Two elementary schools have been recognized as part of the Illinois Honor Roll.
The Illinois Honor Roll consists of three separate recognitions: Spotlight Schools, Academic Improvement Awards and Academic Excellence Awards.
Both and were given 2011 Academic Excellence Awards. In total, 438 Illinois schools were given this distinction, which recognizes "very high academic performance over at least three years." Three hundred and sixty-six schools were elementary or K-8 schools.
At least 90 percent of students had to meet or exceed state standards in both reading and mathematics for at least three consecutive years to receive the recognition. All Academic Excellence schools also achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the past two years.
William F. Murphy Elementary School received an additional honor as a Spotlight School. The Illinois State Board of Education defines these schools as "high-poverty schools where high academic performance is closing the 'achievement gap.'"
"The Spotlight Schools demonstrate that low-income students and schools with limited resources can show impressive academic performance," according to the Illinois Honor Roll. "These schools know how to make all students succeed."
Murphy is one of 167 Spotlight Schools named in the state; 147 were elementary or K-8 schools. To be named a Spotlight School, schools must make AYP and at least half of the students must come from low-income families.
Murphy was only only one of 10 schools to receive both Spotlight and Academic Excellence recognition.
The number of both Spotlight Schools and schools receiving Academic Excellence awards have declined in recent years as higher percentages of students are required to meet state standards to make AYP.
Editor's note: A previous version of the article mentioned that Edgewood, not Murphy, was recognized as a Spotlight School. The article has been changed. Patch regrets the error.