PRINCETON — Lincoln Elementary School in Princeton is one of 125 schools statewide to receive an Academic Improvement Award for showing substantial improvement in its state standardized testing.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) made the announcement on April 24 of a total of 177 schools, including Lincoln Elementary in Princeton, which were named to the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll for performance on standardized tests.
ISBE chairman Gery Chico said the awards are given in three categories. For the 2013 year, there were 37 “spotlight schools,” which are high-poverty, high-performing schools that are beating the odds by overcoming the achievement gap. Another 23 schools were awarded for sustaining high performance for at least three years. Another 125 schools, including Lincoln Elementary, were honored for showing substantial academic improvement.
To earn an Academic Improvement Award, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards on state tests had to increase by at least 7.5 points higher than in 2012 or by 15 percent higher than in 2011, which is a major achievement, Chico said.
Princeton Elementary was the only Bureau County school to receive an award, though the Tampico Elementary School, northwest of Walnut in Whiteside County, received both the Spotlight and Academic Excellence awards.
Chico commended all the schools for their achievements.
“These Honor Roll schools once again show us that rigorous standards, great teachers and persistence are key to improved student performance,” Chico said. “We raised our expectations in 2013 but these 177 schools accepted the challenge. Many more will meet these new more rigorous expectations and better prepare students for college and careers.”
On Thursday, PES Superintendent Tim Smith said he’s excited for the school district to get the good news about Lincoln Elementary which currently serves second and third grade students.
Regarding the improvement, Smith said so much of what is done has to do with monitoring the progress of students and with the Response to Intervention program, which is hopefully having a good impact on the students. Students are screened three times a year, and teachers are able to address any concerns which may appear, he said.
The PES staff, from preschool up through the third grade, is to be commended for building each year into the academic success of the Lincoln students, Smith said. Also, recognition has to be given to the parents and families who encourage and help their children with their school work, he added.
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