FOUR ARCHDIOCESAN “BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS” NAMED BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Chicago, IL (October 3, 2006) - Four Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools were recently named by Secretary Margaret Spellings of the U.S. Department of Education as No Child Left Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools. Since 2004, the percentage of Archdiocese schools achieving this honor statewide has steadily increased from 16 to 26%. This year, four out of the fifteen schools statewide are from the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“This recognition demonstrates the total commitment to academic excellence that is integral to our mission of fostering lifelong learning while developing students’ talents, skills and Catholic faith,” said Nicholas Wolsonovich, Ph.D., the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Superintendent of Schools.
The four Archdiocesan schools and their respective principals and pastors are:
- St. Anne in Barrington: Sr. Anne Busch, SSSF Principal and Rev. Jack Dewes, Pastor
- St. Lawrence O’Toole in Matteson: Ms. Patricia Frejlich, Principal and Rev. Michael Nacius, Pastor
- St. Theresa in Palatine: Mrs. Dorothy Aebersold, Principal and Rev. Richard Zborowski, Pastor
- St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine: Mr. John LaRoche, Principal and Rev. Thomas Rzepiela, Pastor.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the program recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very high levels. Schools can apply for the award every five years, with winners selected based on one of three criteria:
- Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance on state tests, as determined by the state school chief;
- Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent on state tests; or
- Private schools that achieve in the top 10 percent in the nation.
The principal and a teacher from each school will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their No Child Left Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools status at a U.S. Department of Education Ceremony on November 9 and 10 in Washington, D.C. Individual school recognition events are scheduled for:
- Monday, November 13 at 7 p.m. on when the Village of Barrington will present a plaque to St. Anne’s; an in-school ceremony is planned for sometime in January 2007. School representatives also have the honor of making a presentation at the U.S. Department of Education Ceremony on November 9 and 10 in Washington, D.C.
- Wednesday, November 15 at 10 a.m. when St. Lawrence O’Toole will have an all-student Blue Ribbon assembly. A special Blue Ribbon song is being composed for the occasion.
- Monday, November 13 at 8 a.m. when St. Theresa will host a Mass of celebration, and plan to decorate the church with blue ribbons.
- Tuesday, November 14 when St. Thomas of Villanova will have an in-school ceremony; details have yet to be finalized.
To learn more about the 216 elementary and 40 secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, including the No Child Left Behind–Blue Ribbon Schools, please visit the Office of Catholic Schools web page on the Archdiocese of Chicago web site at www.archchicago.org.