The road is clear for Glenbard East and West Aurora to leave the DuPage Valley Conference beginning in the 2014-15 school year.
Reversing a previous decision, on Friday the DVC Board of Control voted unanimously to make an exception to its bylaws and allow Glenbard East and West Aurora to leave the league a year early so the schools can accept an invitation to join the Upstate Eight Conference.
"This decision is the result of the collective understanding among the Board of Control that the move to the Upstate Eight is in the best interest of Glenbard East and West Aurora," DVC Board of Control President and Wheaton Warrenville South Principal Dave Claypool said in a statement. "We now set our sights on seeking replacements for them with hopes that the DVC will continue as one of the premier conferences in the state."
In January the DVC Board of Control decided by a majority vote that any school wishing to leave the DVC must notify the conference by Dec. 1 for that school year to count toward the two-year notification required by the league bylaws.
That decision meant a potential delay for Glenbard East and West Aurora to leave the DVC for the UEC until the 2015-16 school year. With Friday's Board vote to grant an exception, however, the two schools are free to accept the UEC's invitation, as written, for the 2014-15 school year.
"I'm very grateful they made the decision," said Glenbard East principal Josh Chambers. "Next year is going to be our last in the DVC, and then we'll be on our way to the Upstate Eight."
On Jan. 11 West Aurora's school board voted unanimously to accept the UEC's invitation to join its league. On Feb. 11 the District 87 school board voted in favor of allowing Glenbard East to leave the DVC for the UEC.
The changing face of the DVC begins at the end of this school year when West Chicago leaves for the UEC. Current UEC member Lake Park will take West Chicago's place.
As of now, the DVC will be a six-school league beginning in the 2014-15 school year. The question is how soon the DVC finds new members to join Glenbard North, Lake Park, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South.
"We look forward to our last year in the DVC," Chambers said. "But we're excited to be accepting the Upstate Eight's offer as is. We're good to go."
Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit