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Only Oswego

Old Post Receives Nomination for National Honor

Mar 06, 2015 07:09AM ● By Steven Jack

Photo courtesy of School District 308

The Illinois State Board of Education has nominated OldPost Elementary School as an Exemplary High-Performing School in the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, a top honor given by the U.S. Department of Education.
To be nominated as an Exemplary High-Performing School, the performance of all tested students within a school in the most recent year must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state in both reading and math.
“This is wonderful news for the faculty, staff, students and parents at Old Post Elementary School and for School District 308, stated Superintendent Matthew Wendt. “This is another example of our commitment to being a world-class school district.”
Old Post Principal Toia Jones, and other key team members at the school, are now working to complete the extensive application process required by the Department of Education. Jones said she hoped Old Post would receive the Blue Ribbon School designation, but commented just being nominated is a huge honor.
“I think this nomination highlights the hard work that has been done by the teachers, parents, students, and the community of Old Post Elementary,” Jones said. “It recognizes what we have done to ensure Old Post is a good place to learn, both academically and socially.”
Jones, who is in her first year as principal at Old Post, also credits former Principal Jodi Ancel.
“I can take no credit for the work that was put in under Jodi’s leadership in making this a great school,” Jones said. “The nomination is a testament to her dedication, not only to Old Post, but also to educating students.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools program has honored America’s most successful public and private elementary, junior high, and high schools since 1982. The blue flags that fly above Blue Ribbon Schools are symbols of success recognized by parents, fellow educators, policymakers and the community alike.
Winning schools are honored each year at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., and are posted on the Department of Education’s website. These schools also become models for other schools, particularly for educational practices that have been especially successful.
“Part of the reason Old Post is so successful is that the staff has remained very stable,” Jones said. “Our teachers are committed to collaboration and growth, and they have proven that by spending time and effort in getting to know their students and understanding their specific needs.”
Eligible schools must meet all of the National Blue Ribbon Schools’ criteria and requirements. At least one-third of public schools nominated for the designation within each state must have student populations with 40 percent of their students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, including low-income students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, special education students, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency. Nominated schools should also reflect the demographic and geographic diversity of the state’s school-age population.
  • March 20, 2015: Completed applications due to the Department of Education.
  • September 2015: Secretary of the Department of Education announces the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
  • November 2015: Two representatives from each school, the principal and a teacher, attend the recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C.