Wheatland Academy Renaming | STEPS Program Relocates | Outdoor Fitness Court Grand Opening

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Wheatland Academy Renaming

Wheatland Academy in Naperville is being renamed this fall to recognize the contributions of a local educator. On Monday the Indian Prairie School District 204 school board voted to change the school’s name to the Gail McKinzie High School. McKinzie was IPSD 204’s superintendent from 1995 to 2004. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in establishing Indian Plains High School, which was folded into Wheatland in 2018. From the get-go, Indian Plains provided an alternative for students to earn credits and receive a high school diploma. Superintendent Adrian Talley said an official renaming ceremony will be held at a later date to commemorate the change.

STEPS Program Relocates

STEPS, the post-high school graduate program designed to give specific IPSD 204 students a launch pad for the next phase of their lives, will be housed in a new venue for the next five years. The school board approved a plan to temporarily relocate STEPS from the Birkett Center at 3220 Cedar Glade Road to a facility at 387 Shuman Blvd. District officials said the Birkett Center space needs to be reconfigured to accommodate the unique needs of the young adults receiving services through the program. Students enrolled in STEPS are served post-graduation because they typically require additional support as they map out their goals into adulthood. The district’s lease with Shuman 387 LLC — owner of the Shuman Boulevard property — begins Aug. 1 and runs through July 31, 2027.

Zero Emission Buses Resolution

Naperville School District 203 plans to submit a resolution for consideration by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) to help facilitate the use of zero emissions or low emission school buses by districts. The resolution asks IASB to urge state and federal governments to provide funding to school districts to transition to the more environmentally friendly buses, and for green charging infrastructure to help reduce student exposure to pollutants from diesel emissions. At the last D203 board meeting, a group of Naperville Central students had asked the board to consider looking into cleaner energy buses. The drafted resolution would be submitted for board approval at the next meeting, to then be sent in for an upcoming IASB conference. Superintendent Dan Bridges noted that the Environmental Protection Agency is making funds available to offer rebates to existing school buses with clean and zero emission energy, and the district plans to apply for a grant.

Outdoor Fitness Court Grand Opening

The Naperville Park District will hold a grand opening for its new Frontier Sports Complex Fitness Court on Thursday, June 16. The outdoor workout center is one of about 250 that have been installed around the country as part of a national initiative launched by National Fitness Campaign. The set up, next to the 95th Street Community Plaza at 3109 Cedar Drive, is meant for teens and adults. It allows the user to utilize their own body weight to get a full workout, and is adaptable for all levels. The grand opening will kick off at 5 p.m., and will include remarks from park officials, a ribbon cutting ceremony, equipment demonstration and giveaways while supplies last.