The first class of Hinsdale High School graduated in 1883.
In 1897, the University of Illinois recognized Hinsdale High School and the school was accredited by the North Central Association for the first time in 1908.
In 1913, District 86 came into existence when the elementary school and high school separated into two districts. The name Hinsdale Township High School District 86 became official in 1925.
Construction began on Hinsdale Central in 1947 with 780 students occupying the new building in 1950. In 1962, a referendum for a second high school passed and Hinsdale South opened its doors in the fall of 1965 to 418 freshmen and sophomores. In 1990-91, enrollment reached its lowest level of 3062.
For 2018-19, approximately 4,200 students attend the two high school. A faculty and administrative staff of 385 oversee all programs for the district.
With close to 300 courses, nearly 60 clubs and activities, and 28 interscholastic sports available to District 86 students in each building, educational opportunities abound. Students have taken advantage of all of these opportunities to the extent that nearly 98 percent of all District 86 graduates matriculate to a college or university of their choice.