Naperville North celebrates the return of field trips


Photo by Amelia Hebel

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, field trips have returned to Naperville North High School on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Students are now able to partake in local, out-of-state and in-school field trips with their classes and clubs, according to NNHS assistant principal Carrie Ray. For many students, these opportunities offer the chance for real-world use of in-classroom learning. 

Prior to this school year, Illinois Covid-19 guidelines required that people stay six feet away from one another, making transportation and visitation to third-party locations from NNHS difficult to organize safely. As a result, almost all field trips at North had to be temporarily cut. With the loosening of Covid restrictions this year, field trips have returned, sparking celebrations among the North community. The Marching Huskies, North’s marching band, celebrated being able to travel to Disney World, which is a trip normally taken every four years. Naperville North’s Director of Bands Zachary Taylor says the trip itself and its timing were special for the group, and especially for seniors. 

“To have the students be able to travel again, especially our seniors, who were potentially going to miss out on this trip, considering the last year and a half. It felt really great to be able to have this experience to be able to travel without the extra stress of masks and [personal protective equipment],” Taylor said. 

The value of field trips goes beyond the enjoyment of students and staff. These experiences can provide students with new perspectives, experiences and the opportunity to gain insight into future careers. With classes like Introduction to Teaching and Health Occupations offered in the district, students have the opportunity to shadow District 203 teachers and various healthcare professionals during their work day. Joanna Berg, the Social Studies department chair at North, says field trips play an important role for students to gain a better understanding of careers they may want to pursue.  

“It’s important as people try to think of what field they might want to go into or maybe something they want to study to have them called out of class for an in-school field trip because we have guest speakers come in,” Berg said.  

As for new experiences outside of NNHS, Taylor says that on the marching band’s Disney World trip, students learned about something they’re passionate about, and grew as people in the process. 

“As musicians, they got to play for the biggest crowd they’ve ever played for, and most of them will ever play for,” Taylor said. 

There are various clubs and other activities that travel outside of the school walls, including the Ski & Snowboard club, which has an upcoming trip to Utah in January. One of the club’s co-leaders and North senior, Sam Aldrich, says he and other club members will gain new, exciting skiing experience from the trip. 

“For some people, it will be their first time skiing or snowboarding on a real mountain. I am super excited to be able to ski with my friends for multiple days at such a big resort. The biggest thing though is just that it will be a great experience with friends that is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Aldrich said. 

As a result of field trips returning, more staff and students are seeing positive outcomes from student attendance. Looking to the future, staff and students are seeking ways to implement more field trips into curriculums and club activities. 

“We do value what can happen in the classroom, but we feel that field trips offer such an enrichment that I think speaks more to them than a group activity or slide show presentation,” Berg said.