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AU Plans to Open STEM School in August : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
AU Plans to Open STEM School in August
by Lyle R. Rolfe


The Oswego School District Board's vote Monday not to participate in the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School at Aurora University will not affect plans to open the school this August, according to a statement issued Tuesday morning by Steven McFarland, vice president for university communication and administration at the university.

Oswego would have been one of four school districts to participate in the STEM school along with West and East Aurora and Indian Prairie. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)

Referring to the school board's negative vote the statement reads: "As we enter this final phase of preparation for the school to open, we are disappointed to learn of this development.

"We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with many dedicated teachers and administrators in Oswego School District 308 over the past four years on this project.

"Like our elected officials and many community and corporate partners, we remain committed to this first-in-the-nation concept and its potential to advance learning, teaching and the economic vitality of the Fox Valley region.

"We are grateful for the widespread support this initiative has garnered and the growing national awareness of this important innovation," the release said.

McFarland said the university and the three remaining school districts are looking forward to opening the school in August. The building is presently under construction at the northeast corner of Prairie Street and Calumet Avenue on the university's campus.

The other three districts have not yet voted on the proposal.

Individual schools cannot be added to the partnership according to state legislation that formed the partnership because it allows only school districts.

According to the legislation, if any school district were to opt out of the STEM school the only other ones allowed to participate would be Kaneland and Batavia.

At this time they are moving forward with the approval process in the East and West Aurora and Indian Prairie districts, McFarland said.

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