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 16 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.
Five private schools, which faced similar requirements, were also awarded the Blue Ribbon this year, bringing the total of Illinois school winners to 21. That compares to 16 in 2015.
Here’s the list of the public schools that earned the designation, their enrollment, and the school district in which they reside:
- Alan B. Shepard Middle School, 513 students, Deerfield SD 109
- Countryside Elementary School, 418 students, Barrington CUSD 220
- Damiansville Elementary School, 103 students, Damiansville SD 62
- Daniel Wright Junior High, 821 students, Lincolnshire-Prairie View SD 103
- Earl Pritchett School, 568 students, Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102 (Buffalo Grove)
- Eisenhower Academy, 261 students, Joliet PSD 86
- Grove Avenue Elementary School, 513 students, Barrington CUSD 220
- Half Day School, 370 students, Lincolnshire-Prairie View SD 103
- Kennedy Junior High School, 951 students, Naperville CUSD 203
- Monroe Elementary School, 405 students, Hinsdale CCSD 181 (Clarendon Hills)
- Oak Grove School, 803 students, Oak Grove SD 68 (Green Oaks)
- Skinner North Elementary School, 472 students, Chicago District 299
- Tri-Valley Elementary School, 287 students, Tri-Valley CUSD 3 (Downs)
- Tripp Elementary School, 628 students, Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102 (Buffalo Grove)
- Walden Elementary School, 453 students, Deerfield SD 109
- Woodlawn Middle School, 656 students, Kildeer Countryside CCSD 96 (Buffalo Grove)
Federal education officials honored these schools among the 279 public and 50 private school award winners nationwide at a ceremony held Nov. 7-8 in Washington. Each school received an award plaque and a flag as symbols of their accomplishments. In its 34-year history, nearly 8,500 schools in the United States have received the Blue Ribbon Schools award.
More information about the program and the award winners can be found on the program’s official website.