District News

Marengo-Union Elementary District #165

Purchases Former High School Building 

Marengo-Union Elementary School District #165 has reached an agreement with Marengo Community High School District #154 to purchase the former high school building including 10.2 acres of land located at 816 East Grant Highway for $350,000. The elementary district had been leasing the building from the high school district for the past 10 years.
District #165 Superintendent Mrs. Lea Damisch and District 154 Superintendent Dr. Dan Bertrand both said the timing is right to complete the sale and that both boards of education have worked collaboratively to ensure that the sale was in the best interest of taxpayers. The elementary school district has earmarked funds it has accumulated in reserves for the purchase. Both boards have approved the sale and closing.
“From our perspective, it just makes sense for us to own the asset and make it into a 21st-century building for our students. We have probably made $700,000 worth of improvements over the past 10 years,” said Damisch, adding that over the past decade the high school district paid for most capital improvements and major repairs to the building while her district handled things like technological improvements, electrical, plumbing and heating upgrades, and retrofitting classrooms with new flooring. “This also allows for us to continue to have our educational campus inside the Marengo city limits.”
District 154 opened a new high school in 2004 that accommodates up to 1200 students, but Bertrand said keeping the old high school building made sense at the time because of significant growth that was occurring in and around the district. However, the collapse of the housing market in 2008 caused an unexpected decline in student enrollment.
“The district does not anticipate a need for additional classroom space for the next 15 to 20 years,” said Bertrand, citing figures showing that enrollment peaked at 905 students in 2009, but has dropped to 750 and is projected to drop to 650 in the next five years before beginning to slowly increase again. “In an effort to be fiscally responsible to its taxpayers, the district has determined that it is in their long term financial best interest to not continue to maintain and repair the building, having spent nearly $1 million over the past 10 years on it.”


At a special meeting held on Tuesday, September 2, the Board of Education approved the purchasing of playground equipment for students attending Grant Intermediate.  The Board of Education would like to thank cePTA for their generous donations of over $15,000.00 and REIL Construction for designing an awesome play area and agreeing to help facilitate and manage a Community Build.  We will need approximately 25-30 volunteers on Saturday, September 27 to help put together the new playground.  We are planning to work from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Mike Cederland from REIL Construction assures me there are jobs for all skill levels.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lea Damisch at ldamisch@marengo165.org

Accommodations for Students and Guests Unable to Climb Stairs   

The District office is located at 816 E. Grant Highway on the 2nd floor. Students and guests unable to climb stairs may call the District office at 815-568-8323 and we will be happy to set up a time to meet with you in a location of the school that best fits your needs.

Keep Your Students Information Updated

If you are withdrawing your child at any time during the school year, you must fill out the necessary paperwork releasing your child from our school district, the Notice of Student Withdrawal Form can be found as a PDF file below, please bring the form filled out the the school.  MCMS 815-568-5720, Grant Intermediate 815-568-8323, Locust 815-568-7632. Please continue to notify the school(s) of any changes being made to phone numbers and addresses as they occur.

Registration Fees for 2014-2015  K-8 - $175.00

Lunch for 2014-2015

Lunch - $2.50 Reduced Lunch - $ .40
Breakfast - $1.50 Reduced Breakfast - $ .30
Milk - $ .45

211 Emergency Services

McHenry County has many services available to its residents. By calling the phone number 211, residents can access information about: emergency shelter, food pantries, day care, availability of rent or utility assistance, elder care, mental health services, employment services, health resources, education/vocational training, disability resources, drub/alcohol rehab, domestic abuse, disaster recovery and more. Limited translation services are available. If someone needs emergency assistance, they should call 911 or the McHenry County Crisis line at 1-800-892-8900. The 211 line is new to McHenry County and information will continue to be added.

Mission Statement

District #165's mission is to form a community partnership dedicated to providing a solid educational foundation that enables students to become confident, self-sufficient and productive citizens. Students shall have the academic and technological opportunities to achieve their full potential in a nurturing environment.

Vision Statement:  Educating Today for Tomorrow's World

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