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The Illinois State Board of Education announced that two District 65 schools, Willard Elementary School and Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School, are recipients of Academic Excellence Awards for 2010. Academic Excellence Awards go to Illinois elementary and middle schools where at least 90% of the students meet or exceed state standards in both reading and mathematics on the Illinois Standard Achievement Test for at least three consecutive years. A total of 459 schools in the state received an Academic Excellence Award for 2010. 

In addition, Dawes Elementary School joined 265 elementary schools across the state as a 2010 Spotlight School award winner. This award is given to schools where 77.5% of the students met or exceeded standards in reading and math on the 2010 ISATs and where 50% of the students are from low-income households.