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Reimagined Junior High Elective Structure Increases Student Choice

A reimagined junior high elective course structure will provide students with more opportunities to select classes that meet their interests and align to Naperville 203’s college and career pathways.

The new structure –– approved by the Naperville 203 Board of education on Monday, Dec. 18 – will increase junior high students’ exposure to courses in Engineering, Computer Science, Fine Arts, and Family & Consumer Sciences (FACS).

“We want to provide students with more opportunities to participate in relevant, college, and career exploratory options,” Naperville 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said. “This comprehensive approach reflects our dedication to providing our students with a menu of options and opportunities for academic success and a seamless transition to postsecondary education.”

These changes are possible due to the introduction of a rigorous, one-year Spanish and French course. Previously, students who elected to study a foreign language made a two-year commitment in seventh grade. Now, junior high students will explore elective courses for an additional year before deciding whether or not to commit to studying a foreign language in eighth grade. Students who complete these junior foreign language courses will continue to enter high school at the same Level 2 course as they did in previous years.

Seventh grade students currently enrolled in Spanish or French will not be affected by this change. Those students will complete their second year of foreign language, as planned, in the 2024-2025 school year.

The Board of Education also approved two new courses In alignment with the restructured elective schedule. A new Code Explorers class will allow students to gain exposure and practice with computer coding while developing problem-solving skills, and the new Project Lead The Way Computer Science for Innovators & Makers class will teach students that computer programming goes beyond the virtual world and into the physical world.