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Four schools win state awards

Four Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools have received awards from the state board of education for their performance on state tests.

Of the four schools in the district where more than half the students are from low income families, two — Dawes and Oakton elementary schools — qualified for the state’s Spotlight Schools award.

That award honors high-poverty schools where at least 70 percent of students met or exceeded reading and math test standards in 2009 and at least 50 percent met the standards in 2008.

The winning schools also must have made adequate yearly progress for all student subgroups for the most recent two years.

Julie Fleetwood, president of the Oakton PTA, called the award "great news" for the school and expressed thanks to the school staff, as well as the students and their parents, for the improved performance.

Chute Middle School did not receive the award because its students with disabilities failed to make adequate yearly progress in math. Washington Elementary School failed to qualify because its limited English proficiency students failed to make adequate yearly progress in reading.

The percentage of low income students range from 54.2 percent at Washington to 69.2 percent at Oakton.

Statewide 425 schools received the spotlight award.

Academic Excellence

Two of Evanston’s schools in which fewer than half the students are from low-income families — Bessie Rhodes Magnet School and Willard Elementary School — received Academic Excellence awards from the state. 

That award honors schools in which at least 90 percent of students met or exceeded state standards in reading and math for the past three years and that also met adequate yearly progress targets for the past two years.

Other District 65 schools failed to make the 90 percent cutoff for this award, and, in addition, Haven Middle School students with disabilities failed to make adequate yearly progress in reading.

The percentage of low-income students at these schools ranges from 23.8 percent at Orrington to 43.8 percent at Walker.

Statewide 436 schools received the academic excellence award and only five schools with a majority of low-income students qualified for the academic excellence prize as well as the spotlight award.

School Superintendent Hardy Murphy said the awards show that District 65 "is on the right track."

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