Illinois Honor Roll

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2004 Academic Excellence Awards

Many of this nation's most honored schools are in Illinois. Awards and lists of outstanding schools generated by national magazines, government agencies, realtors, and research studies always include first-rate institutions in our state.  The Academic Excellence Awards recognize 65 schools that have sustained very high performance levels.

In these elementary schools, at least 90% of students met or exceeded state standards in 2002-2004. At the high school level, at least 80% of students passed the Prairie State Achievement Exam in 2002-2004. All Academic Excellence schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for the last two years.

Achieving and maintaining excellence is not easy in any school. The critical strategies for success cited in Billman, Mission Possible also operate in the schools winning the Excellence Award.


Total Number by Year

In 2004 = 65

School Types

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Chart showing types of schools receiving awards


Test Scores - Moving More Students into the Exceeds Range

Four elementary schools showed increases in scores over last year even though they started at a baseline above 90 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards.

  • Half Day School, Lincolnshire
  • Iles Elementary, Springfield
  • Lincoln Elementary, River Forest
  • Edison Elementary Regional Gifted Center, Chicago

Ten elementary schools showed decreases in test scores, but stayed above the 92.5 percent mark.

Low-Income Enrollment ("Low-income" is designated by eligibility for free or reduced lunch.)

  • 4 schools in Chicago and 2 schools downstate have low-income populations ranging from 15 to 30%.
  • 57 schools enroll fewer than 15% low-income students.


Geographic Distribution of 65 Academic Excellence Awards

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Chart showing geographic distribution of schools


School Size

  • There are fewer than 300 students in 40% of the Spotlight Schools.
  • The 4 largest elementary schools, all in Chicago, enroll 1234 to 1779 students. Sator Sanchez Elementary in Joliet and East Richmond Elementary in East Richmond follow with 1001 and 1002 respectively.

Repeat Winners

Double Winners

  • 1 Schools earned both Spotlight Schools and Academic Excellence Awards.

Districts with 3 or More Excellence Awards in 2004

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Chart showing school districts with 3 or more awards