A trio of Chicago Public Schools, and more than a dozen other schools from across Illinois, have been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, according to a new list from the U.S. Department of Education.
Chicago’s Disney II Magnet High School, Prosser Career Academy and Walter Payton College Prep are among the 325 schools recognized nationally for their “overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.”
“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement Tuesday.
In total, 18 Illinois schools were included among the Blue Ribbon recipients, including: Braeside Elementary (Highland Park), Hinsdale Central High School (Hinsdale), Butler Junior High School (Oak Brook), Walter R. Sundling Junior High School (Palatine), Maple School (Northbrook) and Lincoln Middle School (Park Ridge).
According to the Department of Education, the Blue Ribbon award “affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.”
“The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning,” the department said.
Cardona is making multiple stops in Illinois on Tuesday, including in Chicago, as part of his “Return to School Road Trip” — an ongoing bus tour showcasing students and communities safely returning to in-person learning.
He met with Gov. J.B. Pritzker in Palatine and is also scheduled to join an education roundtable with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and others in Chicago.
“This year’s cohort of honorees has demonstrated what’s possible when committed educators, school leaders and staff create vibrant and affirming schools where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” Cardona said Tuesday morning at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School.