Community High School District 21810701 Kilpatrick Ave, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
Blue Island Community High School, known as Old Main, opened in 1917. Secondary education, however, actually dates back to 1854 with the construction of the two-room Whittier School at what is now 130th Street and Maple Ave. The first high school graduation occurred in 1877. With attendance growing, District 218 built a campus high school at 127th and Sacramento in 1950. Dwight D. Eisenhower, then the president of Columbia University (he was elected president of the United States two years later), spoke at the dedication ceremony. In 1962, the district named the school in honor of President Eisenhower. Our second campus high school was built in 1964 in Oak Lawn. The Board decided to name its new school in honor of Dr. Harold L. Richards, who served as superintendent from 1935 to 1968. A note of interest: From 1942 until the end of World War II, Reserve Officer Major Richards served his nation his wife, Ruth, ably served as acting superintendent. We opened our third campus high school in 1976 in Palos Heights. It is named in honor of astronaut Alan B. Shepard, the first human to orbit the earth. To better address our students' needs, District 218 opened the state's first credit-bearing alternative high school in 1993. ASPEN features smaller class sizes and other distinctive elements designed to cultivate success in "at-risk" students. ASPEN students must complete the same graduation requirements as other district students. Summit opened in 1994 to improve the management of educational services for students with behavior disorders. Previously, BD students had been transported to out-of-district facilities.