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 preschool through high school students in Aurora, Illinois, United States. It is considered the state's first public school district.[citation needed]

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 superintendent of East Aurora School District 131 is Dr. Jennifer Norrell.[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 were 14,659 students enrolled in East Aurora School District 131. Of those students, 86.6 percent were Hispanic, 7.7 percent were black, 3.2 percent were white, .6 percent were Asian, .4 percent were American Indian and 1.4 percent were categorized as one or more races.[1]

According to the 2016 Illinois state report cards, 62.7 percent of East Aurora School District 131 students were considered low income and 34.3 percent had limited English proficiency.[1] One-third receive bilingual services.

The student-to-staff ratio at the elementary school level was 19 to 1 and at the high school it was 22 to 1, according to the 2016 report cards. The average East Aurora School District 131 teacher had more than 11 years' experience. More than 55 percent of teachers had a master's degree or higher.[1]

Elementary schools[edit]

School School's namesake Team name Colors Principal Year opened
Allen Elementary Olney C. Allen, former Kane County judge and school board member Panthers Royal and white Jalitza Martinez 1951
Bardwell Elementary Conrad Bardwell, superintendent 1896-1928 Bears Forest green and white Armando Rodriguez 1929
Beaupre Elementary William S. Beaupre, banker and school board member from 1882-1927 Pumas Royal and gold Amanda Clark 1916
Benavides STEAM Academy Anne Garcia Benavides, former East Aurora principal, administrator Bengals Orange and blue Patricia Rangel 2014
Brady Elementary Lorenzo D. Brady, Illinois legislator, mayor and East school trustee Bobcats Blue and white Elizabeth Vivanco 1923
Dieterich Elementary George N. Dieterich, former school board president Bobcats Royal and white Lauren Holland 1922
Gates Elementary John W. Gates, former superintendent Tigers Red and black Isaias Martinez 1956
Hermes Elementary Nicholas A. Hermes, school board member Panthers Red and white Christopher Heath 1956
Johnson Elementary Clifford I. Johnson, pharmacist and school board member Jaguars Kelly and gold Ines Sem 1956
Krug Elementary Rose E. Krug, East Aurora nurse, World War I veteran Cougars Royal and white Sheila Conrad 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 Tonetta Davis 1965
Rollins Elementary Edna Rollins, director of finance and administrative services Cougars Red and gold Laura Sandoval 1990

Middle schools[edit]

School School's namesake Team name Colors Principal Year opened
Cowherd Middle School Henry Cowherd, Aurora resident and East High class of 1945 Cougars Royal and orange Jacqueline Gibson 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 Kelly Hills 1912

High schools[edit]

School Team name Colors Principal Year opened
East Aurora High School Tomcats Red and black Jonathan Simpson 1957 (current building)
East Aurora Extension Campus Tomcats Red and black Taveras Crump 2014

Magnet academy[edit]

School School's namesake Team name Principal Year opened
Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy Fred Rodgers, longtime community activist Puma Dr. David Ballard 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 School's namesake Team name 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. ^ a b c d http://webprod.isbe.net/ereportcard/publicsite/searchBySchool.aspx?searchby=districtName&language=english&year=2012&keyword=131&type=card&rcds=310451310 Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine ; accessed August 2012
  2. ^ "Home". d131.org.
  3. ^ "Meet the Board | East Aurora School District". Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-01-04.

External links[edit]