In 1849, immigrants from England banded together to build a small one-room schoolhouse, the first in the Orland area. More research is needed, but it’s very likely that the “English Settlement School” stood on land occupied today by the School Districts 135 and 230 Administration Center. As Orland Township attracted an increasing number of settlers from Europe and the eastern U.S. states, more schools, reasonably accessible to students who traveled by foot or horseback, were needed.
By 1882, Orland Township Trustees oversaw nine “school districts,” consisting of one school each, and serving a total of 642 students. Some of those publicly funded schools lacked a dedicated building, so teachers offered lessons at farm families’ homesteads. The history of Orland School District 135 begins just as the era of tiny one-room schoolhouses starts to fade.
1892: In the year of Orland Park’s incorporation, villagers build a two-room schoolhouse, Orland Park Elementary School, at 9771 W. 143rd St. The building, now a much-remodeled private home, still stands today.
This is the Little Red Schoolhouse, Old Orland Center, built in 1917. It was the third school building
at the corner of 94th and 151st Street. The first was built in 1849. In 1986 the Little Red was moved
down in the street to become the Chamber of Commerce office at 151st St. and 88th Ave.
1918: Thirteen students begin a two-year high school program offered on the second floor of the original village hall on Beacon Ave.
1922: Orland Park Elementary School, administered by Orland School District 135, moves to a new, seven-room brick building at 9960 W. 143rd St. Renamed Orland Park School, the much-renovated and -expanded building still is in use. High school classes formerly offered at village hall move to the 1892 Orland Park school building in 1922, but eventually will move to the new brick schoolhouse where they will continue until Sandburg High School opens in 1954.
1940: Orland Park Elementary School gains two classrooms and the Joliet Limestone gym that still stands proudly at the west end of the school building.A class photo taken at Park School in 1941. The little girl at the right end of the
back row, Mildred Doctor, grew up to become Mildred Doctor Shroats, who would
serve as Orland Township School Treasurer for 29 years.