Three elementary schools in Evanston/Skokie District 65 won recognition from the state for student achievement in 2012.

Bessie Rhodes Magnet School and Orrington Elementary School were among the 454 Illinois schools listed as 2012 Illinois Honor Roll Academic Excellence Award winners.

Walker Elementary School was one of 105 schools to receive an Illinois Honor Roll 2012 Spotlight Schools Award.

To earn an Academic Excellence Award, a school must have made adequate yearly progress in 2011 and 2012 as required by the Federal No Child Left Behind regulations. Also, at least 90 percent of the students must have met or exceeded state standards in both reading and mathematics for the three most recent school years.

Last year, 95 percent of students at Bessie Rhodes either met or exceeded standards, compared with 94.6 percent the previous year.

At Orrington, 96 percent met that criterion in 2012, up from 93 percent in 2011.

Spotlight Schools Awards go to those schools where at least half the students are designated as low income and where the schools must make adequate yearly progress (AYP) during the award year and the two prior years.

In 2012, making AYP meant that 85 percent of students met or exceeded standards on state tests. At Walker, 88 percent met or exceeded standards, compared with 90.9 percent in 2011.

“Teachers, principals, and the support staff in our schools are to be commended,” said Superintendent Hardy Murphy. “Most importantly, we commend our students for continuing to demonstrate high levels of achievement on state assessments and for the high percentages of them who are meeting academic growth targets on the Measure of Academic Performance (MAP) tests.”

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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