TWO ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO SCHOOLS NAMED BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
CHICAGO (September 17, 2004) – St. Alphonsus Liguori School in Prospect Heights, Ill., and Infant Jesus of Prague School in Flossmoor, Ill., have been named among the U.S. Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced today.
“This national recognition underscores the commitment to academic excellence by Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools,” said Nicholas Wolsonovich, Ph.D., superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago. “This commitment is part of our vital mission to foster lifelong learning and development of our students’ talents and skills with a strong emphasis on Catholic values.”
“We are very proud of our students and faculty for their hard work and dedication to academic excellence,” said Pete Tantillo, principal of St. Alphonsus Liguori School. “We provide a strong Catholic education that will prepare our students academically, spiritually, socially, and physically for a happy, successful and faith-filled future.”
“It is a thrill to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for the second time in five years,” said Thomas Sedor, principal of Infant Jesus of Prague School. “Our school provides a Christian atmosphere in which growth and learning can take place and our dedicated staff is committed to the goals of Catholic education, and the following beliefs that allow us to achieve these goals.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the program recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very high levels.
The schools are selected based on one of three criteria:
- Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance on state tests, as determined by the state school chief;
- Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent on state tests; or
- Private schools that achieve in the top 10 percent in the nation.
Infant Jesus of Prague School was recognized under the U.S. Department of Education’s previous Blue Ribbon program in 1999.
A total of 205 public and 50 private schools were recognized by the 2004 No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools program. In Illinois, 12 public schools and two Archdiocese of Chicago schools received this recognition.
The schools will be honored by the U.S. Department of Education at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this fall.
Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools
The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago play a critical role in the life of the community by providing academic excellence and faith formation for approximately 111,000 students of many races, faiths and backgrounds in the 276 elementary and secondary schools in Cook and Lake counties. There are more than 6,400 teachers in the Catholic school system who instill values, teach discipline and achieve strong, consistent academic results in the Archdiocese of Chicago’s 235 elementary and 41 secondary schools. Parents or guardians seeking information about Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago are encouraged to call the Office of Catholic Schools’ 24-hour information line at 312--5250, or visit www.archchicago.org/schools