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For the third consecutive year, Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School and Willard Elementary School will receive letters from the State Board of Education congratulating them as Academic Excellence Award Winners. Walker Elementary School is a Spotlight School.

Rhodes and Willard are among 438 Illinois schools in the State to achieve an Academic Excellence Award. To be recognized for academic excellence, at least 90% of the students must meet or exceed state standards in both reading and mathematics for at least three consecutive years.

The criteria to be selected as a Spotlight School are that at least one-half of the students are from low-income households and the school must meet AYP.  For 2011, the AYP requirement was that at least 85% of the students meet or exceed state standards in both reading and mathematics.

“Each year the state and federal accountability adequate yearly progress requirements increase, and each year the District 65 continues to have a showing of schools recognized as Illinois Honor Roll schools,” said Superintendent Hardy Murphy. “This is a tribute to the District’s instructional initiatives, student expectations, and the highly professional faculty and staff in District 65.”