contentsJoliet IL Chamberads

Lifelong Learning


Empowering students “to become lifelong learners, responsible citizens and caring members of their communities” is the mission of Joliet Public Schools District 86. District 86 provides many opportunities for children to learn. In addition to language arts, mathematics, science, social science, fine arts, physical development and health instruction, the district provides early childhood instruction, full-day kindergarten, academic enrichment, bilingual education, before and after school and comprehensive special services programs.

More than 11,250 children, early childhood through eighth grade, attend one of the district’s 21 schools. In addition, construction is currently underway for a new elementary school located on the campus of Gompers Junior High School on the east side of Joliet. More than 600 students attend this school.

Families have a choice to send their children to a neighborhood school or one of four magnet schools in District 86. Eisenhower Academy and Washington Junior High and Academy accept students in grades 1-8 who demonstrate average and above academic achievement and positive behavior. Forest Park Individual Education (I.E.) School and the I.E. program housed at Hufford Junior High School offer a program based on the Individual Education philosophy that provide students unique educational choices. The program offers academic, socialization and creative components, along with stressing the development of Responsibility, Respectfulness, Resourcefulness and Responsiveness.

Student test scores continue to improve every year. Since 2004, District 86 student test scores have increased by 27.8 percent in mathematics and 20 percent in reading achievement. District administrators, teachers and staff continue to learn new strategies and implement programs that will assist all children in overcoming the achievement gap.

Extracurricular activities are available to all District 86 students. Band and orchestra begin in fourth grade and choir starts in sixth grade. In addition, basketball, cross country, soccer, volleyball and wrestling are offered to all junior high school students. Additional after-school activities at many schools include art, ballroom dancing, chess, homework and quilting clubs. Parents are encouraged to be involved in all District 86 schools by attending parenting sessions, family nights and parent organization meetings throughout the school year.

For more information about Joliet Public Schools District 86, visit or call (815) 740-3196.


With two campuses, Joliet Township High School District 204’s unique educational heritage combines the best of tradition with the best in modern technology.

The Joliet Central Campus sits proudly in downtown Joliet. Its limestone structure at 201 E. Jefferson Street was built at the beginning of the 20th century and has been modernized over the decades. It serves as a stone-and-mortar symbol of opportunity.

The Joliet West Campus, located at 401 N. Larkin Ave., grew out of the prosperous growth that has fueled Joliet since the 1940s. The expansive campus is a testament to managing growth while maintaining excellence.

Together these two schools combine to form a district that has been praised by recent Illinois State School Superintendents as “a Lighthouse” and as “an Honor Roll School.”

Even though the halls of both schools are lined with state and national championship trophies for academics, music, athletics and vocational programs, the real story is much more ingrained in the fabric of the Joliet region.

From its founding in 1899, the Joliet Township High School District was extraordinary. Joliet Junior College was located at the Central Campus, which makes the nation’s oldest junior college a unique part of the school’s treasured past. Students were offered six years of education, and seniors would graduate and move directly to JJC – at no cost to their families.

This new reality was crafted for the immigrants who worked in the area’s mills, quarries and industrial facilities who had decided to make a home in Joliet. The children of those new Americans would have the chance to learn the skills that would give them a better life than their parents.

In addition to math and science, students in the earlier days of JTHS could broaden their horizons by taking French and Latin classes. Specialty programs, such as Agriculture and Bookkeeping, made JTHS a leader in the academic community. There was an emphasis on preparing graduates to be contributing members of society who were ready to compete and contribute in the workplace. These words are still in the JTHS Mission Statement today.

The Joliet Township High School District has continued to evolve and grow. Today, these comprehensive high schools have been reshaped into Academies such as Human Services or Engineering and Technology. These “schools within a school” give today’s students a huge head start on their post-secondary pathway. They also benefit from lessons that are taught with an extra measure of relevance. Using practical education methods, the students are shown just how they will use subjects such as Algebra or Biology after they leave high school.

With the addition of thousands of new residents to Joliet, the district has kept pace. Recent construction has added more than 60 classrooms at the two campuses, helping the district keep up with the demands of one of the nation’s fastest-growing areas. JTHS has also completed the construction of two fully equipped field houses. These allowed the district to expand the physical education and sports programs at each campus.

With award-winning academic programs and facilities designed to meet the needs for decades to come, the Joliet Township High School District also focuses on going that extra mile to help students maximize every opportunity. While always focusing on raising the academic bar, we also know that in this competitive job market, students need an extra advantage. The YESS program brings in community partners who help students through the social and psychological hurdles that steal focus from academics. Both schools also offer job shadowing and internship programs with local businesses.

With a historic past and a bright future, Joliet Township High School is poised to not only educate, but enrich the students for years to come.

For more information, visit


The public school route is not one every student takes. Thankfully, Joliet is home to the esteemed Joliet Catholic Academy, a Roman Catholic co-educational college preparatory high school dedicated to exceptional academic excellence. The academy, which provides a diverse curriculum to more than 700 students, is co-sponsored by the Joliet Franciscan Sisters and the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary.

Joliet Catholic Academy caters to each individual need of its student-base through its offering of three academic programs – College Prep, Upper College Prep and Honors/Accelerated. Additionally, those in need of special academic assistance can take advantage of the academy’s Learning Resource Program.

The parochial institution has several points of pride in its history, with the most recent including:

• The ACT Mean score of 24 for the Class of 2010, with 12 percent scoring 30 or above.

• Earning more than $9.5 million in college scholarships (90 percent academic and 10 percent athletic).

• Three National Merit Commended Students, 46 Illinois State Scholars, 13,000 Hours of Christian Service and more.

For more information, visit


Joliet Junior College, the nation’s first public community college, enriches people’s lives through affordable, accessible and quality programs and services. The college provides transfer and career preparation, training and workforce development and a lifetime of learning to the diverse community it serves.

A leader in teaching and learning, JJC is the first choice for post-secondary education for residents of District 525. Today, JJC serves more than 38,000 students in credit classes and noncredit courses.

For more information, visit


Located in nearby Romeoville, Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares ethically grounded, socially responsible and globally engaged graduates. The ninth-largest not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

Lewis University is recognized as having:

• The state’s second-largest undergraduate program in Criminal/Social Justice (among private universities).

• One of 32 programs nationally selected by the FAA to offer the Air Traffic Control Management program.

• Illinois’s largest graduate program in School Counseling and Guidance.

• The state’s largest bachelor’s degree program in Nursing.

• Recognition as one of only 14 accredited programs in Athletic Training among Illinois’s private universities.

Additional national accolades received by Lewis University include:

• Being named “A Best Midwestern College” by The Princeton Review.

• Its rating as a “Top Tier” institution by U.S. News & World Report.

• Inclusion in the College Access and Opportunity Guide.

• Recognition by the Colleges of Distinction.

• Participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program and recognized as a Military Friendly School.

For more information, visit


Established in 1920, the University of St. Francis in Joliet stands as a four-year, private, Catholic Franciscan university dedicated to the “values of Respect, Service, Integrity and Compassion, and to the tradition of Franciscan hospitality.” Approximately 3,600 students nationwide take advantage of USF’s 40 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate programs. Classes are offered online and at sites throughout the country.

USF is a recognized leader in higher education, as evidenced by ongoing recognitions:

• — Ranked in the top-tier of Midwestern Master’s institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges”.

• — Recognized as one of the “Best Colleges: Region by Region” in The Princeton Review.

For more information, visit


Opened in fall 2009, the Rasmussen College Romeoville/Joliet campus offers a variety of associate’s degrees, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. One of four Rasmussen College campuses in Illinois, the Romeoville/Joliet campus provides a modern learning environment complete with a student resource center, digital library, digital design lab and career placement support. In addition to the on-campus offerings are an assortment of online degree programs.

For information, visit


Founded in 1931, DeVry University is one of the largest, private-sector universities in North America, with more than 90,000 students enrolled in the United States and Canada. The university’s mission is to foster student learning through high-quality, career-oriented education integrating technology, business, science and the arts. With more than 95 locations, DeVry University delivers practitioner-oriented undergraduate and graduate degree programs onsite and online that meet the needs of a diverse and geographically dispersed student population. Home to five colleges of study, including Business & Management, Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences and Media Arts & Technology, DeVry University’s outstanding faculty members, work in the fields they teach, providing students with real-world experiences that prepare them for high-growth careers.

DeVry is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, DeVry University, a part of DeVry, INC. (NYSE: DV) is based in Downers Grove. For more information about DeVry University, find them on Twitter @DeVryUniv, Facebook/DEVRYUNIVERSITY or visit


Governors State University (GSU), located in University Park, is a popular public higher education destination in the area. GSU, ideally located approximately 30 miles from Joliet and 35 miles from Chicago, hosts a plethora of degree and certification programs, as well as dual degree programs with several other area colleges and universities.

In 2010, Governors State ranked 14th nationwide in the number of graduates from its Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry program. The school is also known for its Center for Performing Arts, which offers a full slate of performances on campus! The Center is celebrating its 21st year in 2016.

previous topic
next topic
Town Square Publications