The high academic performance of a diverse population of students from Edgar Allen Poe Elementary School garnered the first-ever National Blue Ribbon award for a CPS elementary school on the city’s South Side. Poe Elementary is one of only 16 public schools in Illinois and 342 schools nationwide to be honored with this distinction in 2017.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Poe Elementary School’s new Blue Ribbon honor during a September 30 visit with Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Forrest Claypool, CEO, Chicago Public Schools; Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr.; Eric Dockery, Principal; and the students and parents of the K-6th grade school at 10538 South Langley Avenue in the historic Pullman neighborhood. Poe is among approximately 300 schools nationwide that will be honored at a recognition ceremony later this year in Washington, D.C. The award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either academically superior or have made dramatic gains in student achievement and helped close gaps in achievement among minority and disadvantaged students.
“Thanks to the commitment and passion for education and the ability of our teachers, staff, students and parents to work collaboratively, Poe Elementary is creating a learning environment that every child deserves while building a brighter and better future for the community,” said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale. “The honor underscores the resurgence of Pullman — the comeback community,” added Alderman Beale.
Poe is a selective enrollment classical school serving approximately 200 students on Chicago’s South Side in the historic Pullman community. As a classical school, Poe is open to children throughout Chicago, but most of its students live on the South Side. Poe prides itself on creating a family environment where deep personal connections are formed between parents, staff, and students.
“This award is a testament to Poe’s dedicated school community, and today, the South Side of Chicago is beaming with pride as we are recognized with this prestigious honor,” said Poe Principal Eric Dockery. “We’re proud of Poe’s accomplishments and this award is an affirmation that we’re on the right track and making progress on behalf of our students. It is an honor that will inspire us to work even harder to provide the best possible educational experience for our students.”
The U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Schools program honors schools based on one of two criteria:
- Schools whose students, regardless of background are high performing. They are ranked among the state’s highest performing schools as measured on state assessments or, in the case of private schools, which score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by national norms in at least the most recent years tested.
- Schools with at least 40% of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance in state assessments, or nationally normed tests.
The state’s chief education officer nominates public schools and the Council for American Private Education submits private school nominations. The schools are then invited by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education to submit an application for possible recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.