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Four District 202 Elementary Schools Cited for Excellence

Eagle Pointe, Freedom, Liberty and Walker's Grove were presented with Academic Excellence Awards for academic progress.

submitted this media release for publication:

, , Liberty and elementary schools received a 2011 Academic Excellence Award from the Illinois State Board of Education.

The honor, given this year to 438 schools statewide, recognizes schools that have sustained very high academic performance over at least three years. The Academic Excellence Award is part of the Illinois Honor Roll program that recognizes schools for continued academic progress.

To earn the Academic Excellence Award, as least 90 percent of elementary and middle school students must have met or exceeded state reading and math standards for at least three consecutive years.

In 2011:

  • 91 percent of Eagle Pointe students met state reading and math standards, down slightly from 91.4 percent last year and 92 percent in 2009
  • 94 percent of Freedom students met state reading and math standards, up from 92 percent last year and 90.2 percent in 2009
  • 94 percent of Liberty students met state reading and math standards, up from 91.6 percent last year and 90.7 percent in 2009
  • 92 percent of Walker’s Grove students met state reading and math standards, up from 91.3 percent last year and down slightly from 92.9 percent in 2009

“We are very proud of the students, staff and families at each of these schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Harper.

“Their success confirms the hard work that our students and schools do every day in our classrooms,” Harper said. “It also affirms the many initiatives undertaken in the last few years to improve teaching, learning, support and achievement for all of our students,” Harper said.

Six years ago, District 202 engaged in a plan to create a school system in which every student can achieve his or her maximum potential. Numerous steps have been taken, including:

l     developing and implementing a coordinated and articulated PreK-12 curriculum in all content areas, to eliminate curriculum “gaps” both between levels, and among schools at each level;

l     developing and implementing a data-driven School Improvement Plan to meet state and federal learning requirements;

l     increasing the rigor of the curriculum at all levels;

l     increasing students’ access to a more challenging curriculum;

l     developing and implementing a systematic series of academic and behavioral; interventions to help at-risk learners at each grade level.

In all, 703 schools were named to the Illinois Honor Roll, earning 719 awards despite the increasing expectations for academic performance tied to the federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act.

The 2011 honor roll includes 55 schools that are being recognized for the eighth or ninth consecutive year.

“These Honor Roll schools continue to prove that hard work and reform efforts impact student performance,” wrote State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico.

“Behind each school’s success is an untold story of extraordinary passion and dedication on behalf of administrators, teachers, parents and students. We commend each school for its commitment to improvement and excellence,” he said.

The Interactive Illinois Report Card (IIRC) at NIU worked with the ISBE to establish criteria, identify winners of the awards, and administer the Illinois Honor Roll, which is divided into three categories – Spotlight Schools; Academic Excellence and Academic Improvement. Each award has unique criteria that best reflect the diverse circumstances of Illinois schools.

  • Spotlight Schools – Recognizes 167 high-poverty, high-performing schools that are beating the odds to overcoming the achievement gap.
  • Academic Excellence Awards – 438 schools have sustained high performance over at least three years.
  • Academic Improvement Awards – 114 schools are showing substantial gains over three years.

The 2011 honor roll roster includes elementary, middle and high schools, and represents 312 school districts statewide. Suburban schools represent 46 percent of the Honor Roll schools, downstate schools account for another 41 percent and Chicago schools make up the final 13 percent this year.

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