District 214 almost didn’t come to be. In the 1914 election when voters were asked whether they supported a new high school districted composed of parts of Wheeling, Elk Grove, and Palatine townships, more men voted against the proposition than for it. The Illinois Women’s Suffrage Act had passed the state House and Senate the year before but had yet to be validated by the Supreme Court. Women voted in that highly contested 1914 election but their ballots were kept separate as the local municipalities waited for further direction from the state. Those opposed to the new school district argued the proposition lost by a single vote. But once the supreme court validated the election and the Women’s Suffrage Act, Township High School District 214 was created with a 16-vote margin of victory.

Prior to the formation of the new school district, students attended high school in District 25 in the old grammar school building on the present site of the North School. 

In 1922 the fledgling school board adopted plans for the construction of Arlington High School, which would cost $150,000 and consist of nine classrooms, an auditorium, and a gymnasium. Arlington High School graduated its first class of 10 students in 1923. The years that followed brought six additions to the original Arlington building and the construction of seven other schools. 

District 214’s enrollment peaked at 19,823 students during the 1975-76 school year. Enrollment then declined significantly, causing the closure of Arlington High School in 1984 and Forest View High School in 1986. In 1989, Maryville Education Center/Nipper School (MEC) became part of District 214. It was later named Nipper Career Education Center and closed in 2004. The Student Therapeutic Education Program (STEP) became Forest View Alternative School in 1992 and The Academy at Forest View in 2014. Vanguard School opened in 1997 and the Newcomer Center opened in January 2002.

Major milestones in District 214 History

Year Milestone District Enrollment*
1922 Arlington High School is opened 101
1928 Arlington High School gets an addition 251
1938 Arlington High School gets another addition 517
1946 Arlington High School gets another addition 669
1949-50 Arlington High School gets another addition 904
1952-53 Arlington High School gets another addition 1,169
1956 Arlington High School gets another addition 2,235
1957 Prospect High School is opened 2,773
1962 Forest View High School is opened 6,323
1964 Wheeling High School is opened 8,276
1966 Elk Grove High School is opened 10,784
1968 John Hersey High School is opened 13,520
1971 Rolling Meadows High School is opened 17,419
1973 Buffalo Grove High School is opened 19,000
1984 Arlington High School is closed 13,742
1986 Forest View High School is closed 12,447
1988 Edward Gilbert Administrative Complex is dedicated 10,848
1989 Maryville Education Center/Nipper School MEC joins District 214 10,381
1992 STEP becomes Forest View Alternative School 10,597
1996 MEC/Nipper School becomes Nipper Career Education Center 11,243
1998 Vanguard School is opened 11,443
2002 Newcomer Center is opened 12,102
2004 Nipper Career Education Center is closed 12,500
2014 Forest View Alternative School becomes The Academy at Forest View 12,000

*District enrollment figures may vary during the course of the school year.