Illinois Honor Roll

Contact Us | Site Map | ISBE | NIU

2008 Academic Excellence Awards

Academic Excellence Awards recognize 388 schools that have sustained very high academic performance over at least three years. Some of these schools often receive national recognitions placing them among the nation's most outstanding. The number of Academic Excellence awards more than doubled in 2008, rising from 166 to 388. Research is not yet available to explain this dramatic increase, especially in middle schools.

In these elementary schools, at least 90% of students met or exceeded state standards both in reading and in mathematics for at least 3 consecutive years. All Academic Excellence schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress for the past 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

Chart showing types of schools receiving awards

School Types

Return to Top return to top

Chart showing types of schools receiving awards


Academic Excellence High Schools

(Number indicates consecutive awards.)

Adlai E Stevenson, lincolnshire (5) New Trier Township, Winnetka (4)
Deerfield High School, Deerfield (5) Northside College Prep, Chicago (5)
Glenbrook North, Northbrook (5) Payton College Prep, Chicago (4)
Jones College Prep, Chicago (4) Prospect, Mt. Prospect (2)
Lane Technical High School, Chicago (1) Young Magnet, Chicago (3)


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.)

  • 21 Academic Excellence schools in Chicago enroll 4.7 to 60.1% low-income students.
  • 309 of the 388 Academic Excellence schools (80%) enroll fewer than 15% low-income students.


Geographic Distribution of 388 Academic Excellence Awards

Return to Top return to top

Chart showing geographic distribution of schools


School Size

  • Adlai Stevenson High School in Lake County is the largest Academic Excellence school with 4483 students. The ten high schools enroll from 707 to 4483 students.
  • Elementary enrollments range from 73 in Nettle Creek, Morris, to 1094 students at Milburn Central, Old Mill Creek.
  • 67.5% of the elementary schools enroll 400 or more students.

Repeat Winners

41 Schools
Fifth time (2003–2008)
43 Schools
Fourth time (2004–2008)
27 Schools
Third time (2005–2008)
44 Schools
Second time (2006–2008)
233 Schools
First time (2007–2008)

Double Winners

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

Districts with 4 or More Excellence Awards in 2008

Return to Top return to top

Chart showing school districts with 4 or more awards