East Aurora Public School District 131

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East Aurora Public School District 131 (also known as Aurora Public Schools: East Side) is a public school district serving kindergarten through high school students in Aurora, Illinois. East Aurora School District 131 is considered the state's first public school district.

According to the 2016 Illinois State Report Card, the district had a total enrollment of 14,659 students.[1] There are 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, one magnet academy (grades three through eight), two early childhood centers and East Aurora High School, all within Aurora city limits. The interim superintendents of East Aurora School District 131 are Dr. Marion Hoyda and Dr. Mark McDonald.[2] The school board president is Annette Johnson.[3]

The district is bounded by the county line between DuPage County and Kane County to the east, the county line between Kendall County and Kane County to the south, the Fox River to the west and the border with the neighboring West Aurora and Batavia School Districts to the north.


According to "The Educational History of Illinois", private subscription schools were taught by various teachers on the East Side starting in 1834. The first school in what would later become East Aurora School District 131 opened in 1836 at East Galena and Broadway. The school was subscription based. In 1839, a new school was built near Broadway and Claim Street.

East Aurora became a charter district on April 30, 1847, and was officially recognized by the state in 1851. The district became the first free school system in Illinois under a special act of legislature in 1851, two years before the state's free school laws passed. That same year, a two-story school was built with Merwin Tabor as principal. The first grade schools were built four years later.

The first class from East Aurora High School graduated in 1867. In 1878, East Aurora High School formed the first high school orchestra in the country. The first kindergarten opened in 1890 and, in 1903, the district started a school for deaf children.

There are several East Aurora School District 131 schools that no longer exist, including: New York Street School (1851-1864), Center School (1866-1957), First Indian Creek School (1870-1899), Indian Creek School (1899-1957), D.W. Young School (1875-1956), First Oak Park School (1887-1923) and Marion Avenue School (1889-1929).

District information[edit]

According to the 2016 Illinois State report cards, there are 14,659 students enrolled in East Aurora School District 131. Of those students, 86.6 percent are Hispanic, 7.7 percent are black, 3.2 percent are white, .6 percent are Asian, .4 percent are American Indian and 1.4 percent are categorized as one or more races.[4]

According to the 2016 Illinois state report cards, 62.7 percent of East Aurora School District 131 students are considered low income and 34.3 percent have limited English proficiency. .[5] One-third of East Aurora 131 students receive bilingual services.

The pupil-to-student ratio at the elementary school level is 19 to 1 and at the high school it is 22 to 1, according to the 2016 report cards. The average East Aurora School District 131 teacher has more than 11 years experience. More than 55 percent of teachers have a Master's Degree or higher, according to the 2016 report card.[6]

Elementary schools[edit]

School's name School's namesake Mascot Colors Principal Year opened
Allen Elementary Olney C. Allen, former Kane County judge and school board member Panthers Royal and white Robert Pape 1951
Bardwell Elementary Conrad Bardwell, superintendent 1896-1928 Bears Kelly and white Twila Garza 1929
Beaupre Elementary W.S. Beaupre, banker and school board member from 1882-1927 Pumas Royal and gold Caridad Garcia 1916
Benavides Kindergarten Center Anne Garcia Benavides, former East Aurora principal, administrator Bengals Lisa Simoncelli-Bulak 2014
Brady Elementary Lorenzo D. Brady, Illinois legislator, mayor and East school trustee Bobcats Red and white Francisco De Los Santos 1923
Dieterich Elementary George N. Dieterich, former school board president Bobcats Royal and white Julia Doverspike 1922
Gates Elementary John W. Gates, former superintendent Tigers Red and black Nitza Carrillo 1956
Hermes Elementary Nicholas A. Hermes, school board member Panthers Red and white Scott Dart 1956
Johnson Elementary Clifford I. Johnson, pharmacist and school board member Jaguars Kelly and gold Dr. David Ballard 1956
Krug Elementary Rose E. Krug, East Aurora nurse, World War I veteran Cougars Royal and white Noah Little 1965
Oak Park Elementary School was originally surrounded by oak trees Tigers Purple and white Annette McMahon 1924
O'Donnell Elementary Mable O'Donnell, East reading supervisor and nationally published author Bobcats Royal and gold Matthew Willigman 1965
Rollins Elementary Edna Rollins, director of finance and administrative services Cougars Red and gold Glenda Rosado 1990

Middle Schools[edit]

School's name School's namesake Mascot Colors Principal Year opened
Cowherd Middle School Henry Cowherd, Aurora resident and East High class of 1945 Cougars Royal and orange Crystal England 1992
Simmons Middle School Clifton F. Simmons, former school board president and East High quarterback Panthers Black and white Mechelle Patterson 1961
Waldo Middle School K.D. Waldo, former superintendent of East Aurora 131 Wildcats Red and white Sandy Katula 1912

High Schools[edit]

School's name Mascot Colors Principal Year opened
East Aurora High School Tomcats Red and black Marina Kosak 1957 (current building)
East Aurora Extension Campus Tomcats Red and black Anthony Crespo 2014

Magnet Academy[edit]

School's name School's namesake Mascot Principal Year opened
Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy Fred Rodgers, longtime community activist Puma Angela Rowley 2013 (current building)

Early Childhood Centers[edit]

School's name School's namesake Principal
Early Childhood Center N/A Kathleen Kogut
Child Service Center N/A N/A

Special Education[edit]

School's name School's namesake Mascot Principal Year opened
Hope D. Wall School (run in cooperation with West Aurora Public School District 129) Hope D. Wall, special education teacher Rockets Dr. Terry Collette 1969


  1. ^ [1]; accessed August 2012
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]; accessed August 2012
  5. ^ [5]; accessed August 2012
  6. ^ [6]; accessed August 2013

External links[edit]