promoted by the Better Business Bureau but also consistently demonstrates and integrates them into daily business practices and maintains positive marketplace relations.  American School has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau since 1934.  We strive to offer outstanding customer service and swift resolution to anyone with questions or problems concerning our high school correspondence courses, online high school courses, middle school correspondence courses and online middle school courses.  Click here for more information about our relationship with the Better Business Bureau, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.

August 6, 2018

American School Accreditation Review

It’s August 6, and, as promised, our blog is back. We spent last week with an accreditation team who flew in from various parts of the country to review everything about us. The team visited with instructors who grade accredited high school courses online and accredited high school courses on paper. They met with those who create our online middle school courses and paper-based middle school courses. They visited with customer service, shipping and accounting staff who are committed to making us the best distance education high school and middle school possible. At the end of the visit, the team gave us several commendations on the good work we’re already doing as well as several recommendations for how we can make our school even better. We won’t know our final accreditation status for several weeks, but American School leadership is confident and hopeful that we will once again receive accreditation. Keep checking this blog for the official word!

July 24, 2018

American School Set to Welcome Accreditation Team

The week of July 30-August 3, American School is proud to welcome an accreditation team to our building for our 5-year review. We were the first distance learning school to be regionally accredited, so obviously our accreditation is something we take very seriously. It is our honor to offer our students accredited high school courses on paper, accredited high school courses online and accredited middle school courses because doing so ensures that our courses and our high school diploma have the same merit and value as those offered by traditional schools. Accreditation visits are a great time to review what has happened since the last accreditation visit and to listen and receive ideas for how we can become an even better school. Because we need time to prepare for the visit and be available to accreditation team members during the visit itself, this blog will be on vacation until Monday, August 6. We appreciate your understanding and value your readership, and we look forward to sharing good news about what is happening here at the American School when we return in a couple weeks.

June 12, 2018

American School Holds 80th Annual Scholarship Meeting

Today American School is proud to hold our 80th annual scholarship meeting. Our panel of judges will award $21,000 in post-secondary scholarships to 18 deserving graduates. Since we awarded our very first scholarship, we’ve awarded $886,200 to 1534 graduates, and it is our pleasure to do so. All of this year’s recipients earned an online high school diploma or correspondence high school diploma while working at their own pace in accredited high school courses. They have unique college and career aspirations, and we are proud to support them in all their future endeavors. Information about our 2019 scholarship program will be available early next year, and we will post information about it in this blog when information becomes available.

January 29, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki Wins Australian Open

American School student Caroline Wozniacki won the Australian Open on Saturday and became the #1 player in the world this morning.  Her 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 win over Simona Halep was her first major title, and all of us congratulate her on these outstanding accomplishments.  Sometimes people ask us if we rank our students and determine who is #1 in a particular class, and the answer to that question is no.  Because we allow students to earn a correspondence high school diploma or graduate from our online high school diploma program year-round, it is impossible for us to rank students.  We allow students to work at their own pace and provide them with the resources and support to do their very best.  We want all of our students to become champions in whatever field they decide to pursue, and our high school correspondence courses, online high school courses and online middle school courses can help them–and you–do just that.  Enroll today!

January 16, 2018

Remembering John McCulley

Late last week American School received word that John McCulley passed away. John was an integral part of American School for more than 20 years, first as an instructor and later as principal and educational director. Most recently he served on our Board of Trustees and played in integral part in helping American School become the school we are today and the school we want to become in the future. More than that, he was a friend and mentor to many of us, and we join his family in thanking him, missing him and remembering him. Please keep his family in your thoughts. Thank you.

December 15, 2017

American School at 120 (Part 5)

As we conclude our look at 120 years of American School history in advance of our 120th anniversary this coming Sunday, December 17, we can’t help but thank the most important people in the last 12 decades–our students.  Whether they complete a general high school or college preparatory program or enroll in our correspondence or online high school diploma program or enroll in our independent study programs, we’re happy to have them as our students.  We strive to offer the best educational experience possible, and we have exciting things planned as we head into our next decade.  Soon we’ll have paper-based middle school courses, a new web site, and new academic programs.  We’re proud of our past and ready for a bright future.  To be a part of one of the oldest and best distance learning schools, enroll today.  We’d be proud to have you as our student and prepare you for a bright future of your own.

December 14, 2017

American School at 120 (Part 4)

As American School has evolved over the years to offer accredited online high school courses and online middle school courses to go along with its existing high school correspondence courses, we should recognize certain American School employees who had large roles in making that evolution possible. Earlier this week we discussed R.T. Miller. He led American School until 1945, when James McKinney became president. He was followed by C.M. Elliott, W.K. Lasher, William Wright, William Hunding and Gary Masterton. When Gary retired earlier this year, Valerie Riley became the first woman to serve as president, though she is not the first woman to have had an enormous impact on the American School. Mary McKeown served the American School in some capacity for 75 years, starting as an instructor and working her way up to become principal, educational director and trustee. Roberta Allen was guidance counselor, curriculum director and remains a trustee to this day. She is joined on the board of trustees by John Kemp, Leslie Ballard, Gary Masterton, John McCulley and Cher Tufly. Together the trustees are responsible for the American School. Those of us who work here are grateful to them and all American School employees past and present who perform good work to serve our students.

December 13, 2017

American School at 120 (Part 3)

As we continue to celebrate our 120th anniversary, it’s worth mentioning some of the educational organizations which we founded or with which we have been members over the years, as well as an example of how we help our students after they’ve graduated. We were a charter member of the National Home Study Council. We helped members of the United States Military during World War 2. When the North Central Association accredited us, we became the first private home study high school to earn accreditation by a regional accrediting body. When the Illinois State Board of Education recognized us, we became the first home-study school to receive such recognition. We mention these organizations not to pat ourselves on the back but to give our students the comfort of knowing they are enrolled in an accredited high school program or accredited middle school program. We take our accreditations and recognitions very seriously. We also take our scholarship program seriously. We’ve awarded scholarships to those who have earned our correspondence high school diploma or online high school diploma each year since 1938, and the scholarship meeting is one of the highlights of our year. Check back tomorrow for more highlights of American School’s 120 years of service!

December 12, 2017

American School at 120 (Part 2)

In 1902, the Armour Institute (currently called the Illinois Institute of Technology) invited American School to Chicago to develop and improve its existing home study courses and home study methods. Chicago was a transportation hub and had many museums and other educational institutions. It was also close to St. Louis, host of the 1904 World’s Fair at which the American School exhibited. Courses were added, enrollments grew, and in 1907, just 10 years after its founding, the American School moved into a building of its own on 58th and Drexel in the shadow of the University of Chicago. That building, which still stands as a historic site, was our home for nearly 90 years until we moved to our current location in the far south suburbs of Chicago. The American School continued to grow and still others took notice. Sidney Mitchell was principal at Benton Harbor High School in Michigan. His idea was to have his students take American School courses to enrich their studies. Thus, our independent study high school program was born. To this day, we’ve helped countless students graduate from high school by taking high school independent study courses, while others have decided to earn a high school diploma at home directly from us. Either way, we’re happy to have helped more than 3 million students graduate high school. Check back tomorrow for another installment of some of the great moments in American School history!

December 11, 2017

American School at 120 (Part 1)

The American School received its charter on December 17, 1897, and in this week leading up to our 120th anniversary, we’re doing a series of blogs about the past 12 decades. The American School simply would not exist without Romanta Tillotson Miller, Jr. Our founder, pictured below and better known as R.T., graduated from Oberlin College and Harvard Law School and worked for a publishing company preparing its reading courses. He realized that not many people had the opportunity to receive the type of training and education they should. That’s when he decided to offer courses through the mail. Those courses, which included electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, machine shop practice and mechanical drafting, eventually blossomed into our high school correspondence courses and in more recent years our online high school courses and online middle school courses. People loved the courses and distance learning so much that others began to take notice, including a group in the city of Chicago. Check back tomorrow to learn how American School started near Boston but moved to Chicago, where we’ve been ever since!

October 24, 2017

American School Holds 120th Annual Meeting

Today American School is holding its 120th Annual Meeting. It’s a time to look back on the changes, challenges and accomplishments of the past year and look ahead to the future of American School. We have big plans for the coming year. Many of you know we offer high school correspondence courses, online high school courses and online middle school courses, but in the coming year we will launch middle school correspondence courses and hope to expand our AP course offerings. We also expect to debut a new web site soon, but this blog isn’t going away. Check back tomorrow for our latest post!

October 20, 2017

American School Again Earns BBB Accreditation

American School has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1934, and we are proud to receive accreditation again this year. We strive to offer outstanding high school correspondence courses, online high school courses and online middle school courses and provide outstanding service to our students. Our BBB certificate states that we uphold the BBB standards for trust, which are to build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safeguard privacy and embody integrity. We strive to do those things every day and are honored to receive this recognition.

September 15, 2017

American School Blogger Celebrates 19 Years

It’s September 15, and even though our offices are closed today, we still have a blog post to share with you.  On this date in 1998 the person who writes this blog began working at American School.  Since that time, quite a bit has changed around here.  We didn’t offer online high school courses, but now we do.  We didn’t offer online middle school courses either, but now we do.  We didn’t have AP courses, but as of this week we do.  We didn’t have social media pages, this blog or our popular online student center and online counselor office either, but now we do.  In the near future, we plan to add paper-based middle school courses and give students in our accredited high school program more choices than ever before, so stay tuned.  Those changes are exciting, but one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to our students.  We put students’ needs first and attempt to offer them the best curriculum and customer service we can while being mindful of cost and our 120 years of credibility as a leader in distance education.  As proud as the American School blogger is to work here, we’re even more proud of our students and graduates.  It’s a pleasure to serve you!

June 22, 2017

American School Holds 79th Scholarship Meeting

Today American School is holding its 79th annual Scholarship Committee Meeting.  Permanent committee members and American School Trustees Dr. John Kemp and Cher Tufly are being joined by this year’s guest committee member, Leslie Ballard, Director of AdvancED Indiana, to select this year’s winners, all of whom will be profiled in an upcoming All American newsletter.  This year’s winners wanted to earn a high school diploma at home and did just that by using our college preparatory program or general high school diploma program.  Special thanks to Janet Howe and Kathy Peters for coordinating this year’s scholarship process.  Applications for our 2018 scholarships will be sent to eligible graduates early next year.

May 25, 2017

Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C.

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., the late President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and one of the top educators of the 20th century, would’ve turned 100 years old today.  To say that he lived a full life prior to his death in 2015 is an understatement.  His accomplishments and achievements included serving as an advisor to popes and presidents, visiting more than 100 countries, and earning 150 honorary degrees, but today is a good occasion to reflect on a couple things he did that changed countless lives.  Fr. Hesburgh was a leader in civil rights and equal rights.  There’s a famous photo of him and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joining hands at a march more than 50 years ago when such an alliance would’ve been frowned upon by many.  Fr. Hesburgh also believed that half the population shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to study at Notre Dame, and so he led a movement to allow women into Notre Dame, thereby leading its transformation from an all-male school known primarily for football into the co-educational, internationally relevant place of higher learning that it is today.  Finally, it was common knowledge on campus during Fr. Hesburgh’s presidency and even after he retired that if the lights were on in his office, students and other guests were welcome to visit, perhaps to receive counseling, perhaps to have questions answered, or perhaps just to chat.  Like Fr. Hesburgh, those of us at American School believe that no student should be denied a quality education based on gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation.  We also “leave our lights on” for our students and invite them to contact us anytime of the day or night if they have something to tell us.  Like Fr. Hesburgh, we’ll be here to listen and to hopefully make your lives better.

February 20, 2017

Remembering Mary McKeown

Late last week, American School received word that Mary E. McKeown passed away. Mary devoted her entire adult life to American School and our students and held a variety of responsbilities during her 75 years of service. Those roles included instructor, study guide author, principal, educational director, executive vice-president and, finally, trustee, a position she still held at the time of her death. At last year’s annual meeting, American School’s trustees and corporate members unanimously voted to rename our library as the Mary E. McKeown Library, and Mary was thrilled to receive a duplicate of the plaque that now resides in the library that bears her name. It is quite possible that no American School employee has helped–or will ever help–more students than Mary did. Those of us who knew her and worked with her are grateful to have had her influence our lives and work. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention how happy we were for her that she lived to see her beloved Chicago Cubs win the World Series last year. Please keep Mary and her family and friends in your thoughts in the coming days. She leaves a legacy that is unmatched.

December 30, 2016

Gary R. Masterton Retires

Today marks the end of an era at American School as it is Gary R. Masterton’s last day as American School President. During his decade in office, American School has gone from a school that only offered a correspondence high school diploma to one that also offers an online high school diploma, online middle school courses and other online services including our online student center and this blog that you read most weekdays. We’re grateful for Gary’s service and leadership and wish him and his family the best as he retires from American School after more than 30 years of full-time service to our students. We’ll miss you!

December 16, 2016

American School Set for 119th Birthday

On December 17, 1897, American School received a charter to operate in the state of Massachusetts.  Although we moved to Illinois a few years later, we are still guided by that charter and consider December 17 our birthday.  Since we’re closed tomorrow, we’re celebrating a day early.  So much has changed in nearly 120 years.  Our archives contain copies of courses we used to offer to students.  They included studies that would have been useful for the careers of the day, including farming, machinery and more.  Today we offer hundreds of online high school courses, high school correspondence courses and online middle school courses, but our commitment to being the best distance education high school and middle school has not changed in more than a century.  We have big things planned for our 120th year and invite you to be a part of it.  The best birthday present you can give us is to enroll.  In return, we’ll give you the accredited courses you need at a cost you can afford and provide you with caring student service as you work to earn a high school diploma at home.

November 3, 2016

Today’s Special Occasion: The Cubs Win the World Series

In 1908, American School was 11 years old and just been in Chicago a handful of years.  We were just starting out as a distance education high school and no one could have imagined one day we’d be offering accredited online high school courses and online middle school courses.  Before last night, 1908 was also the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.  Not surprisingly, many American School employees have been long-time Cub fans and are celebrating today, most notably Trustee Mary McKeown, who has served American School for 74 years in one capacity or another.  If you do the math and know a little baseball history, you can figure out that Mary began her American School career before the Cubs’ last World Series appearance in 1945.  Until last night, some people believed that the Cubs were cursed, either by a billy goat or a black cat or by other unseen forces.  If you feel the same way about your chances of getting an accredited high school diploma, don’t lose hope.  You don’t have to wait till next year to get started.  You can enroll today and be confident that one day you’ll be able to fly the W as an American School graduate.

October 25, 2016

American School Holds 119th Annual Meeting

Today American School holds its 119th annual meeting of trustees, corporate members and other invited guests.  The annual meeting is a chance to look back at the accomplishments and challenges of the past year and an opportunity to start planning for the future.  In the past year the biggest news around here has been the introduction of an accredited middle school program consisting of online middle school courses.  This year we hope to add paper-based middle school courses as well as more high school correspondence courses and online high school courses.  Check this blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages for pictures and other highlights from today’s event.

September 15, 2016

American School Blogger Celebrates 18th Anniversary

It’s September 15, and on this date in 1998, the person who would become the American School Blogger started working at American School.  Obviously a lot has changed in nearly two decades.  Back in 1998, American School was strictly focused on high school correspondence courses that students could take as part of an accredited high school program or individually as part of an independent study high school.  We still offer students the opportunity to earn a correspondence high school diploma, and that will never change, but one of the biggest changes in the last 18 years is that we offer online high school courses and online middle school courses.  Those have been so important to our students in recent years, as have our other online services such as the online student center, our Facebook and Twitter pages and this very blog.  Looking toward the future, American School will continue to adapt and offer more courses and services to students.  You’ll see some of them shortly and some of them in 2017 and beyond.  We’re proud of our past but excited for our future, and we’re grateful you’ve chosen to read this blog and make us your distance education high school and middle school.

July 11, 2016

American School Blog Celebrates 10th Birthday

It’s July 11, and the American School Blog made its debut 10 years ago today. In 2006, July 11 was the date of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, and so our first blog was about how you can be an all-star student after you enroll with American School. A decade later, that still holds true. Our students enjoy working at their own pace and getting assistance as needed from our qualified instructors. They also appreciate outstanding curriculum, caring student service, affordable cost and impeccable credibility. Those things haven’t changed in a decade, but plenty of other things have. We now have online high school courses and online middle school courses, including world languages through Rosetta Stone. This fall we’ll be adding even more courses that will keep us at the top of the list of distance education high schools. We’re grateful for your support of this blog and look forward to sharing many more posts with you in our second decade of blogging!

June 15, 2016

American School Holds 78th Annual Scholarship Meeting

Yesterday American School held its 78th annual Scholarship Committee Meeting.  Permanent committee members and American School trustees Dr. John Kemp and Cher Tufly were joined by this year’s guest committee member, David Smith, a former public school superintendent, to select this year’s winners.  Eighteen American School graduates will receive a total of $21,000 in scholarships, and we’ll profile them in the July-August All American newsletter.  These individuals wanted to earn a high school diploma at home and did just that by using our college preparatory program or general high school diploma program.  Special thanks to our school counselor Amanda Giordano for coordinating this year’s scholarship process.  Applications for our 2017 scholarships will be sent to eligible graduates early next year.

December 17, 2015

American School Celebrates 118th Birthday

It’s December 17, and on this date in 1897, American School received a charter from the state of Massachusetts to operate as an “educational institution not for profit.” That charter still guides us 118 years later, but not even our great founder, the legendary R.T. Miller could have envisioned what his school would one day become. We started as a study-by-mail program offering courses such as Electrical Engineering, Machine Shop Practice and Mechanical Drafting primarily to people with jobs who wished to study at home to advance their careers. After five years in Massachusetts, we moved to Chicago in 1902 at the invitation of the Armour Institute, and Chicagoland has been our home ever since. With the move, our curriculum expanded to include courses in law, commerce, fire insurance and high school completion. We exhibited at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and soon had students in more than 40 countries around the world. In 1907, we moved to our own headquarters in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, a historic landmark which still stands to this very day. A key moment came in 1922 when a principal from Benton Harbor, Michigan, approached us and asked if students at his school could take our courses to make up credits. That idea was the seed for our Independent Study Program which today serves thousands of high schools across the country. As American School continued to grow, we offered our own diplomas and our first post-secondary scholarship in 1938. Our materials were used to help train soldiers in World War 2, and in the 1970s we became the first home study high school to earn accreditation by a regional accrediting body. Today we are accredited by three such groups and offer accredited high school courses and diplomas in paper-based and online formats. We also have this blog and our social media pages as additional ways we communicate with students and stakeholders online. What does the future hold? We plan to continue to evolve as a leader in distance education, adding more courses and services to benefit our students. As an “educational institution not for profit” we’ve put our students’ needs first for the last 118 years and we always will. Thank you for choosing us and for helping us celebrate our 118th birthday!

September 15, 2015

American School Blogger Celebrates Anniversary

It’s September 15, and on this date in 1998, the person who regularly writes this blog started at American School.  We keep his or her identity secret, though if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may be able to pick up where he or she went to college and get hints about some of his or her favorite people, places and things, many of which are directly related to American School.  A lot has happened here in the past 17 years, most notably the strides we’ve made online.  In 1998, we were strictly a correspondence school, but now we offer paper-based and online diploma programs, not to mention online exams in paper-based courses.  The Online Student Center and Online Counselor Office help us communicate with students, parents and school officials.  Our Facebook and Twitter pages and this very blog are other effective forms of communication.  Some things, however, haven’t changed in the past 17 years.  We are more dedicated than ever when it comes to offering the accredited high school courses you need at a cost you can afford, and  we do our best to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to receive a high school education because of financial issues.  We also continue to take our accreditation very seriously and are proud to be accredited by three reputable accrediting bodies and recognized as a non-public school by our home state of Illinois.  All of us, whether we’ve been employed by American School for 17 days, 17 months, 17 years, or even longer than that as have many of our employees, look forward to serving you after you enroll and become our student.

September 9, 2015

Jobs at American School, Part 2

We’re picking up where we left off yesterday with our descriptions of various jobs at American School, and now we’re up on the second floor.  When your exams arrive here, they start their journey in the Student Service Department, where envelopes are opened and exams are sorted by subject.  That’s just one of many tasks performed by Student Service.  Other common tasks include sending supplies and answering phone calls and emails from students and parents.  After exams are sorted, they get sent to the exam distribution office, where they are given to instructors.  The Instruction Department, headed by the Principal, is comprised of instructors whose primary job is to grade exams, but they also assist in projects spearheaded by the Curriculum Department, which is also located upstairs.  The Curriculum Department designs courses, edits study guides and assists in writing exams, among other tasks.  The Accounting Department is located nearby, and that’s where payments are processed and records of those payments are kept.  The upstairs is also home to our School Counselor, our public relations and marketing staff and our President.  We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of American School and some of its jobs.  All of us are committed to giving you the accredited high school courses you need, at a cost you can afford, and we are grateful to have you as our students!

September 8, 2015

Jobs at American School, Part 1

On the first two days after Labor Day, we thought it would be nice to familiarize you with the various jobs performed at American School on a daily basis.  Keep in mind that these are not the only tasks our employees perform, but it is our hope that these blogs will allow you to become more familiar with what happens here, especially if you just enrolled and are new to us.  Today we’ll discuss what occurs on the first floor and in the basement, and tomorrow we’ll go upstairs to check out the second floor.   On the first floor we have our receptionist who answers phone calls, greets visitors and performs other tasks.  When you submit your application, it gets processed by the Admissions Department, and our newly-formed Transcript Department assists them by evaluating transcripts from students who already have high school credit.  On the other side of the floor we have the Purchasing Department which handles ordering books, office supplies and more.  The Student Service Department has a handful of employees downstairs to assist students who may come to our building to receive help.  Our Independent Study division, which assists thousands of schools across the country, is also on the first floor, as is our Shipping Department and book warehouse.  Whenever you need new paper-based course materials, they get packaged and shipped from that department.  In the basement we have plenty of storage, but nothing we have stored is more valuable than our student records, and those are managed by our Files Department.  We have information from millions of students, but we have room for millions more.  If you are curious what’s on the second floor, be sure to read tomorrow’s blog!

July 28, 2015

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

American School was recently nominated for the Better Business Bureau’s 2016 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. According to a BBB press release, the Torch Award is designed to promote not only the importance of ethical business practices, but also the willingness and efforts made by outstanding organizations to ensure that our country’s marketplace remains fair and honorable for all people. We have been recognized by the Better Business Bureau since 1934 and consistently earn their highest ratings. Like all companies, we are not perfect, but our 81 years of recognition and high ratings, along with the 2016 Torch Award nomination, are proof that we strive for outstanding customer service from the time a student enrolls until the student graduates and beyond.

July 10, 2015

American School Blog Celebrates Anniversary

It’s July 10, and 9 years ago tomorrow, we posted our first blog entry.  That’s a lot of Method Test Prep Mondays, Testimonial Thursdays, Flashback Fridays, and whatever is pertinent enough to post on Tuesdays and Wednesdays!  We do our best to post something every day our office is open, and we try to post a variety of things.  If you’re a regular reader, you know that we mix in profiles of students and graduates, announcements about new courses and services, information about historical events that happened on particular dates and much more.  This blog is one way we make information available as quickly as possible, but if you want to send the blog a birthday present, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Reading this blog regularly and visiting our social media sites will ensure that you’ll be among the first to know about our next exciting educational endeavor!

June 16, 2015

Today’s Special Occasion: The Stanley Cup

It’s June 16 and last night the Chicago Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six years, making many American School employees very happy in the process.  The Stanley Cup is perhaps the most revered trophy in all of sports, in part because the names of each player are engraved on it for posterity.  At American School, we’re looking forward to putting your name on something even more important than the Stanley Cup, namely your accredited high school diploma.  We have a wide variety of online and paper-based courses and diploma programs to fill every need.  Enroll today and let us help you achieve your one goal of becoming a high school graduate!

June 15, 2015

ISBE Visits American School

Last week a team from the Illinois State Board of Education visited us and carefully examined our entire operation. Some team members evaluated our academic offerings while others were focused on the physical plant. We are grateful for their visit, which will result in recommendations that will help make us an even better school for our students in Illinois, across the country and around the world.

June 9, 2015

American School Holds 77th Annual Scholarship Meeting

The 77th annual American School scholarship meeting is underway, and we’re excited to learn who this year’s 18 winners are. Three of the 18 will receive $2000 scholarships in the form of the R.T. Miller Founders Award, the Presidents Award or the Henry Buresh Alumni Award, and the other 15 will receive $1000 scholarships. This year’s $21,000 in scholarships will bring the all-time award total $823,200 spread out among 1,480 recipients. We are proud to help so many of our graduates attend the college or university of their choice and will be notifying this year’s winners soon.

February 25, 2015

American School Receives Century-Old Textbooks

One of the great things about being in business for more than a century is that we sometimes hear from people who have in their possession textbooks and other materials from our earliest days.  Carol from Colorado contacted our Public Relations Department last year and asked if we’d be interested in receiving some textbooks from 1906-1915, and we responded affirmatively.  Last week she sent seven textbooks in subject areas such as Commercial Vehicles, Mechanical Drawing, Elements of Electricity, Direct Current Motors, The Electric Current, Management Dynamo Electric Machinery, and Electrical Measurements.  Notice that, while most of those courses are not offered in the 21st century, we still have automotive, drawing and electricity courses in our curriculum.  Not only did Carol send us the books, but she also included a handwritten letter giving us a bit of backstory.  She wrote, “The one book with the name in it is how I acquired these.  That is my grandfather.  I don’t know if he was a student or just why he had the books.  He is gone now, so I cannot ask.  Please enjoy these books, use them for your library, archives, or what have you.  Thank you for still being a school that helps others to a greater understanding.”  Those words mean just as much to us as the seven textbooks she sent.  We thank Carol for her generosity and are happy to include her grandfather’s books in our archives!

December 17, 2014

American School Celebrates 117th Birthday

It’s December 17, and on this date in 1897 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts granted a charter that proclaimed American School to be an “educational institution not for profit,” a charter which has now guided us for 117 years. When R.T. Miller and his friends began their study by mail program in Boston more than a century ago, they were ahead of their time, to be sure, but even they probably had no idea what shape it would take or just how far and wide their new school would one day reach. More than a century later, and after shifts in educational offerings to adapt to the times and a move halfway across the country early in our existence, we are proud to say that we have helped more than three million students in more than 70 countries earn their high school diplomas. Most of them have earned credits by taking courses through the mail, as R.T. Miller intended, but our recent students have begun to take online courses and online exams to help them earn credits. We plan on offering many more online learning offerings in 2015 and beyond, but we have no plans to stop offering courses through the mail. Offering courses in multiple formats allows us to educate students in the way that is most comfortable for them, and in our 117-year history, the needs of the student have always come first. On our birthday, we’re grateful to all of our students–past, present and future–as well as their parents, teachers, school officials and others who impact their educations. We’re also grateful for our employees. Many of them are Double Decade Club members, which means they have been with us for at least 20 consecutive years, but all of them, whether they work in the instruction, curriculum, student service, admissions, accounting or shipping departments, are integral to the success of American School and its students. Thanks to them and to you, we look forward to another 117 great years of offering accredited high school courses at an affordable cost!

October 28, 2014

American School Holds 117th Annual Meeting

Today American School is holding its 117th annual meeting of trustees and corporate members. The annual meeting is a great opportunity to review the past year’s accomplishments–of which there were many–and set goals so that we can accomplish even more things which will benefit our students in the year to come.

September 15, 2014

Today’s Anniversary: The American School Blogger

It’s September 15, and on this date in 1998, the person who regularly writes this blog started at American School.  As you can guess, a lot has happened in the last 16 years.  For one thing, this blog didn’t exist back then.  Neither did the Online Student Center and Online Counselor Office, our online courses and online exams, or our Facebook and Twitter pages.  If this very web site even existed back then, it was in its very early stages and definitely looks nothing like it does today.  As you can see, technology has played a huge role in making American School the school it is today, but some things haven’t changed in the past 16 years.  We continue to offer a wide variety of paper-based courses and have no plans to change that and go entirely online because we know some students prefer to learn on paper while others prefer to learn online.  It’s our job to deliver courses in ways that give students the best chance for success.  In addition, we have a caring staff which is dedicated to helping students learn efficiently, whether their job is to enroll students, grade exams, send more supplies and books, handle billing inquiries, or take care of any of the other responsibilities entrusted to employees throughout the building.  We still keep our tuition to an absolute minimum and do our best to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to receive a high school education because of financial issues.  And finally, we continue to take our accreditation very seriously and are now accredited by three reputable accrediting bodies.  All of us, whether we’ve been employed by American School for 16 days, 16 months, 16 years or even longer than that as have many of our employees, look forward to serving you after you enroll and become our student.

August 6, 2014

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

American School is proud to be nominated for the Better Business Bureau’s prestigious 2015 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.  We are grateful for the nomination and proud of our 79-year affiliation with the Better Business Bureau, which recently gave us A+ ratings for striving to give students and schools the best service we can.  Our A+ grade is the highest a business can receive under the BBB’s new rating system, which replaces the previous ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ rating.  Letter grades are calculated by computer using a ratings formula that takes into account 17 weighted factors, the largest single factor being the company’s overall complaint history with the BBB.  While we are grateful for the Torch Award nomination and A+ rating, the real beneficiaries of such honors are our students.  They not only take courses from an accredited school but also one which is committed to doing business the right away.

July 11, 2014

Today’s Birthday: The American School Blog

It’s July 11, and on this date in 2006, the American School Blog posted its very first entry.  A lot has happened in the past eight years, most notably the expansion of our online learning offerings.  When we started this blog, we had no online courses whatsoever, and our web site as a whole was a far cry from what it is today.  Now we have more than 40 online courses, with more to come this fall.  We’re even planning to offer AP courses starting in August or September.  In addition, we’ve added several other online services.  Students can enroll and then make monthly payments.  They can also take online exams in select paper-based courses and check their progress in the Online Student Center.  We are happy to provide these online services to complement our long-standing paper-based services, and we’re grateful for the students who use these services as well as everyone who reads our blog on a daily basis.

June 19, 2014

College Choices of This Year’s Scholarship Finalists

This week’s blogs have all revolved around the scholarship meeting held on Tuesday. Yesterday we shared some interesting facts about this year’s finalists, and today we’re happy to share our finalists’ college plans. Often we get asked if American School graduates can attend college after earning our diploma, and the answer is a resounding yes! Our finalists are currently attending college at Northern Virginia Community College, New York University-Tisch School of the Arts, Lorain County Community College, Iowa State University, Snead State College, Everett Community College, Montgomery College, Saint Francis University, BYU-Idaho, Chattahoocee Technical College, the Royal College of Music, the College of Dupage, the University of Munster (Germany), Andrews University, SUNY-Adirondack, Hillsborough Community College, Liberty University, Southwestern Illinois College, Owens Community College, Temple University, Palm Beach State College, Portland Community College, Rock Valley College and the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Possible future schools for our finalists include Johns Hopkins University, Andrews University, MIT, Georgetown University, Loyola University Chicago, Boston College, Saint Louis University, Montgomery College, George Washington University, Bluegrass Community & Technical College, George Mason University, Kennesaw State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, SUNY-Potsdam, the University of South Florida, Southern Illinois University, Ohio State University, Florida Atlantic University, the University of Hawaii and Knox College. We are proud that our graduates continue their education at fine schools such as those listed above, but the schools listed in this blog are not the only schools our graduates attend. We keep a more detailed list on file and are happy to assist any of our students with the college admissions process.

June 17, 2014

American School Holds 76th Annual Scholarship Meeting

Today we held our 76th annual scholarship meeting, and before we notify the winners, we thought you’d be interested in knowing some interesting facts about this year’s finalists and the scholarship program itself. Among the 30 finalists we had 20 females and 10 males. Their ages ranged from 15 to 35, and their average GPA was 3.71. Four finalists had perfect 4.0 GPAs. The finalists resided in 19 different states and three foreign countries: Germany, England and France. Illinois and Maryland produced the most finalists with four apiece. Hobbies included ice dancing, crocheting, marksmanship, ballroom dancing, coin collecting, stamp collecting, vegetarianism, reading, singing, dancing, photography, cooking, gardening, writing, playing musical instruments and exercising. Notable career plans include becoming a behavioral neurologist, surface warfare officer in the Navy, doctor of osteopathy, EPA agent, international pediatric neurosurgeon, teacher, coach, athletic trainer, film producer, dermatologist, industrial engineer, project manager, musician or dentist. As you can see, this year’s finalists were a talented and diverse group. We are proud to count some of them among the 1,462 graduates who have received $802,200 in scholarships during the past 76 years.

December 17, 2013

American School Celebrates 116th Birthday

It’s December 17, and on this date in 1897, the American School received its charter to operate as a non-for-profit school. R.T. Miller, who was the principal founder of the American School, was an educational pioneer. In an age when a college education was primarily for the wealthy, technical schools were virtually non-existent and grade school completion was the exception. Miller wanted to expand educational opportunities, and his idea for doing so was to offer vocational and technical training through correspondence courses. Over time, we grew and moved our headquarters from Boston to Chicago, where we have remained since the early 20th century. Our focus has changed over time as well, from concentrating on vocational and technical courses to offering two high school diploma programs as well as an independent study program for students who wish to take individual courses for credit recovery or enrichment purposes while attending a local high school. In the coming year, the American School plans to develop a wider variety of online learning offerings so that R.T. Miller’s mission of providing a quality, cost-effective education to anyone who might desire one may continue for years to come.

October 22, 2013

American School Holds 116th Annual Meeting

The American School’s 116th Annual Meeting, held as a special meeting of the Board of Trustees and Members of the Corporation, was an occasion for those present to review the past year’s activities and look ahead to the future. A major accomplishment of the past year was the School securing new accreditation by Ai (Accreditation International) and NCPSA (the National Council for Private School Accreditation), an achievement which received special recognition from the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees, which consists of Roberta Allen, John Kemp, Gary R. Masterton, John McCulley and Mary McKeown, elected officers for the upcoming year, including President Gary R. Masterton and Executive Vice-Presidents Vincent J. Immordino and G. Marie Limback, who, along with Rene S. Villalva, will form the School’s Executive Committee. Those present also elected four new Members of the Corporation: Sunila Samuel, Valerie Riley, Judy Piscione and Cher Tufly, who are pictured from left to right in the photo below. The Annual Meeting may be over for another year, but our work of striving to offer our students the best and most affordable education in both paper-based and online formats continues every day. We look forward to working hard in the upcoming year to ensure the 117th Annual Meeting on October 28, 2014, will be as successful as this year’s.

September 25, 2013

American School Announces Accreditation from Ai and NCPSA

The American School is pleased to announce it has received accreditation from Accreditation International (Ai) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).  Accreditation by Ai and NCPSA means that the American School has met standards for defining appropriate educational goals and providing educational programs to achieve them; maintaining a qualfied faculty and an effective school organization; assessing outcomes of school experiences and controlling the quality of educational programs; responding to the concerns of parents and needs of the school community; providing for the continuity of its programs and planning for their future; describing with accuracy the content of its services and programs; and developing plans and activities for continuous school improvement.

September 11, 2013

Remembering William Hunding

On this Patriot Day, the American School remembers not only the lives lost 12 years ago today but also a patriot of our own. American Trustee and President Emeritus William H. Hunding, himself a veteran of the United States Army, passed away on Sunday, September 8.  During his 39-year career with the American School, Mr. Hunding served as Guidance Counselor and Treasurer before becoming the School’s sixth President in 1992, an office he would hold until he retired in 2006. After his retirement, he remained a Trustee and continued his active participation in the School’s scholarship program. He was also a member and one-time President of the Distance Education and Training Council, which is based in Washington, D.C.  On the occasion of his retirement, Mr. Hunding remarked, “It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with the dedicated and very professional staff of the American School. The most rewarding part has been and knowing that we have helped millions of students to achieve their goal of knowledge to be productive contributors to society.” He went on to say that “a task that was a pleasure instead of work was the personal touch of hand-signing thousands of American School diplomas.” The American School, however, wasn’t Mr. Hunding’s first career. After graduating from Coe College and shortly thereafter completing his military obligation, he served as Secretary/Treasurer of his family business, Hunding Dairy, until the dairy closed in 1967. At that time, Mr. Hunding, in his words, “decided to try my hand at providing another kind of nutrition. This time, for the brain…” Those of us who worked with him on a daily basis, as well as the thousands of students for whom he provided leadership, are glad he did.

July 8, 2013

American School Blog Celebrates 7th Birthday

The American School Blog is celebrating its 7th birthday this week!  Since its first entry on July 11, 2006, the blog has been a consistent source of information about what is happening at the American School.  Today the blog is supplemented by the School’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the All American newsletter, which can be found on our Community page.  We are pleased to provide you with so many different ways of receiving information from us and look forward to your continued likes, follows and readership the rest of the year!

December 17, 2012

American School Celebrates 115th Anniversary

It’s December 17, and on this date in 1897, the American School received a charter from the state of Massachusetts as an “educational institution not for profit.” 115 years later, that same charter still guides us. Ever since the day R.T. Miller founded the American School in Boston, the American School has been governed not by owners or by stockholders but by corporation members who have a great interest in the School, its students and the advancement of education. That’s not to say that nothing has changed in the past 115 years. In fact, plenty has changed, starting with the School’s location. We were only in Boston for five years before moving to Chicago in 1902 to partner with the Armour Institute of Technology, which today is called the Illinois Institute of Technology. When that five-year partnership ended in 1907, the School built its own headquarters in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. We remained at that location until we moved to our current location in Lansing, Illinois, in 1996. One of the many highlights of our time in Hyde Park was the development of the Benton Harbor Plan in 1922. The principal of Benton Harbor High School in Benton Harbor, Michigan approached us with the idea of using our courses to expand existing course offerings at his high school. Thus, our Independent Study program, which today serves thousands of high schools across the country, was born. In 1938, the American School awarded its first post-secondary scholarship to a deserving graduate, and in the 74 years that have followed, we’ve awarded nearly $800,000 in scholarships to our graduates. The American School continued to prosper in the decades that followed, and the 1970s brought further recognition. In 1974, the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges accredited the American School, making us the first private home study high school to earn accreditation by a regional accrediting body. Today we are accredited by NCA-CASI, an accreditiation division of AdvancED, an organization dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide. In 1978, the Illinois State Board of Education recognized us as a private secondary school, and we still hold this recognition today. Perhaps the biggest change in the past 115 years, though, has been our curriculum. Early courses included such subjects as Machine Shop Practice and Animal Husbandry and were done entirely on paper. Today’s subjects included more than 70 unique courses, with a variety of electives, and courses are delivered on paper and online. As you can see, the American School has adapted to the times, and as we enter 2013, we are poised to add to the American School’s excellent educational legacy.

October 23, 2012

American School Holds 115th Annual Meeting

It’s October 23, and today the American School is holding the 115th Annual Meeting of Trustees and Corporate Members. The meeting is an opportunity for us to look back at the accomplishments and challenges of the past year and begin to plan for the future. You’ll note that this is the 115th annual meeting. We’ve had one every year beginning in 1898, just months after our founding in late 1897. Our longevity adds to our credibility and helps set us apart from other distance learning schools.

July 17, 2012

Roberta Allen Presents Waterfall to American School

The recently-retired Roberta Allen wore many hats during her four-decade career with the American School, but, outside the office, she is an accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited in such places as Chicago and Southwest Michigan.  Yesterday she presented the American School with one such piece.  “Waterfall” now hangs in one of our two-story staircases.  We needed to hang it in a staircase because it is quite huge.  We are grateful to Roberta for giving us this beautiful piece of art.  It is the latest of her countless contributions to the American School.

July 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, American School Blog!

It’s July 11, and on this date 6 years ago, the American School blog posted its first entry.  If you read our blog yesterday, you know that our first entry was about the MLB All-Star Game that was taking place that night.  In the posts since then, we’ve tried to keep you informed as best as possible about what goes on at the American School on a daily basis.  There is always activity in our office, whether it be grading papers, processing requests for more books or supplies, updating student accounts, or producing new courses.  We’ve tried to highlight many of those.  In addition, we’ve done our best to keep you update on what some of our famous students and graduates have accomplished since completing their American School studies.  We’ve also posted our convention schedule so that prospective students can meet our representatives in person.  On days when we haven’t posted things of that nature, we’ve posted testimonials from our satisfied students.  On other occasions, we’ve celebrated famous people’s birthdays or recognized other special events or anniversaries and tied those to one of our courses or something else that’s going on at the American School. The American School Blog is a daily newsletter that gives you the most up-to-date information possible.  Check back tomorrow for another new entry.

July 3, 2012

Roberta Allen Retires

American School reached the end of an era last week when Roberta Allen retired after more than four decades of dedicated service.  In her American School career, Roberta wore many hats, including guidance director and instructor, but she spent the majority of her career as curriculum director.  In that capacity, she led the design, writing and editing of countless courses and study guides.  In fact, there is not a single course we offer today that does not have Roberta’s imprint on it in some way, shape or form.  At a dinner in her honor over the weekend, Roberta said that one of the greatest achievements of her life, along with being married for more than 40 years and having two children, was authoring the Planning Your Career course, which has helped tens of thousands of students determine which field of employment would be best for them in the future.  Those of us who were privileged to work with Roberta on a daily basis will miss her wisdom, guidance and humor around the office.  As she enjoys a happy and healthy retirement, we will use the skills Roberta taught us to give American School students an even richer educational experience.

June 29, 2012

American School Holds 74th Annual Scholarship Meeting

Today the American School is holding its 74th annual scholarship meeting.  Each year, our scholarship committee selects three graduates to receive $2000 scholarships and 15 other graduates to receive $1000 awards.  As usual, the selection committee had its work cut out for it.  This year’s applicants ranged in age from 15 to 23.  More than a third of them had a perfect 4.0 GPA, and the average GPA of the group was 3.87.  Popular hobbies of this year’s applicants included reading, cake decorating, rock climbing, hiking, horse training, and playing the piano, guitar or flute, and they lived in 21 states, from Alabama to Utah.  Winners will be notified shortly and will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the All American newsletter.  Since the program’s inception, the American School has awarded nearly $800,000 in post-secondary scholarships to our graduates.

June 4, 2012

American School Graduate Becomes Youngest U. of Chicago M.D. Recipient

Sho Yano, who earned his American School diploma in 2000 at age 9 and earned the W.L. Wright Scholarship the same year, is about to become the youngest recipient of an M.D. degree from the University of Chicago.  The Chicago Tribune outlined his journey in a front-page article that appeared in yesterday’s editions.  We are immensely proud of Sho and his accomplishments, as well as those of his sister, Sayuri, a 2006 American School graduate who is continuing her education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  Sho and Sayuri are two of the many examples of American School graduates who have gone on to do great things after earning their diplomas.

May 9, 2012

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

The American School is proud to announce that we have been nominated for a Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. The awards, sponsored by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, spotlight companies that exemplify ethical business practices. We are proud of our nearly eight decade affiliation with the BBB and very proud that the BBB consistently recognizes us by giving us their highest rating, which is A+.

March 23, 2012

Christopher Paolini Profiled in Rolling Stone

American School graduate Christopher Paolini was recently profiled in Rolling Stone magazine. The article takes a behind-the-scenes look at Chris’s life and mentions a certain accredited-distance learning institution. Read the article here.

December 17, 2011

Today’s Birthday: The American School

It’s December 17, and the American School is 114 years old today. From our humble beginnings in Boston, to our longtime home in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, to our present home in Lansing, Illinois, our mission has always been the same: to provide the best education we can. Thanks to all of you who have helped us reach our 114th birthday. We have big things planned for our 115th year, and we will announce them soon!

October 25, 2011

American School Holds 114th Annual Meeting

The American School held its 114th Annual Meeting of trustees and corporate members earlier today. The meeting is a great opportunity to look back at the accomplishments of the past year and set goals for the weeks and months ahead. This year, there were many accomplishments to report. Some of them, such as improvements to our facility and upgrades to our internal computer system, aren’t seen by those who do not work here, but they are important because they allow us to provide better service to our students. Other changes are more visible. These include the seven online courses that debuted in 2011, and that number will expand in early 2012 with the debut of additional online courses. Those who attended the meeting were proud of what the American School accomplished in the past year but are more determined than ever to make 2012 and the years to come even better. We hope to have pictures from the annual meeting posted on the community page of this site, and you can read more about the meeting in a future edition of the All American newsletter.

September 13, 2011

Bob Feller To Receive Lone Sailor Award

Former American School student Bob Feller posthumously will receive the United States Navy Memorial’s Lone Sailor Award at a September 22 banquet. According to the Navy Memorial’s Web site, “The Lone Sailor Award is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their respective civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. The 2011 award recipients will join an impressive list of men and women who have distinguished themselves by drawing upon their military experience to become successful in their subsequent careers and lives, while exemplifying the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.” Other 2011 recipients include actors Lloyd, Beau and Jeff Bridges, C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb and former baseball player and current broadcaster Jerry Coleman. Past recipients include former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

August 24, 2011

American School Renews Accreditation With Better Business Bureau

The American School recently renewed its accreditation with the Better Business Bureau–Chicago and Northern Illinois Chapter. This marks our 77th consecutive year of BBB accreditation. We are proud to be in a long-standing relationship with the Better Business Bureau and work hard to ensure that our students and their parents, as well as the school officials with whom we work, are completely satisfied with our services.

August 19, 2011

American School Nominated for BBB Torch Award

The American School has been nominated for the Better Business Bureau Torch Award, which recognizes excellence in business ethics and integrity. We are grateful for the nomination and are proud to have a long-standing relationship with the BBB.

August 17, 2011

College Plans of American School Scholarship Winners

One of the questions we’re most often asked is if colleges and universities accept our diploma. Thanks to our accreditation, the answer to that question is a resounding yes, but sometimes people go a step further and ask what specific schools have accepted our students. What better way to answer that question than to list the schools our scholarship winners plan to attend. Though is is just a small sample of the colleges and universities that have accepted our students, you’ll agree that the following list is both impressive and diverse. The schools are Rutgers, Excelsior College, BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, Arizona State, Liberty, East Central College, Montana State, Georgia Highlands College, Adams State College, Oklahoma, Spokane Community College, Pikes Peak Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, Idaho State, Kansas and New Mexico State.

June 15, 2011

American School Holds 73rd Annual Scholarship Meeting

Yesterday the American School held its 73rd annual scholarship meeting. The scholarship committee had a very difficult time selecting 18 winners from a group of more than 100 very qualified applicants. Winners will be notified shortly. To date, the American School has awarded more than $700,000 in post-secondary scholarships to our graduates, and information on entering next year’s scholarship competition will be available later this year or in early 2012.

March 25, 2011

American School Student Inspires Feature Film

American School student Bethany Hamilton is the subject of an upcoming feature film. The story of Hamilton, who was the victim of a shark attack while surfing and, as a result, lost an arm, will be told in Soul Surfer, starring Anna Sophia Robb, Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid and featuring Carrie Underwood. Look for Soul Surfer in theaters April 8. We hope you find Bethany’s story inspirational!

October 5, 2009

American School Receives Centennial Award

This past weekend, the Illinois State Historical Society presented the American School with a Centennial Award in recognition of the School’s 107 years of business in the state of Illinois. Originally founded in Boston in 1897, the School moved to Chicago in 1902 as part of a 5-year collaborative experiment with the Armour Institute of Technology, and the School has been headquartered in Illinois ever since. The American School is one of just 24 businesses or groups to receive a Centennial Award this year. Not only is this a significant achievement for the School, but it’s a significant achievement for our past, present and future students as well. It’s a sign that the American School has existed for a long time in part because it has adapted to the changing times. This is evident in recent years as the School has expanded its online presence, and we look forward to serving our students in the years to come.

May 28, 2009

American School Receives A+ Rating From BBB

The American School is pleased to announced that we have been given a grade of A+ by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. The A+ grade is the highest a business can receive under the BBB’s new rating system, which replaces the previous ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ rating. Letter grades are calculated by computer using a ratings formula that takes into account 17 weighted factors, the largest single factor being the company’s overall complaint history with the BBB. We are proud of our 75-year affiliation with the BBB and even prouder to receive this A+ rating. When you enroll with us, you can be assured that you’ll receive A+ service from us as you work to achieve A+ grades of your own on your way to your high school diploma.

March 13, 2009

American School Honored By Better Business Bureau

The American School received special recognition from the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois at the BBB’s 82nd annual dinner meeting. The BBB chose to honor us because we are in our 75th year of supporting their efforts to maintain ethical business practices in the marketplace. American School President Gary R. Masterton graciously accepted the award and described how we incorporate the BBB’s standards and values into our business model and policies. Other speakers and honorees include Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago television personalities Allison Rosati and Darlene Hill. We are proud of our affiliation with the Better Business Bureau because it helps us provide our students with the best service possible. We look forward to working with them for the next 75 years and beyond.

July 11, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday, American School Blog!

Today is July 11, and one year ago today, this American School Blog was born. In that very first blog, we talked about the Major League Baseball All-Star game, which was being played in Pittsburgh that evening, and how earning your high school diploma from the American School can make you an all-star too. Since then, this blog has had a starring role in giving you the latest American School information. For example, regular blog readers were the first to know about the opening of the American School’s online student center, the first to know about the American School’s 3,000,000th student, and the first to know about the American School’s new service of having your grades emailed to you. As we look back over the blog’s first year, we hope that this blog has been both informative and fun. As this blog begins its second year, we’re looking forward to doing more of the same, but even better. If this blog had a birthday wish, it’s that you tell your friends to read the blog too. Then even more people will become familiar with the American School and everything we have to offer.

December 12, 2006

American School Welcomes Three-Millionth Student

Recently the American School enrolled the three-millionth student in its storied 109-year history. Timothy Graziano, 15, of Tinley Park, Illinois, and his mother, Krista, visited the school last week, where they were given a tour of the building and received gifts commemorating Tim’s achievement. American School President Gary Masterton presented Tim with a certificate, an American School pen and pencil set and an American School watch, among other gifts. Other American School dignitaries joining in the celebration were Roberta Allen (Vice-President/Curriculum Director), John McCulley (Vice-President/Educational Director), Marie Limback (Prinicpal), Vince Immordino (Comptroller) and William Hunding (Trustee). Tim and Krista were very appreciative of the gifts they received. Even though they had never visited the School before, they knew about the American School because Tim’s brother, Tony, is also an American School student. ‘We enrolled Tim with the American School because we were familiar with it,’ Krista explained. ‘We knew what was expected, we are pleased with the customer service, and the School has an affordable montly payment.’ Tim is looking forward to a career in perhaps the education or medical fields, but before then, he is excited about taking the American School’s World History and Food Study courses, since becoming a chef is also a possible career option. When he visited the school last week, he also took note of the American School’s dedicated staff. ‘I was surprised by how many people work here,’ he said. ‘I thought it would be smaller, but it was definitely nice meeting everyone.’ And we at the American School enjoyed meeting Tim and Krista too. It’s not every day we meet our students and parents in person, but it’s not every day we enroll our three-millionth student either. We are already on our way to serving four million students, and you can be a part of it by enrolling today. You’ll receive the same outstanding customer service and affordable monthly payments that the Grazianos receive, and you’ll feel like a million bucks when you receive your American School diploma. Get started today!

Homeschooling has taught me a lot of new things.  It has taught me self-discipline and made me take my studies more seriously than before.  I have learned to study properly.  The books and materials were very helpful.  It is a fun experience to do homeschooling.  Many people are amazed to know that I did homeschooling.  This has opened and changed a lot of people’s minds.

– Jekah from United Arab Emirates

American School has more to offer than any public school.  Two of my children, two of my grandchildren, and one niece completed their high school education with American School, and my sister and I are enrolled at the present time.

– Marilyn from Missouri

I learned a lot, and the skills are helping me in my college classes.

The most important thing I learned was how to schedule my time and organize my work.  The study guides helped to show me how much work to do at one time.  I’m glad to be part of American School.

– Peter from Illinois

I have found the methods, instruction, textbooks, study guides and service satisfactory because they are all up-to-date and made ready for me to learn.  I am greatly thankful for this service because now I can graduate early with all my credits in.  Thank you very much, American School!

– Ada from Michigan

American School was an easy yet efficient way to earn the extra credit I needed to graduate.

– Elizabeth from Illinois

I greatly enjoyed American School.  The instructors’ comments were very helpful.  I enjoyed this method of learning.  I feel I have learned a lot more than I did in public school.  I was able to keep up with school through all the moves I made without going through the hassle of switching school systems.  I enjoyed the honesty of the

instructors and the overall program.   I will recommend American School to anyone interested.

– Enoch from Texas

Get Started Today. Choose a Program Below. 

Why you should enroll with American School…
We call these our Four C’s.

Curriculum

American School’s innovative paper-based and online curriculum offers something for everyone in grades 6-12. Students can choose from more than 100 self-paced courses in traditional subjects such as English, math, social studies and science and take electives in such subject areas as business, career and technical education, fine arts, and world languages,

Cost

As a not-for-profit institution, American School puts students’ educations first. Our tuition is affordable—much lower than many other distance education and online high schools—and all textbooks and study materials are included at no additional cost.  Monthly payment plans are available for students in full years of American School’s middle school or high school program.

Caring Student Service

When students are accepted at American School, they not only receive interesting curriculum at a reasonable cost from a pioneer in distance education; they also receive outstanding, caring student service.  Students may enroll anytime and work at their own pace.  Help is available from American School staff during business hours and around the clock in American School’s Online Student Center.

Credibility

Founded in 1897, American School later became the first correspondence school to become regionally accredited. Today we are accredited by three reputable accrediting bodies and by the state of Illinois as a non-public high school.  American School’s diploma is accepted by colleges and universities, and thousands of high schools use our courses for credit recovery.

Our Affiliations
Get Started Today. See what sets us apart from other distance education high schools.