A New Year for Naperville’s District 203

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Kids grabbed their backpacks and made their way to class for the first day of school in District 203.

While many students were sporting new clothes and new haircuts, many of the school buildings themselves also got a makeover, one of the most noticeable being the new front entrance at Naperville North High School.

“I‘m amazed by how many people will stop or drive through and stop at the main entrance and look at it and talk about it,” said Principal of Naperville North, Stephanie Posey. “Everyone’s been very interested in the process, obviously it’s been under construction virtually since the last day of school all the way up until we started school today.”

This new entrance adds increased security and helps with heating and cooling the building.

Both Naperville North and Naperville Central got new Business INCubator classrooms, where students will work hand in hand with local businesses as part of their coursework.

And changes also took place at the junior high and elementary school levels, with seven more schools converting their libraries to learning commons.

“You’re still going to see books, you’re still going to see students researching, you’re still going to see teachers coming in and collaborating with students in small groups and large groups,” said Director of Innovation and Learning in District 203, Jill Hlavacek. “You’re going to see a focus on really literacy growth and the shifts are more about how do we broaden that definition of literacy knowing that we have a digital learning initiative that we’re working with in the district.”

Now all students in 203 are using Chromebooks or tablets, and these new learning commons provide flexible space for collaboration and learning with those devices.

“So you’ll see some of the quiet spaces where students can go to work in small groups or for quiet reading or study. You’ll see spaces where they can go to be loud and messy,” added Hlavacek.

District 203 is also rolling out new Social and Emotional Learning curriculum across all academic levels and new science curriculum in the junior highs.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.