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For Immediate Release

100 Schools to Receive Academic Recognition
16 Southern Illinois schools among those showing improvement

Springfield, Ill. – A total of 16 southern Illinois public schools will be recognized next week for making academic improvement. The 16 schools are among 100 statewide whose data shows improvement in their student scores over three years of test assessments.

“More often than not people talk about our schools failing, and time and time again I have said that they are not,” State Superintendent Robert Schiller said. “As demands to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind Act increase, it is gratifying for us to recognize those schools that are not only meeting requirements, but are definitely showing trends in improvement.”

Partnering with Northern Illinois University, a data search identified schools where students have made consistent academic improvement while meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. Recognizing these schools is part of the No Child Left Behind requirements. The State Board of Education approved the recognition criteria during its monthly meeting in April.

To receive an Academic Improvement Award, schools must:

  • Have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2003, and
  • Their state test results show an upward trend, and
  • The school showed at least 7.5% improvement in scores between 2002 and 2003, OR
  • There was at least 15% improvement in scores between 2001 and 2003.

The 7.5% improvement increments were selected to match the projected increase in annual academic performance targets under No Child Left Behind beginning in 2005.

The program is an extension of the Spotlight Schools honored last fall. Spotlight Schools are public schools that achieved high academic performance in an environment where a majority of students’ come from low-income families.

A recognition event is set for Wed.., June 9, starting at 4 p.m. Other schools will be recognized at events in Springfield and Chicago.

The 16 southern Illinois schools invited to receive recognition are:

School District City
Buncombe School
Buncombe CSD 43
Fort Bowman Academy
Cahokia CU School District 187
Morris Elementary School
Cahokia CU School District 187
Calhoun High School
Calhoun CU School District 40
Carmi-White County High School
Carmi-White County CU S District 5 Carmi
Carterville High School
Carterville CU School District 5
Galatia Junior High School
Galatia CU School District 1 Galatia
Dahlgren Elementary School
Hamilton Co CU School District 10
Coffeen Elementary School
Hillsboro CU School District 3 Coffeen
Brookport Elementary School
Massac Unit District #1
Meridian Elementary School
Meridian CU School District 101
Mt. Olive High School
Mt. Olive CU School District 5
Mount Olive
Carruthers Elementary School
Murphysboro CU School District 186
Petty Elementary School
Red Hill CU School District 10
South Central Elementary School
South Central CU District 401
Venice Elementary School
Venice CU School District 3
For a statewide list and more on the Academic Improvement schools, please visit

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