Ingersoll Middle School, located in Canton, Illinois, currently houses students in the fifth through eighth grades. With a current enrollment of approximately 800 students, it is the only middle school that serves the Canton Union School District #66. CUSD #66, a charter district serving students in pre-kindergarten through high school, is comprised of five schools: Westview Elementary, Eastview Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Ingersoll Middle School, and Canton High School. The total student enrollment of the district is approximately 2800 students. The building presently known as Ingersoll Middle School was opened in 1968 as Canton Junior High School. It was constructed as a traditional junior high school, designed for approximately 1,000 students in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. In 1975, ninth grade students were moved to Canton High School. The same move brought sixth graders into the junior high school. The reformation of grade levels at the school also inspired a name change from Canton Junior High School to Ingersoll School. The start of the 1986-87 school year added the fifth graders to Ingersoll when CUSD #66 closed one of its four elementary buildings. In February 2000, Ingersoll opened and dedicated its new building addition. The much-needed addition houses five new classrooms, an all-purpose room, restrooms, and additional storage space.
In the mid 1990's, Ingersoll began its transition from a traditional junior high school to a true middle school, a move it had been planning for years. Middle school structure, practices, and philosophies were put into action in the fifth grade during the 1994-95 school year. The following school year saw the sixth grade implement the middle school structure. By the 1996-97 school year, Ingersoll was completely immersed in middle school philosophy and practice. Ingersoll continues to operate under the middle school concept.
Ingersoll has all of the essential elements of a middle school including a daily advisory period, daily team planning time, and a variety of exploratory offerings at each grade level. Each grade level has 190 to 220 students and is divided into two equal teams to create smaller learning communities. A total of eight core teams have been created within the building. The master schedule, traditional in appearance, allows teachers to “flex” their periods to accommodate a variety of curricular activities.
A true strength of Ingersoll is the staff's dedication to achieving its mission. Ingersoll Middle School is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe environment and a dynamic educational program which meet the unique intellectual, physical, emotional, and social needs of the early adolescent learner. A strong school community relationship emphasizing good communication is important to the success of this mission.
Ingersoll Middle School staffs more than sixty full and part-time certified personnel. This includes the principal, the assistant principal, a full-time counselor, a part-time school psychologist, and a media specialist. In addition, Ingersoll provides a variety of special programs including instruction for students with learning, behavior, developmental, and emotional disabilities. The Ingersoll Multiple Disabilities Program was added in the fall of 2002 to provide service for Canton students with several disabilities. Title I services are also offered. Ingersoll also offers accelerated programs in math and language arts at all grade levels. A complete band program is offered to students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, and chorus is offered in seventh and eighth grades.
In 1997, the Association of Illinois Middle Schools, AIMS, designated Ingersoll with the distinction of Demonstration School and Ingersoll became part of the Illinois Middle Grades Network. For the 2001-02 school year, Ingersoll was selected for a second time to serve as a demonstration school. This network draws upon the expertise of teachers and principals in the field and provides on-going professional development experiences. Building-to-building mentor relationships are established and technical assistance is provided to all schools through the efforts of AIMS and the Illinois State Board of Education Carnegie Project staff. Each year a new round of Demonstration and Partnership Schools are admitted into the Network. In May 2000, Mr. Phillip R. Murphy, retiring principal, was recognized by AIMS for his visionary leadership and steadfast support of middle-level education in Illinois and as one of AIMS 1976 founding members.