Frost Junior High School in Schaumburg was one of only three middle schools in Illinois to be named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School based on its overall academic excellence.
The U.S. Department of Education will present Frost and 304 other schools from throughout the nation with their National Blue Ribbon School awards at a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C. Of those schools, 19 are from Illinois.
“It is through the dedication of the Frost teachers and parents that we are able to achieve, accept and celebrate this momentous award,” Frost Principal Yvette Davidson said. “This prestigious recognition represents the collaborative work of all staff, students, families and community supports toward a relentless focus that ensures success for all Frost students. As a Blue Ribbon Award-winning school, Frost is demonstrating that it has the strategies and systematic, collaborative processes in place to support junior high student learning at the highest level this year and beyond.
The National Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at high levels or where the achievement gap is narrowing. Since 1982, more than 6,500 of America’s schools have received this coveted award.
Frost was chosen as a school whose students are high performing as measured by state assessments. At Frost, 98.1 percent of students meet or exceed state standards in math, based on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) from the spring of 2011. In reading, 97.3 percent of students meet or exceed state standards.
“The educators at Frost held our students to the highest of expectations, worked collaboratively and focused on student learning results,” said Dr. Paul Goldberg, who was Frost’s principal last year when the school was nominated for the award (Goldberg is now the principal at District 54’s Muir School). “They proved that we can ensure the success of all students regardless of socioeconomics, language acquisition or disability and exceed the high standards set forth by No Child Left Behind.”
Before selecting National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department of Education asks for nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. The schools are then invited by the Secretary of Education to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.
The Frost community firmly believes that all Frost students will learn at high levels. Systems of support are layered across every element of the school to ensure this occurs.
Struggling readers are provided targeted literacy intervention beyond the core block. Students working toward proficiency in math receive targeted support on a daily basis in guided math groups. Tiered layers of support are provided to assist students in homework completion. A timely, targeted and systematic intervention and enrichment plan is incorporated into the daily schedule to provide support on our essential outcomes across many content areas.
Social-emotional and behavior systems and interventions are implemented consistently throughout the school to ensure universal behavior expectations are met and to provide secondary and tertiary supports for students who need small group and one-on-one supports. These layers of support have enabled staff to increasingly work toward ensuring the success of every student at Frost.
Frost has been recognized in many ways for its success. In the 2010-11 school year alone, Frost received the following five awards:
- Named one of five Evidence of Effectiveness schools by http://allthingsplc.info.
- Selected a Top 50 Middle School in Illinois – Chicago Sun-Times
- Recommended to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as one of three schools to visit to observe PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) implementation
- Selected to present at the local, state and national PBIS conferences
- Illinois Academic Excellence Award (90 percent of students met or exceeded standards in reading and math for the three most recent school years on state assessments)
“America’s long-term economic prosperity and civic engagement depends on our children receiving a world-class education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their success is an example for others to follow.”
Davidson, Goldberg and Frost Math Department Chair Tricia Leong will attend the national ceremony. Frost is also making plans for a whole school celebration. A list of the 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools is available at http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.