Greetings from NCHS. We are in the middle of our summer break in District 203, and I hope that students and families are having a nice summer. Many of our students are staying involved in school during the summer. Approximately 800 students are attending summer school held at Naperville North. Summer school is six weeks in length, and most students attend from 7:30 am – 12:20 pm five days/week. It provides an opportunity for students to learn, earn credit, possibly create room for an elective course in their upcoming schedule, get ahead, or catch up. I applaud the students and staff for their dedication and commitment during the summer, and know they are also looking forward to the conclusion of summer school on July 14th.
Many of our students have attended or are currently participating in summer athletic camps or marching band camp. These camps are not mandatory, but provide an excellent opportunity for students to improve their skills and prepare for the upcoming school year season. I am always impressed with the dedication and commitment of our students and staff who realize that hard work and a positive attitude are usually the ingredients that produce success. The same is true for most endeavors—whether in or outside of school.
Registration is scheduled for August 8th, 9th, and 10th at NCHS. Families should have received packets sent to homes recently to prepare for registration. It works best for our school and students to participate in registration on the designated date/time. This allows for the necessary preparation for the many details needed to get a good start to the school year. Anyone with a question related to registration is encouraged to call NCHS at 630-420-6420 between 7:00 – 3:00 pm Monday-Friday.
I’m looking forward to another amazing school year. I am very fortunate to serve as principal in a school filled with incredible students, supported by great families, and led by a dedicated and caring staff. It’s always GOOD TO BE A REDHAWK!
It’s hard to believe that there are only a few remaining days for the school year. I am looking forward to May 17, when we will celebrate commencement with the class of 2017. It has truly been a pleasure to interact with this group of seniors. Our students consistently display great behavior, and this has been especially true for our senior class. There are numerous academic achievements, athletic awards, and other accomplishments to be proud of. However, I am most proud of their respectful behavior and outstanding conduct during their time at NCHS.
Final exams are scheduled for May 23rd, 24th, and 25th. The district calendar is published and shared with all families, and it’s important (and expected) that our students are in attendance for the three days of final exams. If a student has three rigorous exams on the same date, he/she can speak with one of the teachers to make arrangements to move the exam to either the “make-up” period or another date. The final exam schedule is posted on our website under “Quick Links”.
With summer only a few weeks away, NCHS will once again provide opportunities for our students to learn and grow. Many families and students take advantage of high school summer school, hosted this year at Naperville North. Bus transportation is provided, and this can provide an opportunity for students to accelerate and continue learning during June and July. We will again offer a variety of summer camps for extra-curricular events and athletics, and hope that students and families will consider taking advantage of healthy opportunities provided at NCHS and in District 203.
As our school year comes to a close, I would like to congratulate all of our students who reached their goals and found success this year. In particular, our graduating seniors who have concluded an exciting and challenging journey through the year. Our students typically enter the next phase of their lives confident and well-prepared. If we were successful, our students will demonstrate the five strands of our district mission in whatever they encounter. Good luck with whatever adventures lie ahead, and remember that it’s GOOD TO BE A REDHAWK!
Greetings! We have reached the point in the school year where students and families are selecting courses for next year. This is an extremely important step for students, teachers, and administrators at NCHS. I’d like to encourage all families to check in with your student(s) about course selection decisions for next year, and consider the factors listed below.
It’s helpful for students and families to be aware of the required courses, but counselors ultimately will check to confirm that these required courses and credits are being met.
Students should seek to take courses that they find interesting and/or might be helpful leading to a post-secondary option that they are considering. We have many valuable elective opportunities at NCHS, and these decisions are often the most challenging for our students and families. Students should enjoy their elective courses and choose elective courses that are valuable for their future.
Students and families should always consider the rigor of the schedule that lies ahead next year. Some of our courses are more time-consuming and demanding than others. If a student or parent isn’t sure about the rigor of a course, speaking with the counselor, teacher, or a friend who has taken the course can be very helpful with your decision. I feel that 70% of our students should sample at least one Advanced Placement (“AP”) course or a “dual credit” course before leaving NCHS to build confidence and preparation for life after high school. Students and families should be careful not to select courses which are too easy or too difficult, but select courses and a schedule that provides a reasonable challenge.
There are many resources available on our school website (click on “Student Services”, “Course Selection & Registration” and to the left “Program Planning Guide”)to help with course selection decisions. Of course, you can always contact a guidance counselor or department chair for assistance as well.
Best wishes for the remainder of the school year. It’s good to be a Redhawk!
Greetings from NCHS. December is always an interesting and unique month during the school year at NCHS. There are two primary reasons for this. Final exams, and preparing for course selection for next year. I’d like to elaborate on both of these important topics.
Most courses at NCHS include final exams. The details associated with final exams are different depending on the course. Some final exams are comprehensive, assessing learning that was expected from the beginning of the semester to the end. Some final exams are actually projects or presentations, which are designed for students to demonstrate their learning. Most final exams contribute 10-15% towards the semester grade, so they are very important for our students. If a student has three rigorous final exams on the same day, the student may ask one of the teachers to move a final exam to another day. Preparing and taking final exams can also be a valuable experience in preparation for college, where most courses include final exams.
Preparing for course selection is also an important time for 11th, 10th, 9th, and 8th grade students. December is the month when we expect students to begin thinking about next year’s courses. Some courses are mandatory for graduation, but many of our courses are elective. There are many resources available at NCHS to help students and families with course selection. The “Program Planning Guide” available on our school website is a great resource for researching courses to choose from. This can be found on the NCHS website under “Student Services”, “Course Selection & Registration”, and “Program Planning Guide”. Feel free to contact your guidance counselor with any question regarding course selection. Our guidance counselors are familiar with all of our courses and the course selection process.
Enjoy the fun challenges during the month of December, thank you for supporting NCHS, and thank you for contributing to the success of our school. Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable holiday break. IT’S GOOD TO BE A REDHAWK!
Welcome to NCHS! The school year is off to a great start, with lots of valuable learning experiences taking place. It is my goal that all of our students have valuable learning experiences. This typically involves challenges and hard work. Nobody ever says that being successful is easy. The teachers at NCHS have high expectations for our students, but also provide support and assistance for those who need it. Our teachers are willing to support and assist students, and we have built further assistance for those who need extra support before and after school.
If a student needs extra academic support (the first step should always include directly contacting the teacher), using our website please click on “Academics”, “Academic Support”, and “5 Ways to Get Support” to learn about opportunities available to students before school, during lunch periods, and after school.
I strongly encourage students to get involved in at least one extra-curricular program while at NCHS. Graduating students consistently report that one of their best experiences while at NCHS was being involved in an extra-curricular program. In addition to the growth that takes place, college admissions offices are always impressed with high school students who are involved in positive activities outside of the school day.
I hope that everyone is having a nice summer break. While there is no school taking place at NCHS during the summer, the school is still open in the event anyone needs to stop by. The Student Services office is open each day from 7:00 – 1:30 pm, with a guidance counselor available for students or families. The main office is open each day from 7:30 – 3:00 pm.
As we begin to think about the upcoming school year, I’d like to remind everyone of the importance of a positive attitude and mindset. A few years ago I was introduced to the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. I found it fascinating. The book explains that in general there are two approaches towards learning. A fixed mindset believes that we are born with certain abilities that cannot be changed. A growth mindset (the best approach) believes that we can learn, grow, and improve. I’d like NCHS to be filled with people with growth mindsets, believing that we are capable of great things and that we can all learn and improve. It may take some of us longer than others, but with persistence and the right attitude we can all achieve and succeed.
Best wishes for the remainder of the summer. I’m looking forward to an awesome 2016-17 school year!
NCHS attempts to maintain a balance of tradition and innovation. We have many strong traditions that include high academic expectations, highly involved students and staff, a large menu of academic and extra-curricular choices, and a very friendly atmosphere in our building.
In addition to the traditions in place at NCHS, we are constantly changing and adding new ideas to improve our school experience for students. I’d like to provide a short explanation of a few of the new practices in place at NCHS this year.
We are now offering a dedicated location on the 2nd floor for students to make up tests or possibly a test re-take. If a student is absent and misses a test, the student can visit the testing center before school or during his/her lunch period to make up the test at a later date. Students will need to make arrangements with their teacher.
Before School Academic Help
We’ve had before school academic help in the past, but new courses have been added this year. For students who arrive to school early (particularly bus riders), academic help from a teacher is available in the following: Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Writing, and Spanish.
Digital Learning Initiative (DLI)
All students were issued a chrome-book at the beginning of the school year. This provides all of our students with a valuable learning resource, and all teachers are assured that each student has the same device for learning activities. Most of our teachers use Canvas as a resource for students (or parents) to access information from home, and some of our teachers have additional learning resources that can help students reinforce or review learning standards outside of the classroom walls.
NCHS will never be perfect, and we will continually strive to make improvements for our students and their learning experiences. I am very proud of our school, and we will our best to provide a high quality education for everyone who walks through our doors. Enjoy the remainder of the semester and continue to embrace the fun challenges that lie ahead!
As we near the end of the first semester, we are soon approaching the time of the year when students will be making course selections for next year. This is a very important decision for students and families, and can impact the future direction of our students. I believe that many of our students should consider selecting an AP course when deciding which courses are best for next year.
NCHS offers 26 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. That’s a comprehensive menu for students and families to consider! AP courses follow a college curriculum, and essentially offer students a college-level classroom experience while in high school. We know that 96% of our students enroll in college after graduation, and an AP course can help to prepare students for the future. Each year in the Spring, many of the students enrolled in AP courses will take the AP exam. The exams are graded on a 1 – 5 scale (with a score of “5” being the highest), and students earning a score of 3 of better typically earn college credit for the course. This can certainly help prepare students, give students confidence, and even help students and families financially.
In the current senior class of 2016, 56% of the students have taken or are currently enrolled in an AP course. I’m proud of these students, and think this is great. However, this means that over 40% of our seniors will graduate without trying an AP course. I’d like to see more of our graduating seniors taking at least one AP course. If you feel your student is interested, willing, and able to succeed in an AP course, please talk to your guidance counselor about the possibility of choosing an AP course for next year. If you or your student isn’t sure whether he/she is prepared to succeed, consider communicating with a teacher or department chair in addition to the guidance counselor to gather feedback.
I’m happy that NCHS offers such a wide variety and range of courses for our students to consider. Please spend some time with your student discussing the course selection process for next year. Sometimes the experience in a high school class can significantly impact the future life of a student.
Best wishes for a great “home stretch” of the first semester, and best wishes for the upcoming holiday break. Go Redhawks!
The 2015-16 school year is underway! The staff at NCHS continues to try to serve our students and families by providing a high quality learning experience for all of our students. We have many opportunities for our students, and I hope that all of our students do their best to learn and grow. I’d like for students and families to know about one way to consider and measure academic growth during these important years of high school.
One of the methods used to measure students’ academic growth is known as the EPAS path. The EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT exams make up the parts of ACT’s Educational Planning and Assessment System, known as EPAS. This is one of the assessment systems schools can use to track student progress on college and career readiness skills. Below you will find important information about how to interpret the meaning of the scores on EPAS exams. I hope that by providing this information students and families can have critical conversations about future plans and academic preparation while at NCHS.
8th grade students in our district take the EXPLORE test in the Fall. The PLAN is given in the Spring of 9th grade. The practice ACT is given to 10th graders in the Spring. The state mandated ACT is taken in the Spring of 11th grade. These exams are scored by ACT, and a report is generated and share with families. Each of these exams generates an overall Composite Score. These scores are sent to each family and can be used to measure student progress.
All of the EPAS assessments are scored in a similar way and measure similar College Readiness Skills. Unlike the ACT, which has a maximum score of 36, the PLAN has a maximum score of 32, and the EXPLORE has a maximum score of 25. All three exams provide a score in the four tested areas (English, Reading, Science, and Math) and a Composite Score. The Composite Score is an average of the other sub-scores. The Composite Score is used by colleges to determine overall achievement, and in many cases, placement.
Though every student works at a different pace, ACT predicts that a student’s Composite Score will increase by 2-3 points between EXPLORE in 8th grade and the PLAN in 9th grade. Similarly, they predict that a student’s Composite Score will increase by 2-3 points between the PLAN and the ACT in the spring of the 11th grade. These ranges should provide insight about the kind of growth that ACT predicts a student should make over the course of his/her high school career.
Most of our students feel their ACT score is important. I hope that families and students will use the results of the EXPLORE, PLAN, and practice ACT to help in the goal of a successful score on the ACT. If you have questions or would like advice regarding preparation for these tests, please contact your guidance counselor.
Let’s all do our part to make this a great school year!
The 2014-15 school year is over. It was definitely a fun challenge! I hope
that all of our students learned and grew during the school year, and achieved
success. Now that the school year is
over, we are planning and organizing details for the 2015-16 school year.
One of the biggest changes for NCHS will be our Digital
Learning Initiative. Every student will
be issued a Google Chromebook device at registration in August. This will help assure that all of our
students have equal access to digital learning resources during the school year. This will be an exciting opportunity for our
students and teachers to have access to resources and information throughout
the school day and throughout the school year.
It will be new, so we know there will be some “bumps” in the road. Any time we try something new, and change our
routine, it is natural to encounter a few challenges. However, we are excited about the endless
possibilities this will bring to our students and their learning experience.
Enjoy the summer, keep learning, and stay healthy.
FOCUS 2020 is the strategic plan for comprehensive improvement between 2014 and 2020, designed in response to community feedback, best practice, and a vision for the future. Ultimately, this blueprint will advance the fulfillment of the district’s mission.
FOCUS 2020’s foundation is the Future Focus Community Engagement process that occurred over the course of a year where hundreds of members from across the community provided feedback to the district leadership regarding areas such as facilities, finances, measuring student success, and programs of study. Learn more about Future Focus by clicking on the specific “Quick Link” to the left of this text.
The Blueprint includes four “Strategic Focus” areas, namely to:
Design and implement effective practices that promote learning experiences for all.
Foster a high-performance culture focused on student learning.
Steward resources effectively to promote student learning.
Effective communication and community relations.
Each Strategic Focus then establishes “Commitments.” These commitments are what the district leadership pledges to accomplish within a distinct timeframe. Each commitment then includes a detailed “Action Plan” which will be accessible by the public upon final draft.
District administrators provided an update on Blueprint Commitments to the Board of Education at the July 27, 2015 meeting. To watch that presentation, please click here.