Exploratory Programs
The Exploratory Program is dedicated to enhancing each student's mind, body, and spirit. It is our goal to provide opportunities for every student to explore a broad variety of experiences, allowing them to recognize their own interests and talents, and prepare students to make informed decisions in the future. Exploratory programs at MacArthur include the following subjects: Art, Consumer Science, Health Education, Industrial Technology, General Music/Drama, Physical Education, and Spanish. Physical Education and Spanish are yearlong classes. Other Exploratory classes are either for a quarter or *trimester, depending on the grade level.


The main goal of the art program is to encourage and foster an appreciation for the creation of art; as well as, art of other cultures and times. Students experience a wide variety of activities in both two and three dimensions. Students are introduced to drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and graphic design. In addition to the production of art, students study art and artists of other cultures and time periods, discuss various issues dealing with the art world, and learn to make aesthetic judgments about art.

Consumer Science

Consumer Science education at MacArthur is about equipping students with the tools they'll need to live healthy, make good financial choices, balance family and professional lives and be ready to make important decisions regarding college and career. Rapid societal changes, including innovations in technology, information exchange, and communications, have increased the demand for internationally competitive workers and for an educational system designed to meet that demand. These ideals are embedded in the new Common Core Standards and high school College and Career readiness Standards. The career education and consumer, family, and life skills standards identify key career development and life skills that students must accomplish in order to achieve continuing success in various life roles related to continuing education, career development, and personal growth. In order to maintain a healthy productive life style the course of study will focus on practical life skills. Our goal continues to be to prepare all students for their future in our changing global society. Technology must be an integral part of the Family & Consumer Science curriculum areas of Social Skills, Nutrition, Personal Finance, and Career Exploration. The curriculum reflects a platform for teaching and learning that integrates technology emphasizing the changes affecting the family, community and workplace.


Industrial Technology

Industrial Technology is offered to 6th and 7th grade students. In both 6th and 7th grade students begin the quarter learning about shop safety and the tools used in the wood shop. As a beginning project, students using only hand tools construct their initials. After students make their initials they may choose from a variety of projects appropriate to their skill level. 7th grade students then design and construct an oak clock. Seventh grade students use power equipment for all projects after their initials and are instructed on the safe and proper use of each machine. After the clock project, students have an option to design and construct a project of choice utilizing any of the tools in the workshop.

General Music/Drama

Sixth Grade General Music classes focus on music history from studying the composer from the Medieval Era through today's music. Students learn about composers from their early years to the music styles they develop. Listening skills are developed by listening to examples of music from each composer we study. Students improve their recorder playing by exercises in class. The Eighth Grade General Music classes spend the trimester learning about Blues and its influence on modern music, and how to play the guitar. Students learn how songs are put together; they are not random, but organized with structure, just as a building is structured. They also learn about musical theater, from terminology to character study, doing an in-depth study with West Side Story.

Physical Education

Physical Education will contribute to the growth and development of each child through selected movement experiences, physical activities, and awareness of lifetime physical fitness and maintaining a healthy life style. The emphasis of the curriculum will include team building activities that incorporate team sports, individual sports, fitness, and cardiovascular activities. This team teaching approach will benefit the students' experiences and create an optimal level of success. Health Education is incorporated into the Physical Education curriculum and schedule. Students are required to dress in PE uniforms for heath and hygiene purposes.


Spanish instruction begins in 7th grade, continues in 8th grade, and is a yearlong class. Students who complete our two-year program take a high school placement test in May of their 8th grade year. Successful completion of that assessment allows students to be placed in Spanish 2 their freshman year in high school. Students are selected to begin Spanish in 7th grade based on their Fall and Spring MAP test results from 6th grade, as well as teacher recommendations and classroom performance. Final decisions are made by the building administration. Spanish instruction is offered in place of either a student’s Exploratory rotation or their Step Up classes 10th period. Students not in VIM will be placed in Spanish or Step Up classes.



Achieving Excellence in Learning Through an Equitable Education for All!
700 N. Schoenbeck Rd.  Prospect Heights, IL 60070    P: 847.870.3850
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