B.J. Ward Elementary School in Bolingbrook has received the Illinois State Board of Education’s Academic Improvement Award for its “continued academic progress and excellence.”
The award, given annually by ISBE and Northern Illinois University means B.J. Ward is a member of the “Illinois Honor Roll” for 2012.
“These honor roll schools once again show us that rigorous standards, great instruction, and lots of hard work improve student performance,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico as he made the announcement Monday.
“Behind each school’s success is an untold story of extraordinary passion and dedication on behalf of administrators, teachers, parents and students.”
Under the leadership of Principal Ted Warpinski and Assistant Principal Susan Padilla, and through the efforts of an outstanding faculty and staff, B.J. Ward students significantly improved their performances on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) over the past three years going from 70.1 percent meeting-or-exceeding state standards to 82 percent meeting-or-exceeding in 2012.
“This is a tremendous achievement,” said State Superintendent Gary A. Koch. “Your school has shown a remarkable ability to overcome challenges, to make a significant leap in improvement and consistently show high academic achievement.”
B.J. Ward currently has just over 500 students, nearly 85 percent of whom come from low income families. The school also houses one of Valley View School District 365U’s bilingual/English Language Learner programs.
VVSD’s Beverly Skoff Elementary School in Romeoville received the Academic Improvement Award last year. Prior to that, the last time a VVSD school was named to the Illinois Honor Roll was in 2009 when Jonas Salk, Oak View and Wood View all were named Illinois Spotlight Schools.
“We commend each school and hope community members celebrate their local school’s success,” Chico said.
Editor's note: This is a press release from Valley View School District 365U.