|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2001
Springfield – Nine Illinois public schools have achieved a mark of excellence that’s easy for everyone to see: they have been named 2000-2001 Blue Ribbon Schools.
The award, given annually by the U.S. Department of Education, honors schools nationwide that excel in academic leadership, teaching and teacher development and school curriculum. Blue Ribbon schools also display exceptional community and parental involvement, high student achievement and rigorous safety and discipline programs.
The program has honored over 4,000 public and private schools nationwide over its 18 years, including 264 this year. Counting this year’s nine winners, 171 Illinois schools – 135 public and 36 private -- have won the Blue Ribbon awards.
“This is such a significant honor for our schools because the Blue Ribbon award honors the entire community for its work to support their local schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee.
“Of course, we at the State Board know that Illinois has many excellent schools. The Blue Ribbon awards are a way of reinforcing what these schools do, sharing their good practices and letting everyone else know what their communities have probably known for a long time,” McGee said.
To be nominated, schools must conduct a thorough self-evaluation involving administrators, teachers, students, parents and community members. The evaluation helps the school assess its strengths and weaknesses and to develop strategic plans.
The State Board of Education then uses outside readers, including local school principals, retired administrators, teachers and others familiar with the program, to evaluate the nominations. This year, 15 nominations received by the State Board were deemed sufficiently successful to be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education.
The federal education agency reviews all nominees’ applications and then visits those schools that best meet the Blue Ribbon criteria. Finally the federal review panel is reconvened to choose the actual winners.
"These schools represent pockets of excellence in education that can be found in communities all across the country," said U. S. Secretary of Education of Education Rod Paige in unveiling the list of award recipients. "Blue Ribbon Schools can serve as examples of what is possible under the president's plan to create a system of education that gives every child access to a quality education."
Illinois’ 2000-2001 Blue Ribbon Schools
Early Learning Center
In addition to these nine public schools nominated by the State Board, two Illinois nonpublic schools achieved the designation by a separate nominating process through the Council for American Private Education:
Immanuel Lutheran School, Principal Karen Bauder, 847-359-1936