• The History of Township High ƹƵ ƹƵ 211

    High school education in the Palatine-Schaumburg Township area began in 1875, with the first graduating class in 1877.  Palatine High ƹƵ is one of the four oldest suburban high schools and the first established northwest of Chicago.  Charles S. Cutting was the school’s first principal.


    The Palatine Township High ƹƵ ƹƵ was formed in 1914.  Its first classes were held in space rented from the elementary district on the top floor of a school on Wood Street between Hale and Benton.


    In 1928, a separate high school building for 300 students was built on a four-acre site at 150 East Wood Street.  The school opened with 125 students.  Schaumburg Township was not part of a high school district, so some Schaumburg students came to Palatine on a tuition basis.  Between 1928 and 1950, the enrollment grew from 150 to 391 students and projections indicated dramatic growth ahead.  In 1952, an addition to Palatine High ƹƵ was completed, increasing the building capacity to 700 students.


    In 1954, Schaumburg formed Elementary ƹƵ 54 and joined Palatine Township High ƹƵ ƹƵ 211. After 1954, enrollments mushroomed at all levels. A second addition was approved for Palatine High ƹƵ and a second site of 40 acres was purchased at Quentin Road and Illinois Avenue.

    The second school opened in 1961, and was named “William Fremd High ƹƵ.” Mr. Fremd had been a member of the high school Board of ƹƵ for over 30 years and had served on school boards in the area for a consecutive period of more than 45 years. From 1961 to 1964, the ƹƵ was organized as a 2-2 system with juniors and seniors at Palatine High ƹƵ and freshmen and sophomores at Fremd High ƹƵ. This system was phased out when James B. Conant High ƹƵ, the ƹƵ’s third school and the first located in Schaumburg Township, opened in 1964 as a three-year school. Fremd High ƹƵ converted to a three-year program in 1966.

    In 1967, an administration center was built on Roselle Road near Algonquin Road. It houses all ƹƵ staff, Board of ƹƵ meeting room, and a storage area for school supplies. The center was named to honor Gerald A. McElroy who served ƹƵ 211 for 38 years as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent.

    In 1967, building additions increased capacity at Conant High ƹƵ from 1,700 to 2,600 students and Palatine’s capacity from 1,000 to 1,800 students. In 1969, an addition to Fremd High ƹƵ expanded its capacity from 1,600 to 2,700 students. ƹƵ 211’s fourth school, Schaumburg High ƹƵ, opened in September, 1970. This structure, except for the gymnasium and parking site, was constructed by the Illinois Building Commission, a method of financing made necessary by the ƹƵ’s lack of sufficient bonding power in the late 1960s. Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ, built to house an enrollment of 2,500 students, opened in 1973 as a freshman-sophomore school in Schaumburg Township.

    On October 19, 1974, district residents approved a $22 million referendum which provided funds for a sixth high school; an addition to Schaumburg High ƹƵ which increased its capacity to 3,000 students; the addition of auditoriums and pools at Conant, Schaumburg, and Fremd High ƹƵs; a pool at Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ; and a ƹƵ warehouse.

    In 1976, the Board of ƹƵ decided that the building housing Palatine High ƹƵ was unsuitable for future use as a four-year high school. Insufficient land to expand the building for future growth and the cost of needed repairs necessitated that decision. The building was closed in June, 1977.

    The sixth high school, located near the intersection of Rohlwing and Cunningham Roads, opened in September, 1977, and was named Palatine High ƹƵ. The newest building accommodated 2,500 students.

    In 1983, physical education additions were completed at Fremd and Conant High ƹƵs, and in 1997, a physical education addition was completed at Palatine High ƹƵ. Construction was completed in 2002 on an addition at Fremd High ƹƵ, turning the valuable space in the school’s courtyard into new science laboratories named in honor of Gerald D. Chapman, who served ƹƵ 211 for 36 years as a teacher, assistant principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. The old science labs were then converted to new English classrooms. The school also had the east exterior of the building remodeled.

    A clock tower and covered walkways were constructed at Conant High ƹƵ in 2002, as part of an exterior facelift for the school. Construction on an addition at Palatine High ƹƵ was completed in 2003, adding 24 classrooms to the northeast corner of the building to handle enrollment growth.

    On April 5, 2005, ƹƵ residents approved a referendum resulting in a 40¢ increase in the ƹƵ Fund; 25¢ in the spring of 2005 and an additional 15¢ in the fall of 2005. Passage of this referendum avoided approximately $18 million in program cuts, while assuring the ƹƵ would remain on sound financial ground for many years to come.

    In 2007, additions to Conant and Fremd High ƹƵs were completed, adding new music facilities at both schools. The administration offices at Fremd High ƹƵ were remodeled. At Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ, the auxiliary gymnasiums were expanded. Construction included the addition of a locker room, team room, and an elevator.

    In 2008, a science addition was completed at Conant High ƹƵ. Academic additions that included relocation of administration offices were completed at Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates High ƹƵs. An expanded Board of ƹƵ meeting room, named in honor of former Board member Anne Koller who served the ƹƵ for 23 years, was completed at the Administration Center. Renovations also were completed to make the building more accessible, including installation of an elevator and a ground floor entry. Artificial turf was installed in the stadiums at Fremd and Schaumburg High ƹƵs during the summer of 2008, and at Conant, Hoffman Estates, and Palatine High ƹƵs during the summer of 2009. The new turf provided additional curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for all students.

    Palatine High ƹƵ’s student cafeteria was renovated during the summer of 2013, modernizing the original from when the school opened in the late 1970s.  The school’s administrative offices and student services area also were renovated during the summer of 2013 to help provide a better student assistance experience.  A similar remodeling project took place at Conant High ƹƵ during the summer of 2014, renovating the school’s administrative offices and student services area.  As part of a life safety project, a second floor corridor was constructed at Conant High ƹƵ during the summer of 2015, connecting the mathematics and science departments.

    In spring 2015, renovation to Conant High ƹƵ’s swimming pool facility was completed, including expansion of the pool and upgrades to locker rooms.  Similar renovations were completed at Fremd High ƹƵ in December 2015 and Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ in January 2016.  Pool renovations at Palatine and Schaumburg High ƹƵ were both finished in early 2017.

    Upgrades to Schaumburg and Conant High ƹƵs media centers were completed in 2015, and media center renovations at Palatine and Fremd High ƹƵs were finished in 2016 and 2017, respectively.  Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ media center underwent a partial renovation in 2008-2009, and will receive additional upgrades in 2017-2018.

    During the summer of 2017, Schaumburg High ƹƵ received $20 million worth of renovation work, including new student and staff cafeterias, as well as new locker rooms for physical education/athletics. Improvements to Fremd High ƹƵ athletic fields also were done during the summer of 2017, and completed for use the following summer. This included upgrades to field drainage and irrigation systems, as well as relocating the school’s varsity softball field.

    Fremd and Schaumburg High ƹƵ’s artificial turf in the stadium was replaced during the summer of 2018 and the running tracks were resurfaced. Conant High ƹƵ athletic fields also were renovated, including improvements for field drainage and irrigation systems, and fields were ready for use in the fall of 2019.

    In December 2017, the Board of ƹƵ authorized the sale of 62 acres of undeveloped land in Schaumburg Township between Plum Grove and Summit Roads. The land was originally purchased in the 1960’s for a sixth high school that was never needed. 

    Artificial turf in the stadium was replaced at Palatine and Hoffman Estates High ƹƵs during the summer of 2019. Each school’s running track also was resurfaced during the summer months. Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ received major renovation work to restrooms throughout the school.

    Artificial turf in the stadium was replaced at Conant High ƹƵ during the summer of 2020, and the school's running track also was resurfaced during the summer months. Fremd High ƹƵ's restrooms and locker rooms were renovated in 2020.

    ƹƵ 211 also has two therapeutic special education schools: ƹƵ 211 North Campus, located in Palatine, and the Higgins ƹƵ Center, located in Hoffman Estates. The Higgins ƹƵ Center, opened in 2015 and is home to the Adult Transitions Program-South, New Endeavors, and ƹƵ 211 Academy-South programs. Academy-South was originally founded during the 1975 school year and known as LEAP, Lifeskills ƹƵal Alternatives Program, until changing its name to Academy-South in 2008. ƹƵ 211 North Campus, formally Academy-North, was founded in 2005, and renamed North Campus in 2016. In addition to housing the Academy-North Program, the North Campus also is home to the ƹƵ’s Alternative Learning Academy. The Adult Transitions Program-North, located at Palatine High ƹƵ, received a new home in a building built with the assistance of students in the Building Construction program during the 2015-2016 school year, opening with the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

    During spring 2016, ƹƵ 211 hosted a series of Community Engagement Meetings, focus groups, and surveys to gather information from all local constituents served by the ƹƵ. The information was presented to the Board of ƹƵ to help shape the ƹƵ’s multi-year strategic plan, which outlines the direction, priorities, and goals to be accomplished in the coming years. Among the items devised in the plan was a new mission statement, defining values for ƹƵ 211, and an action plan in the areas of life readiness, professional responsiveness, organizational effectiveness, and community partnership.

    Demonstrating district-wide quality, all five ƹƵ 211 schools were named among the top in the nation in the United States Department of ƹƵ’s National Secondary ƹƵ Recognition Program. Hoffman Estates High ƹƵ was recognized in 1985, Fremd High ƹƵ received the award in 1987, Palatine and Schaumburg High ƹƵs were honored in 1993, Conant High ƹƵ was recognized in 1996. Palatine High ƹƵ received its second Blue Ribbon award in 2000, while Fremd High ƹƵ was recognized with its second Blue Ribbon award in 2019. Palatine High ƹƵ was named a “New American High ƹƵ” by the United States Department of ƹƵ in 2000, as one of only 10 schools nationwide to receive that distinction. Palatine, Fremd, and Schaumburg High ƹƵs were named among the “Top 99” high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 1999, and Palatine High ƹƵ was nationally recognized by the United States Department of ƹƵ for its exemplary anti-drug program in 1991. High ƹƵ ƹƵ 211 was named among the elite school districts in Illinois by Expansion Management magazine, a publication for corporate re-location, in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and again in 2009. In 1996, Redbook magazine recognized Schaumburg High ƹƵ as “One of America’s Best ƹƵs.” The ƹƵ 211 Transportation Department was named among “Great Fleets Across America” by ƹƵ Bus Fleet in 1999. Forbes' recognized High ƹƵ ƹƵ 211 among Illinois top employers, with a ranking of fourth in the state in 2020.