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updated: 8/20/2014 5:17 PM

New year begins to 'Celebrate 203'

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  • Students converge on Madison Junior High School in Naperville for the first day of classes Wednesday in Naperville Unit District 203. The school got a $769,000 front entrance and vestibule this summer to increase safety.

      Students converge on Madison Junior High School in Naperville for the first day of classes Wednesday in Naperville Unit District 203. The school got a $769,000 front entrance and vestibule this summer to increase safety.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

A new front entrance for one school, a renovated science lab for another and students ramping up toward all-day kindergarten at seven more marked the first day of classes Wednesday in Naperville Unit District 203.

Students attending Madison Junior High were greeted by a new front entrance and vestibule built for $769,000 this summer to increase safety and improve energy conservation.

Students at Naperville North High School saw a chemistry room that used to be an art space updated to offer more lab stations, power outlets hanging from the ceiling and its own distilled water tank.

And some of the district's youngest students participated in a "sneak peek schedule" at seven locations where all-day kindergarten is being offered for the first time this year, including Highlands, Kingsley, Maplebrook, Meadow Glens, Prairie, Ranch View and Steeple Run elementary schools.

Superintendent Dan Bridges began the year about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday by giving doughnuts to school bus drivers and said he planned to stop by all 24 schools and sites in the district on the first day.

District officials said they are beginning the year with a "Celebrate 203" theme to recognize developments including the availability of all-day kindergarten at all elementary schools, a new English and language arts curriculum and a new online learning consortium with neighboring Indian Prairie Unit District 204 and Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200.

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