It is a bit jarring, the architectural rendering of new security doors containing the main entrance to Oak Park and River Forest High School. Placed perhaps 20 feet inside the existing double doors the new aluminum and glass security wall will prevent visitors from entering the school without registering with school personnel.
With this week's issue, Wednesday Journal launches into our 34th year as the independent neighborhood news publisher in Oak Park and River Forest. We're proud, we're appreciative and, as of Monday evening, we are proclaimed.
Long-term investment in the community. That's how Oak Park Village Manager Cara Pavlicek defined economic development. But the term has also landed in a pile of clichés tossed around at local government meetings. Economic development is a big term, but it can also be just talk.
Four years ago, Oak Park District 97 installed security cameras at its two middle schools, Brooks and Julian. Now the district is considering doing the same at the eight elementary schools. The difference is these cameras would monitor the grounds and exteriors while the middle school devices were mostly aimed inside.
District 200 is on the right track with its new board finance advisory committee, which hosted its first public meeting on Monday. OPRF High School needs to start figuring out what to do with its $120 million fund balance - other than just letting it pile up.
Teaching history in middle school is an exercise in bold nuance. No longer the highlights version of history - Betsy Ross and the flag, Francis Scott Key and the anthem, Ben Franklin and that kite of his - middle school minds are ready to grasp that history is wondrously messy and filled with conflicted heroes, dubious motives, chaos and good fortune.