Cowherd Middle School

School Day
(Horario escolar):
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Office Hours
(Horario de oficina):
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Address (Dirección):
441 N. Farnsworth Ave.
Aurora IL, 60505

Phone (Teléfono central):

Attendance (Asistencia):

East Aurora staggers starting and ending times for different school levels

East Aurora School District 131 will change the some schools’ starting and ending times for the 2016-17 school year. See below for 2016-17 school day:

Pre-K half day (Early Childhood Center, Child Service Center, Oak Park, Johnson, Gates)

Morning: 8:10 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

Afternoon: 11:40 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.

Pre-K full day (Benavides Kindergarten Center, O’Donnell)

8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Elementary school

8:20 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Middle school and Magnet Academy

8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

High school

7:55 a.m. to 3:04 p.m.

  Late start at the high school will be 8:55 a.m. on Tuesdays. There will be no late start at the other levels.

   When the East Aurora Council IFT/AFT Local 604 contract was approved in April, it included a commitment to studying the possibility of staggering the start of elementary, middle, and high school days, so parents with students at more than one level can more easily drop off students.


Upcoming golf outings will support Tomcat Golf Team (June 1), Cuba trip (July 2), Aurora East Educational Foundation (July 7)

   Golfers will have three opportunities to hit the links while supporting East Aurora students this summer. On June 1, the East Aurora boys golf team will host a fundraising tournament at Phillips Park Golf Course in Aurora. On July 2, the General Mills Annual Golf Outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course will support the East Aurora High School student trip to Cuba. Finally, the Aurora East Educational Foundation will host its 15th annual golf outing on Thursday, July 7, at the Phillips Park Golf Course.

   More information about each outing is below.

June 1: Tomcat Golf Outing at Phillips Park to support boys golf

   The Tomcat golf team will host a four-person, best-ball, 9-hole tournament on Wednesday, June 1, at Phillips Park Golf Course. Tickets are $36, which includes a golf cart. The event will celebrate the end of the school year and support the East Aurora High School boys golf team.

   To sign up, contact Coach Megan Rodriguez in room 149 in East Aurora High School or at A flier for the event can be found here. Any individuals who sign up will be put into a four-person group. The deadline to register is May 27.

   Phillips Park Golf Course is located on Ray Moses Drive in Aurora, near the intersection of Hill Avenue and Montgomery Road.

July 2: General Mills Golf Outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course to support student trip to Cuba

   On Saturday, July 2, the General Mills Annual Golf Outing at Orchard Valley Golf Course in Aurora will support a 2017 East Aurora High School student trip to Cuba. The deadline to register is June 18. For registration and payment information, contact East Aurora High School teacher Simon Rodriguez at or (630) 299-4462. A flier is available here.

   The $78 entry fee includes unlimited range balls, a round of golf, lunch at the turn, two hours of open bar, and appetizers. There will be prizes for long drive, closest to the pin, and longest putt. There will also be a one-year golf membership raffled off, as well as vacation prizes for a hole in one.

   Rodriguez is leading a group that is hoping to bring a dozen students to Cuba for nine days in 2017. The tour will be paid for by students and community fundraising. While in Cuba, the students are expected to visit community organizations, meet University of Havana students, and participate in cultural experiences. The tour will be run through EF Educational Tours.

   To donate to the trip, go to:

July 7: Aurora East Educational Foundation Golf Outing at Phillips Park

   The Aurora East Educational Foundation will host its 15th annual golf outing on Thursday, July 7, at the Phillips Park Golf Course.

   The golf outing is a major fundraiser for the Educational Foundation, which supports teachers and students in East Aurora School District 131. Proceeds from the golf outing will be used to benefit literacy projects and programs in the District.

   The entry fee for a single golfer begins at $125, or $450 for a foursome. The entry fee includes: 18 holes of golf, a cart, a box lunch, refreshments, and dinner.

   Reservations are due July 1. The registration form and more information can be found here.

   There are also opportunities to be an event sponsor, or buy a place for your sign to be put near one of the golf holes, driving range, putting green or on the beverage cart.

   Check-in for the golf outing begins at 11 a.m., with lunch to follow, and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at the conclusion of the golf rounds and prizes will follow dinner.

   Phillips Park Golf Course is located on Ray Moses Drive in Aurora, near the intersection of Hill Avenue and Montgomery Road.

   For questions about the Golf Outing, contact Rhonda Mont at (630) 896-4678 or go to .

Student performances, new theatre and art installation highlight East Aurora Fine Arts Festival on May 14

  Actors, singers, artists, and musicians from elementary through high school will showcase their talent from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the East Aurora School District 131 Fine Arts Festival. The Festival will take place throughout East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane. Admission and parking are free.

  The choir performances will begin at 9 a.m. in the Hawks Auditorium, theater performances start at 11 a.m. in the Little Theatre, and the band programs begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Kivisto Gymnasium. Student paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and illustrations will be on display in the building throughout the day. Among the highlights will be the live installation of a new 3-D art piece in the cafeteria.

   Schedules and programs will be available at the event to guide visitors.

   “We hope that a lot of people visit,” said Assistant Director of Athletics and Student Activities Nestor Garcia. “It’s phenomenal to see these students sing and act, and to see their artwork.”

   The Fine Art Festival will also be the unveiling of the high school’s refurbished Little Theatre.

Cafeteria art installation

  The Fine Arts Festival has been a tradition in East Aurora School District 131 for more than 25 years. In the last decade, it has expanded to incorporate work from all grade levels.

   “You should see the entire event as an experience,” said East Aurora High School art teacher Susan McCarron. “Look at elementary, then look at middle school, then look at our high school work. See where it starts and where it ends. It’s amazing.”

   The East Aurora High School 3D Art students will be completing a permanent art installation. Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space which, in this case, is the school cafeteria.

   This high school installation was inspired by ceramic artist David Hicks who uses oversized objects hung in a cluster to give a sense of a still life. East Aurora students have fabricated oversized objects that are commonly seen in the cafeteria, and will be hanging clusters of these objects off a 6-foot copper pipe.

Performance schedules

Choir performances

  East Aurora High School choirs will start at 9 a.m. in the Hawks Auditorium. Performances include: “I Won’t Give Up”, “Shake It Out” by the Concert Choir, “Keep Your Lamps” and “Bless the Broken Road” by Soave Cantando, “Shut Up and Dance” by Honors Vocal Ensemble.

   The high school singers will be followed by the middle school choir. Performances include “Hava Nashira” by Cowherd Middle School; “Ain’t That Good News” and “Ode to Beethoven” by Simmons Middle School; and “Sing, Sing, Sing” by the Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy.

   Following the middle school performances, elementary school choirs will perform. Performances will include: “Brave” by Hermes Elementary School; “Count on Me” by Gates and Brady elementary schools; “Dynamite” by Dieterich Elementary School; “Home” and “Fireflies” by Beaupre and Oak Park elementary schools; “The Best Day of My Life” by Krug and Beaupre elementary schools.

Drama performances

   Drama performances will begin at 11 a.m. in the Little Theater.

   The drama performances will begin with the East Aurora High School honors performance of a scene from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”; followed by a “Bearly Scene”, written and performed by the Simmons Middle School Drama Club. The final performance will be “Law & Order: Fairy Tale Unit” by Cowherd Middle School students.

Band concert program

   The band concert programs will start at 12:30 p.m. in the Ernie Kivisto Gymnasium, also known as the main gym.

   All fifth-grade elementary school bansds will perform together. The performances will start with “Sousa’s Cadets”, followed by: “Alpha Squadron”, “The Tempest”, and “Rock Your Bones”.

   The middle school performances will start with “Battlestar!” by Simmons Middle School, followed by “Harbinger” by Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy.

   The East Aurora High School Wind Ensemble will then perform “Pas Redouble”, “Loco Motion”, and “Of Sailors and Whales”.

   Finally, all band members will play the Star Wars main theme in a unified concert for all students.


District #131 to Appoint Interim Superintendents

After conducting a comprehensive search, a committee led by Board Secretary Kimberly Hatchett has recommended that Dr. Marion Hoyda and Dr. Mark McDonald be appointed by the Board of Education for East Aurora School District #131 to serve together to fill the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools. The Board plans to vote upon that recommendation and make those appointments at its May 16, 2016, meeting.

Dr McDonald and Dr Hoyda are no strangers to East Aurora or the Aurora community. Dr Hoyda has been meeting with staff and small focus groups gathering information for a smooth transition plan. Dr McDonald has been a Principal and Deputy Superintendent at West Aurora District #129. He is exhilarated to become a part of Aurora schools again.

Dr. Hoyda, who previously provided the Board with analysis and consultation on curriculum, was recently retained to guide the Board in setting priorities and identifying issues that should be addressed by District leadership. She previously served in several key management roles for several school districts, most recently as Superintendent of District #146 in Tinley Park.

Dr. McDonald, also a seasoned school administrator, is currently the Superintendent of District #99 in Downers Grove. He will retire from that position at the end of June after eight years of service.

Both candidates have over 35 years of experience as professional educators.

Kimberly Hatchett said “Both candidates have strong credentials and have been highly recommended by the references who we contacted during our due diligence process.”

“Dr. McDonald has been characterized as a transformational, charismatic leader with a profound understanding of educational systems. He has been lauded for his ability to stimulate those around him to think independently and is also said to excel at forming and leading teams to achieve well-defined goals.”

Hatchett said that Dr. Hoyda “has an in-depth knowledge of the District and has strong leadership traits that the Board has recognized during her prior and current service with the District. She has a wealth of knowledge about how to select and deploy appropriate curriculum, and her passion and capacity for mentoring educational professionals has been obvious.”

Board President Annette Johnson said “I believe the level of confidence held by each of our members in both Dr. McDonald and Dr. Hoyda is very high. Both Dr. Hoyda and Dr. McDonald have so much to offer. They each express themselves in a way to which the Board, as well as our administrators, will be sure to respond.”

“We are looking forward to getting from them the help we need in setting priorities and finding the best way to put a Superintendent who is best suited to meet them, permanently in place.”

For more information:

Annette Johnson, President, Board of Education

(630) 781-4548


Students invite to build, explore, and blast off at free S.T.E.M.-a-palooza on May 7

  There will be rockets, robots, bridge building and non-Newtonian fluids - more commonly known as goop – at East Aurora School District 131’s first S.T.E.M.-a-palooza event this Saturday. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to the District’s free interactive science, technology and math festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 7, at Cowherd Middle School, 441 N. Farnsworth Avenue.

   This the first year that East Aurora will host S.T.E.M.-a-palooza event. A financial donation made by the DART Foundation made S.T.E.M.-a-palooza event a possibility. East Aurora Science and Social Studies Facilitator Chris Heath said the inspiration came from an NIU STEM Fest he attended where he saw students excited about interacting with science, math, and technology.

   Heath helped put together a team of staff, students, and community members that spent more than three months planning a festival that will include opportunities to shoot stomp rockets, test gliders, conduct microscope investigations, plant seeds, work with electrical circuits, design on a 3-D printer, and work on coding.

   There will also be a bridge building competition, where students will design bridges and compete for prizes to see how much weight the bridge can hold. Students will also be able to study Oobleck, that non-Newtonian fluid that acts like a liquid when it’s held in your hand, but takes on the properties of a solid when squeezed. Staff will show how that substance is affected by sound waves.

   “It’s going to be a great way to get kids interested in science, math, technology, and what’s coming in the future,” Heath said.

   According to the National Math + Science Initiative, more than one-third of students have lost interest in science by fourth grade, and half by eighth grade.

   “I just think that’s a crime especially when so many of their jobs are going to be S.T.E.M. related,” Heath said. “We need to have more than 50 percent. We need to have everyone interested. If you really want to get kids interested in science, engineering, you need to hook them early.”

Community invited to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5 at Simmons Middle School

  The public is invited to attend a free Cinco de Mayo celebration on Thursday, May 5, at Simmons Middle School, 1130 Sheffer Road. The celebration will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the middle school.

   Visitors will be able to watch student and community groups dance and sing. There will be children games for 25 cents. Food and drinks will be sold at the event.

   Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of heritage and pride. It commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla through dance and the coming together of the community.

   The flier for the event can be viewed here.


Tuesday, May 3: Free Navigating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals workshop at Waldo Middle School

   East Aurora School District 131 will host a free workshop for parents and students on navigating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other forms of relief for undocumented students and immigrant families. The workshop will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, at Waldo Middle School, 56 Jackson Street.

  Workshop topics will include: defining key terms, state and national demographics, eligibility requirements for DACA applicants, steps for applying to DACA, post-secondary and legal resources, and best practices for school staff working with students and immigrant families.

   RSVP with Qoc’avib Revolorio at or (630) 280-0265. For more information, contact Alfred Morales at or (630) 299-7266.


East Aurora School District 131 offering free music, sports camps

East Aurora School District 131 will be offering free music and sports summer camps for students from kindergarten through high school. The camps are open to all students who are enrolled in East Aurora School District 131 during the 2015-16 school year.

  In order for students to participate in either sports or music camps, registration forms must be turned in by Friday, May 13. The forms will be sent home with students on Wednesday, April 27. The forms and additional information are also available on the District’s website, Forms can be turned into the office at each student’s school.

  Camps are offered in the morning and afternoon, depending on the activity. A full schedule, including times, grade levels and coaches, is available on the District’s website.

Music camps

   The three music summer camps include: beginners band (sixth grade), drumline (8th grade – high school), and musical exploration (6th – 8th).

  The music camps meet Monday through Friday at either Simmons Middle School, Cowherd Middle School, or the high school, depending on the activity and the age level. Music camps start as soon as June 6 and run as late as July 21. A full outline of all music camps, as well as times and dates, is available here.

Sports camps

  The sports camps offered this summer include: badminton (7th- high school), baseball (7th – high school), basketball (3rd – high school), bowling (6th – high school), cheerleading (3rd – high school), cross country (6th – high school), dance (kindergarten – high school), fitness training (3rd – high school), football (kindergarten – high school), soccer (kindergarten – high school), softball (6th – high school), tennis (6th – high school), track and field (6th – high school), volleyball (3rd- high school), and wrestling (kindergarten – high school).

   Sports summer camps start as early as June 2 and run as late as Aug. 24, depending on the sport and level. A full outline of all the sports camps, as well as the times and dates, is available here.

  A minimum of 10 students is needed to hold a camp. Music camps may be capped at 20 students, depending on the activity.

  Students can attend multiple camps, as long as they are designated at the student’s grade level.

For more information about the summer camp opportunities, contact Nestor Garcia at (630) 299-5530 or, or your student’s principal.

Crystal England

Margaret Boyd

Assistant Principal

Jesus Barraza

Assistant Principal

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