First-class operation: It’s back-to-school time
BY TINA AKOURIS email@example.com August 16, 2013 10:26PM
Joliet Township High School student Alexus Rico received a laptop computer at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year as part of the implementation of the district’s one-to-one technology program. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 19, 2013 10:08AM
With temperatures expected to climb into the mid-80s and perhaps even reach 90 in the coming week, it is going to feel more like summer than the start of the school year for many students in the Joliet area.
The three high schools in Joliet Township High School District 204 — Joliet West, Joliet Central and the district’s alternative school — have their first day of classes on Monday. It will be a full day of school.
For the second consecutive year, freshmen, sophomores and some juniors will be given laptops to use throughout the school year. It’s called the One-to-One Technology program, and by 2014, every student should have a laptop to use both in and out of school.
“It’s been very successful and our kids have been very responsible, and lost devices have been very minimal,” district spokeswoman Kristine Schlismann said.
A new option for some students involves getting advanced-placement credit. Schlismann said the district received a grant for AP classes, which allows freshmen to take an AP course for the first time and begin earning college credit almost immediately in their high school academic careers.
Selected incoming freshmen already have been through what’s called “advanced placement boot camp,” Schlismann said, where they could prepare in advance for that first AP course.
“The AP classes allow students to take college-level courses in high school and get college credit,” Schlismann said.
Also new this year was a technology boot camp that teachers in District 204 went through to get up to date on advances in the classroom. Teachers also went through more development to get up to date on common core state standards.
Joliet Catholic Academy’s first day of school is also Monday, but it is a half-day. The first full day is Tuesday.
The first day of school for the 21 elementary and junior highs in District 86 also is Monday, a full day.
In Troy Community Consolidated School District 30C, classes begin Wednesday and students will be going a full day. District 30C includes parts of Joliet, Shorewood, Channahon, Crest Hill and unincorporated Troy Township.
Thursday was the first day of school for all 30 schools in Plainfield District 202, which includes the four high schools — Plainfields East, South, Central and North.
A new program at District 202’s Indian Trail Middle School debuts this month with the start of the school year. The program is called PAWS (Positively Affecting Wildcat Success) Pack, a peer-mentoring program where eighth-graders will mentor groups of sixth-graders throughout the school year. The older students’ goal is to help the sixth-graders get used to being in middle school and dealing with adolescence.
Indian Trail is the first of the district’s seven middle schools to implement the PAWS program. Both groups of students met each other for the first time on Aug. 8, about a week before school started.