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SD 308: where is that again? : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
SD 308: where is that again?

We can't say we like the idea but we understand why current Oswego School District officials are now in the process of adopting a new logo and will drop "Oswego" from the district's name. Going forward, the district will identify itself as "School District 308" and for its website.

In addition to the 12 schools the district operates in Oswego, it also has four schools in the City of Aurora, two in Plainfield, one in Montgomery and two in the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision. Currently, an estimated 40 percent of the district's nearly 18,000 students live outside of Oswego, in either Aurora, Montgomery, Boulder Hill, Plainfield, Joliet or Yorkville.

Explaining the name change decision, School Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt recently told the school board, "This is nothing against Oswego, but more about including everyone in the system. We want to ensure in our logo that that 40 percent of our students are part of our system."

The dropping of the Oswego name marks the end of a long era that began in the 1936 when area voters approved the creation of the Oswego Consolidated High School District. The name continued in 1961 when area voters passed a referendum consolidating the Oswego High School and Oswego Grade School Districts into today's single unit district. Under the Oswego name, both the school district and village have grown and thrived.

But since the 63 square mile school district's boundaries extend far beyond the village's borders, it was inevitable that neighboring communities would one day annex properties and grow into the district. The decision to drop the Oswego name is a direct result of the growth into the district by Montgomery, Aurora, Plainfield, Joliet and Yorkville over the past two decades.

A concern we have with dropping the Oswego name is that the new School District 308 or SD 308 has all the sparkle of a U.S. Navy ship identification number. More importantly, it provides no sense of place or community identification. Though some other area school districts that serve multiple communities have opted to identify themselves in a similar fashion, we suspect most people would have to do a quick Google search to find out, for example, where SD 129 and SD 303 are located. Now they'll have to add SD 308 to their search list.

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