It’s that time of year again!  
 
For the students of the Hanover Park Regional High School District, “that time” means selecting next year’s schedule of classes. Fortunately, this year’s course offerings appeal to a variety of interests, from new electives in several disciplines to challenging AP and college credit courses.  
 
The Career Pathways Brochure, which is easily accessed on the each school’s web page, gives students and their parents a clear understanding of sequenced elective clusters and outlines all required classes. The district’s goal in providing this detailed brochure is to give students a sense of academic direction and purpose while allowing them to visualize how various courses of study build upon each other. Options are broken down into Business, Law & Government, Human Services, Fine, Practical & Performing Arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses. These pathways are designed to guide students as they navigate the path of educational opportunity and are aligned with post-secondary college and career interests. 
 

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When college is a consideration, the district’s Return of the Graduates program is a must for seniors.  Each December, current students get the naked truth about college from those who graduated before them. Designed to take place in a casual setting, conversation topics range from cafeteria food to getting along with roommates, managing time effectively to homesickness, and of course the rigor of college courses. Graduates emphasize the high school courses that prepared them for college academics and offer encouragement to their audience.  One recent participant commented, “AP Literature was one of my most difficult classes in high school, but when the time came for me to write a research paper, I was prepared. Most of my classmates struggled in this area, and I am thankful for having stuck it out.” Another urged his friends in the audience not to waste opportunities in high school: “I should have been more involved; I should have joined more clubs.” These hind-sighted reflections arm our seniors with insight and provide another perspective to help guide their choices during a crucial, but confusing time. 
 
Making prudent choices and seizing opportunities permeates the culture of the Hanover Park Regional High School District. In order to provide an even wider array of academic options for students to seize, the administration and faculty have collaborated on several new course offerings. The district constantly searching for new ideas that will spark passion among its students. One unique new addition to the roster is a semester course entitled Mindfulness, Resilience, and Wellness; in this class students will learn to handle the everyday stresses of school, family, and life. By addressing 21st century concerns and teaching students the skills of resilience and reflection, the district aims to equip its young men and women with skills that will serve them in their future academic pursuits and beyond. In addition to exciting new electives, seniors, who take two semester courses in English,  now have another option.  Joining the five existing courses currently offered, they may now elect to take Memoirs: The Literature of Personal Stories. Memoirs provide a rare opportunity to peek into the lives of others and consider new experiences, perspectives, and belief systems; in this course students will study the various devices used by memoir authors to recreate their personal world for readers. In the creative realm, students can now take Studio Art, a course that allows them to their develop artistic skills while finding their unique voice through several media, including: drawing, painting, printmaking, and other two-dimensional platforms.  AP Art History is now also available to the student body; in this rigorous course, students will cultivate their understanding of global art history through analyzing an array of creative works through various lenses.  
 
The Hanover Park Regional High School District strives to appeal to the diverse interests and talents of its student body, as can be seen in its rich and varied course offerings and manifold extracurricular activities.  There is a place for everyone in the schools of the Hanover Park Regional High School District! “We take pride in our students and our schools.  We want to give every opportunity for all of our students and help guide the students in a career path that best suits them.” said Noemi Schlecht, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. 
 
And this is what “that time” of year is all about!  It’s a time to reflect, look ahead, and plan for an exciting future. At Hanover Park Regional High School District, there are no wrong paths only avenues toward success.