District 103's Historical Roots

  • Historical roots for Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103 span more than 170 years. The earliest forerunner of District 103 was a small log cabin located east of Milwaukee Avenue and south of Indian Creek in Half Day. In 1836, Laura B. Sprague established the school in her home, and this became the first school in Lake County, Illinois.

    By 1839, Lake County had instituted a county school commission, which established nine school districts. After the school districts were formed, farmers donated land for schools, and neighbors donated their labor to construct the buildings. The first school in Half Day, District 1, was a small house built just west and south of the present Half Day School building.

    Under the early general school laws in Illinois, 15 families could request the formation of a school district. Fifty-five voters in Vernon Town­ship, including early settler Daniel Wright, made such a request. A petition was submitted to the School Commissioners of Lake on January 14, 1842, which established Half Day School as District 1. (This is the date our school district was incorporated.)

    In 1876, a one-room frame school was built on the present Half Day School site, thereby replacing the small house built nearly forty years earlier. By 1899, one teacher was in charge of about 60 students in eight grades who shared that one room for their studies.

    District 1 became District 103 in the early 1900s when a state mandate ordered all county school superintendents to renumber the districts consecutively. District 103 was then named the Half Day School District.

    The one-room schoolhouse remained adequate until 1909 when a second room was added to the west side of the building. Until 1938, Dis­trict 103 students attended school in those two rooms, with grades one through four in one room, and grades five through eight in the other.

    In 1938, the old section of the present Half Day School was constructed. This white brick structure housed only two classrooms; the school served about 45 children as late as 1946. Five classrooms were erected in 1955, reflecting the beginning of the district's growth due to the development of Lincolnshire. Half Day School grew to serve 275 students by 1958 when the district added six more classrooms, a gym, and an office to the rear of the structure.

    Just five years later, the enrollment grew to over 500 students in grades K-8 attending Half Day School. Area residents recognized expansion needs, and in 1963 approved a referendum for the construction of Laura B. Sprague School. Sixteen more classrooms were added to the Sprague School building in 1968. That year, District 103 served 905 students in the Half Day and Sprague facilities.

    As the local population expanded, District 103 continued to serve a growing population of students. Voters approved a bond issue authoriz­ing the building of Daniel Wright Junior High School in 1970, and the school opened in February of 1972. The three-school district continued to meet the growing needs of the surrounding communities for the next eleven years.

    Declining enrollment in the early 1980s forced the closure of Half Day School in June 1983, and it was then occupied by a neighboring school district (102). In the fall of 1992, however, Half Day School reopened to District 103 students.

    Today, Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103 serves approximately 1,885 students in its three schools, each of which has been honored by the U.S. Department of Education for excellence in education: Laura B. Sprague, Half Day and Daniel Wright Junior High. Children attending District 103 schools reside in Lincolnshire, Prairie View and parts of Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, Mettawa, Riverwoods, and Vernon Hills.

    For more information about District 103 and its schools, please visit the website at www d103 org or by contacting the Administrative Office at Ask103@d103 org: (847) 295-4030; 111 Barclay Boulevard, Suite 100, Lincolnshire, IL 60069. 

First County Schoolhouse

First County Schoolhouse

Half Day Circa 1926

Half Day School children 1922

Class of 1945

Class of 1945