The district was formed in 1972 by the mergers of Wheatland Elementary District 40, Elementary District 90 and Indian Plains Elementary District 182. The district began as a kindergarten-8th grade (k-8) district, with its students attending Naperville Central High School for 9th Grade-12th Grade until Waubonsie Valley High School was constructed for District 204 and opened in 1975. The district opened eleven buildings during the 1990s, at all levels of primary and secondary education.Neuqua Valley High School was introduced to the district in 1997. Another two elementary buildings were opened in 2001-2002, another in 2007, and a third high school, called Metea Valley High School, opened in 2009, to relieve over population of Neuqua Valley High School and Waubonsie Valley High School.
The Longwood Story
The Naperville Sun,Thursday, November 8, 1962
Longwood is the name for a two year old development on Highway 59 that was initiated as Scots Plains. Sixty families who make up this neighborhood have developed more community spirit than some in many longer established areas. Without a local shopping center, church, or recreational facilities, most of them have chosen Naperville as their home city. They are in our high school district, are served by route 2 of our post office, and are on the Elmwood telephone exchange.
Located on the prairie between the East-West tollway and the Burlington railroad, the subdivision includes "over 600 acres" according to the brochures of the present developer, the Claymore Corporation. It "will eventually have over 1400 homes" occupying 1/4 acre lots. From the beginning the houses have been Harnischfeger homes, products of the home-building firm in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The Claymore Corporation is a directly owned subsidiary of Harnischfeger.
Scots Plains Development Company made the land purchase, laid out the streets, and erected the first models. Gerald Concannon of Naperville was a minority stockholder in this firm and also served as the contractor who did carpentry and concrete work on the pre-cut houses which Harnischfeger furnished. It was opened early in the summer of 1960.
The subdivision then, as now, had several characteristics that gave it promise — a truly rural aspect, proximity to the toll road and the Burlington depot in Naperville, and provisions for a central water and sewage system. The developers were optimistic that home buyers would quickly be attracted to Scots Plains. This is evident from the early publicity in the SUN which states, "It is expected that the area will be improved with between 200 — 300 homes a year." Granger school board members were alerted to prepare for an influx of pupils.
A lively interest in the development was shown during the first months and several dozen home buyers signed up. In February 1961 the Ralph Petersons moved into their home on Glenoban — the pioneer family to occupy a home in Scots Plains. "I guess we were just a little more eager than the others," Mrs.Peterson says, "For we all tumbled in here one on top of the other. Most of us came late in the winter or in the spring of 1961."
From the start they have been an energetic, determined group. Discovering the Granger school offered no kindergarten training, mothers of four and five-year-olds formed the Mother's club to organize the Lads and Lassies' school. Although Donna Condon had no professional training, she offered her volunteer services to supervise the group of twenty little folk in play and learning skills. They gathered first in the William Sutter home, and later in the year met in the basement of the Condon home. Various mothers alternated giving their assistance to Mrs. Condon. Concannon's workmen built a bookcase, toy chest, and easel for the tots' use.
When Memorial Day came around this year, the Lads and Lassies were one of the outstanding groups in the Naperville parade. Their mothers had bought bolts of bright Scotch plaid and made kilts for them to wear. With matching hats and bagpipes, they were a novel advertisement for Scots Plains.
This year the Mothers' club is determined to have a professional teacher and more adequate quarters for the kindergarten. The mothers approached the Granger school board to request the use of the old Crosier School which stood empty on the corner of North Aurora and Highway 59. The board agreed not only to use the school but offered to supply desks, to put the heating system in repair, and to pay for the light and heat. In return, the Mother's club has opened the kindergarten to any child in the Granger district.
Parents fell to with vigor, to clean and paint the interior of the little brick building. Generous Naperville merchants donated supplies. Mrs. Colleen Clarke (Barnowski) was hired to teach 3 mornings a week. She follows the same syllabus used by Naperville kindergarten teachers. Since she has a small child, the mothers who have children in the kindergarten take turns either baby-sitting with her little girl or cleaning the school house. "Suggested" tuition for each child in kindergarten is $5 per month.
To raise money for their children's school, the Mother's club has held 3 successful projects — a bake sale, an ice cream social, and a rummage sale. These were all well-supported by all the subdivision's residents and offered opportunity for the families to know one another better.
But what of the subdivision's development? By the end of last summer it was obvious that Scots Plains was not developing rapidly as anticipated. More than a score of the homes that had been erected were still not occupied. The streets were not blacktopped. There were no street signs or street lights. Residents became discouraged and uneasy about the future of their subdivision that had started out with such bustling activity.
Pete Sheridan enlisted the cooperation of several other home owners in promoting the organization of the Homeowners Association. In November of last year, the group was incorporated as a non-profit organization. Two-thirds of the families joined. The officers elected for the first year were Jerry Johnson, president; Eleanor Rohr, treasurer; and Louis Johnson, vice-president-secretary. The group sought to work with the development company in order that the subdivision might progress, and that the promised improvements would be made. They made and installed street signs in order that strangers might find addresses with greater ease.
"Mr. Concannon was not active in Scots Plains after August 1961," says Attorney Jack Heim, Concannon's lawyer. "He formally severed connections with the Scots Plains Development Company in June of this year."
The Claymore Corporation was organized and in September took over the development under the new name of "Longwood," a name suggested by the president of Harnischfeger Homes. They erected three new models, featuring steel siding, which were opened to the public two weeks ago.
Early in October, the streets and driveway approaches were blacktopped. This was such an occasion for genuine rejoicing on the part of the residents that the Homeowners Association sponsored a street dance to celebrate. Naperville merchants contributed prizes that were raffled. The whole neighborhood turned out and a feeling of optimism predominated.
The Percy Wilson Mortgage Company, which financed the homes built by the former developer and which remain unoccupied, has established the Owners Realty Company to sell these houses. The company has given each one a fresh coat of paint and tidied the yard. The casual observer is not aware that many of the neat homes in the subdivision are empty. Mickey Ollry is the salesman offering these houses for Owners Realty.
There are many evidences of community spirit in Longwood besides the Mother's club with its kindergarten and the Homeowners Association. Mrs. Sheridan organized a babysitting pool or club which functions smoothly and saves the couples quite a sizable amount of cash. Parents of elementary school children participate in the PTA of Granger School; and the group's publicity chairman, Marcella Vickers, lives in Longwood. William Sutter was elected to the Granger School board of education for a two-year term last April.
Although there were not enough boys of the proper age in Longwood for a Boy Scout troop, a Cub Pack troop has been organized, and Neil Hyland is the scout master. A Brownie troop under the leadership of Caroline Bowen is very active. Eleanor Rohr was instructor in a ten-week first aid course for residents of the subdivision.
Besides the paving of the streets, the painting of the unoccupied houses, and the erection of new model homes, there are other signs of a renewal of progress in Longwood. The Halloween Party, which was a cooperative venture of the Mother's club and the Homeowners Association, and the Claymore Corporation was highly successful. Nearly all of the 130 children of the subdivision must have turned out in costume to parade in the parking lot, vie for the prizes offered, and receive their treats. Morale of the parents who were on the sidelines was high, especially when they learned a new home buyer had signed up to purchase one of the new models.
Two nights later, the Homeowners Association met to elect new officers. Sheridan, the instigator of the organization, was made president; and the other two officers re-elected. There was even a discussion in the association about the feasibility of building a swimming pool or some other recreational facility for its members.
Robert Wright, sales manager for Claymore Corporation, expressed to me his confidence in Longwood. "We are here, trying to get the development back on a live basis — to fulfill its potential. The nucleus of a fine community is here."
In the cooperative spirit that bolstered the residents through a period of inactivity continues to prevail in the future. Longwood will inevitably become the community of promise that its developers envision.