1Healy Elementary School in Chicago School District 299 and Parkside
Elementary School in McLean County Unit School District 5 honored for
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education today announced that
two Illinois schools were honored for their academic gains during the recent
National Title I Association annual conference. Healy Elementary School in
Chicago School District 299 and Parkside Elementary School in McLean County
Unit School District 5 were among schools recognized for helping low-income
students achieve academic success.
“Celebrating the accomplishments of these two Illinois schools on a
national platform is an extraordinary opportunity,” said State Board of
Education Chairman James T. Meeks. “As Illinois strives to be a national
model of education reform, this honor sets the stage for our schools to
share their commitment to strong academics and best practices for preparing
every child to reach their full potential.”
The National Title I Association, established to help improve and implement
programs under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA),
recognizes up to two schools per state as National Title I Distinguished
Schools. Title I is the largest federally funded pre-college education
program, providing funding to school districts that serve students from low-
income families. The schools were honored during the association’s annual
conference in Houston, TX, on Jan. 28-31.
The National Title I Association allows each state to select one qualifying
school in each of the following two categories:
High Performing - A school that has achieved high performance levels for two
or more years.
Achievement Gap - A school that has significantly closed the achievement gap
between subgroups of students.
Results were based on 2014 scores from the Illinois Standards Achievement
Test (ISAT), which measured the achievement of third- through eighth-graders
in reading and mathematics and measured achievement in science among fourth
- and seventh-graders. Illinois replaced the ISAT with the Partnership for
Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams in 2015.
“The State Board is proud to commend these two schools on overcoming the
challenges related to teaching our neediest kids,” said State
Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The teachers, administrators
, and families of these two schools deserve the credit for working together
to achieve academic gains that better prepare these students for success in
college and their chosen career path.”
Healy Elementary School (Chicago School District 299)
Healy has demonstrated high academic achievement for four consecutive years.
ISAT scores rose from 70.2 percent of students meeting or exceeding
standards in 2011 to 76 percent meeting or exceeding in 2014. More than 86
percent of students at Healy Elementary School are classified as low-income.
“This honor is a testament to the incredible work being done by the
students and staff at Healy,” said Dr. Janice Jackson, Chief Education
Officer for Chicago Public Schools. “Their emphasis on data analysis, small
group instruction, and targeted interventions has made a significant impact
on student growth, and their investments in bilingual and diverse learner
supports have ensured that no student is left behind. Healy's principal (
Alfonso Carmona) is a prime example of an excellent leader.”
Parkside Elementary (McLean County Unit School District 5)
Parkside has successfully reduced its achievement gap among racial/ethnic
groups as well as among economic levels. The school’s ISAT composite score
has increased by 7.1 percentage points, growing from 61.5 percent of
students meeting or exceeding standards in 2011 to 68.6 in 2014. This school
, which is in Normal, has closed the racial/ethnic achievement gap from 37.5
percent in 2011 to 24.1 percent in 2014. Additionally, the achievement gap
has also narrowed between low-income and non-low-income students from 43.9
percent in 2011 to 31.6 percent in 2014. Parkside has a school poverty rate
of more than 52 percent.
Shelly Erickson served as principal of Parkside from 2006 to 2014 and noted
the school’s low-income rate doubled over a two-year period shortly after
she began. To help students overcome challenges and meet learning targets,
the school started a small group-guided reading structure and then moved to
a reader’s workshop model, where all teachers learned how to administer and
analyze running records and how to provide appropriate, targeted
interventions for students.
“It’s a tremendous honor and I think it really validates all of the hard
work that my staff did through those years,” Erickson said. “Everyone
really pulled together and we changed kids’ lives by teaching them how to