Seniors mess around in “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”, Class Night, 1970.
New dress code goes into affect

The new code reads, “The student council believes that the students of U-High will display good taste in determining individually thei modes of school dress. Therefore, there should be no restrictions on a student’s hair style or his manner of dressing unless these present danger to the student’s health and safety, cause an interference with work, or create classroom or school disorder.”

In front of Paxton’s, 1970.
New Vietnam draft lottery system explained

“Seniors born in 1951 will have their draft lottery in November or December of 1970…numbers between 1-120 stand a good chance of being called. Individuals having numbers between 120 and 240 could go either way…however, an upturn in Vietnam could change this.”
-Student Reporter Tim Johnson, The Clarionette

U-High production of “Oliver” includes students from 15 grade schools
November, 1971
Scene from “Oliver”, The Daily Pantagraph, Oct. 27, 1972

With a cast of 85, the massive stage production featured U-High students in all the major parts with the exception of “Oliver”, played by Chiddix Junior High student Dennis Gibson. Stroud Auditorium is transformed into the interior of an old English pub for the show.

ISBE recommends closure of state lab schools by 1973

In the spring of 1971, the Illinois State Board of Education recommended that U-High, along with other state lab schools, should be closed by the fall of 1973.

The plan caused head-scratching concern among university and lab school constituents, and questions were asked as to how Unit 5 could assimilate 850 students if the lab schools closed. Additionally, taxpayers would be on the hook for the increased cost associated with moving those students to Unit 5.

Snapshot of student life, ’73-’76

“Eight-track players, a jukebox in the lounge, hanging out at the Union Rec Center playing pinball; wearing bell-bottoms with platform shoes, very BIG hair, girls wearing bib-overalls; pizza at Ragusa’s, Mr. Kelly’s and Tobin’s, and the opening of Avantis.”

-Marty Kiesewetter, ’76

ISU announces cut to U-High enrollments, faculty
January 8, 1973

As applications for the ’73-’74 year open, only about 100 new freshman are expected to be accepted.

By the fall of 1974, U-High’s enrollment is set to be cut from 600 to 400 students, with a corresponding cut to staff positions. Besides cutting costs, the move is designed to focus the school more on research, development and experimentation.

Social Studies department to focus more on skills, less on facts

Students will rely more on learning how to perform vital tasks related to problem solving and gathering information.

student on phone
Hanging out on the phone after school is a popular activity.
Home economics offers “Bachelor Basics”

Another unusual feature in the department is U-High’s co-ed classes.

A single-male oriented survival course in which students learn basic sewing and cooking.

Irvin Theater
Pantagraph headline: “ISU lab schools to close”
March 9, 1977

One headline blamed the cuts to state subsidies; another faulted parents. Ultimately, the lab schools are set to be phased out because of a lack of funding over the next 2-3 years.

“The university simply does not have resources to allocate to the laboratory schools,” said James Horner, ISU Vice-President. The crushing blow to the lab schools came in mid-February when ISU found it could no longer collect fees from District 87 and Unit 5.

Closure averted
May 1977

Not willing to go down without a fight, U-High students and parents began a fight to save the lab schools. According to newspaper reports, students held a “polished” press conference in support, while parent committees worked behind the scenes.

On May 17, Richard Schuler announced that the provost had dismantled the committee charged to plan the phase-out of the lab schools. In addition, cost-cutting to programs was put in place for the fall semester, as well as contractual agreements with Unit 5 and District 87.

Lab schools to increase enrollment in response to new teacher education focus

A new mission statement to increase the emphasis on what ISU students do in the lab schools will lead to more of them being allowed to student teach in the schools; and will also require university students to complete at least 100 hours of observation.

To meet these needs, it’s expected that U-High will need to raise its enrollment from its current level of 450, to somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 students.

Faculty senate suggests more smoking receptacles
Nov. 28, 1978

In addition to placing more of these around the building, the senate also asks to publicize smoking regulations among the student body.

2 TRS-80 computers available through College of Education

Approximately 50 students at U-High have been making “extensive use of the computers in supplementing classroom instruction in math and science”.

TRS-80 Computer
U-High wins Scholastic Showdown
May, 1979
Coach Michael Surma accepts the trophy from WRAU VP Gene Holmes.

Seniors Karen Carmichael, Chip Liston, Sara Myers and Captain Eric Secoy led U-High to first place in the Scholastic Showdown shown on Channel 19 out of Peoria every Sunday.

Dennis Kelly takes over as principal
Dennis Kelly and Bev Gramm

Kelly comes to U-High from Homewood-Flosmoor High School.