Aurora: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Three school districts operate in the city of Aurora: West Aurora District #129, East Aurora District #131, and Indian Prairie District #204. Aurora is also home to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a public residential high school for grades 10-12. It is internationally known as a school whose students reach the highest levels of achievement in the sciences, technology, and mathematics, by partnering with scientists at state research facilities.
The following is a summary of data regarding the three Aurora public school districts as of the 2002–2003 school year.
Total enrollment: 48,477
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 55
junior high/middle schools: 14
senior high schools: 5
Student/teacher ratio: 17.8:1 (2003)
Teacher salaries (2004-2005)
Funding per pupil: $7,174
There are also 20 religious and Montessori private schools in the city.
Colleges and Universities
Two centers of higher learning are found in Aurora. Aurora University, with 4,300 students, has many undergraduate and graduate programs, including business, fine arts, education, nursing, and social work. Its Spartan athletics is a Division III program, with men's and women's teams in basketball, soccer, tennis, track and field, and men's baseball and football. The University has an additional campus in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Waubonsee Community College has two-year degree programs in areas such as communications, humanities, fine arts, health and life sciences, science and technology, social sciences, and business, intended for easy transfer to four-year schools. The college has certificate programs, continuing professional education classes, distance learning, and online courses available.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Aurora Public Library has been in existence since 1881 and moved into its current residence in 1904. It was refurbished and expanded in 1969 and again in 1980. Besides the main branch, there is the Eola Road Branch on the east side of the city, and the West Branch, both built in the 1990s. A bookmobile also serves the city. In 2002 a computer training facility was installed at the library.
The Charles B. Phillips Library at Aurora University has more than 99,000 books, 518 periodical subscriptions, a multitude of research materials (including full-text online journals) and access to dozens of databases. Aurora University is home to the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures, a museum and research center for studies into Native American cultural artifacts. Waubonsee Community College has the Todd Library to help with its students' research needs.
There are two major national research centers in the area. The Argonne National Laboratory is run by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy. Their focus is on energy resources, high energy physics, materials sciences and nanotechnology, environmental management, and national security. The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is home to the country's largest particle accelerator, and conducts research on the very basics of energy and matter.
Public Library Information: Aurora Public Library, Main Library, 1 E. Benton Street, Aurora, IL 60505 (630)264-4100
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