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For Immediate Release
March 25, 2004

Board Approves Schools in Academic Early Warning and Academic Watch Status

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education Thursday adopted the 2003 Academic Early Warning and Academic Watch status, recognizing a significant increase in the number of schools that are not making adequate yearly progress.

The schools’ status are based on 2003 test data to indicate school progress and is required by the School Code and the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

A total of 280 schools are in Academic Early Warning Status (AEWS), which is down from 664 in 2002. While 22 were removed from AEWS, 286 dropped to the Academic Watch Status (AWS). The number of schools on Academic Watch increased from 49 in 2002 to 335 in 2003.

The status of nearly 70 schools is still pending due to data verification and could be added to either status. Seven other schools have closed or have been reconfigured.

“We are certainly proud of the 22 schools whose positive performance removed them from Academic Early Warning status and the overall decrease in the number of schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Robert Schiller. “But at the same time we are greatly concerned with the increasing number of schools moving into watch status and we are working to change that.”

Since 1997, ISBE has provided some level of assistance to districts with schools in Academic Warning and Watch status. The assistance overlaps with that provided to Title I schools designated for “School Improvement” status under NCLB. Currently, services are provided through the Regional Education Service Providers.

Beginning with 2003 testing, the AYP criteria were revised to reflect the requirements of NCLB legislation and include the following:

  • Schools must meet the 95% participation rate on state assessments, in the aggregate and for all subgroups.
  • Schools must meet the target of 40% meeting or exceeding state standards (reading and mathematics only).
  • Schools must meet the 88% attendance rate for elementary and middle schools and a 65% graduation rate for high schools.


A school becomes eligible for placement on the Academic Early Warning Status when they do not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years. Schools placed on Academic Watch are those that have failed to make AYP for two consecutive years after being placed on Academic Early Warning (or four annual calculations of missing AYP). Beginning with initial placement on the Academic Early Warning Status, schools prepare a School Improvement plan, or a revised plan for approval by the local school board.

Schools receiving Title I funding are required to offer Choice or Supplemental Education Services (SES) by approved providers. Title I schools entering their fourth year of Watch Status are designated as being in Corrective Action and begin planning for restructuring.

The lists can be accessed through the following links:

Twenty-two schools have been removed from either list. This information can be accessed at

More information on the terms and a flow chart of designations is available at

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777