Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thirteen Illinois schools join Blue Ribbon ranks

Thirteen Illinois public schools were recognized recently by the U.S. Department of Education with coveted awards through the federal Blue Ribbon Schools program.

The program bestows awards on elementary, middle schools, and high schools for academic excellence and improvement in closing the gap between privileged and underprivileged students. Schools can qualify as Blue Ribbon Schools by being rated as “high performing” or “achievement gap closing.”

All 13 schools qualified by scoring in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state in reading and math. All groups within the school — including lower-income students — also had to collectively score in the top 40 percent. High schools had to maintain a graduation rate in the top 15 percent in the state.

Private schools had similar requirements, except all groups within the school had to have similar test results and high school graduation rates had to be at least 95 percent or higher. Just three private schools in the state were awarded the Blue Ribbon this year, bringing the total to 16. Illinois had a total of 22 schools in 2014 and 21 in 2013 qualify as Blue Ribbon Schools.

Here’s a list of the public schools that made the cut this year, and the school district in which they reside:
  • Butler Junior High School, Butler SD 53, Oak Brook
  • Emerson Elementary School, Wheaton Warrenville CUSD 200, Wheaton
  • G. Kerkstra Elementary School, Forest Ridge SD 142, Oak Forest
  • Hough Street School, Barrington CUSD 220
  • Lasalle Language Academy, Chicago District 299
  • Lincoln Elementary School, River Forest SD 90
  • Longfellow Elementary School, Wheaton Warrenville CUSD 200, Wheaton
  • May Watts Elementary School, Indian Prairie CUSD 204 - Naperville
  • Meadow Glens Elementary School, Naperville CUSD 203, Naperville
  • Medora Elementary School, Southwestern CUSD 9, Brighton
  • Old Post Elementary School, Oswego CUSD 308
  • Pecatonica Elementary School, Pecatonica CUSD 321
  • Scott Altman Primary School, Pekin PSD 108
Meadow Glens Elementary School, Naperville CUSD 203.
Federal education officials honored these schools, and 285 public and 50 private school award winners nationwide at a ceremony held Nov. 9-10 in Washington. Each school received an award plaque and a flag as symbols of their accomplishments. In its 33-year history, more than 8,000 schools throughout the nation have received the Blue Ribbon Schools award.

More information about the program and the 2015 winners can be found on the U.S. Department of Education award site.