Two Mercer County Schools Receive Academic Awards - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Two Mercer County Schools Receive Academic Awards

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Illinois schools got their own report card Tuesday, on whether they are meeting "No Child Left Behind" standards. In Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry, and Mercer county there are 145 schools. However, only 46 are meeting standards. The other 99 are not. The standard: 85 percent of students have to meet state standards in reading and math.

While many schools did not make the grade, there some in our area that not only made it, but also won an award for it. Apollo Elementary in Aledo and New Boston Elementary both won awards.

"I couldn't be prouder. We have a great staff here and they work really hard and our kids try to make them proud," said Bill Fleuette, Principal of Apollo Elementary.

Fleuette got a little emotional when talking about the schools "Academic Excellence Award." There are more than 4,000 schools in the state and only 454 received the honor. To win, at least 90% of the students met or exceeded state standards in both reading and math for 3 years in a row.

Meanwhile at New Boston Elementary, students and teachers were recognized with the "Illinois Spotlight" award. Only 105 schools received this honor. To win more than half of their students had to be considered low income. and they had to meet "No Child Left Behind" standards 2 years in a row.

 "I was very pleased, I was very excited," said Nancy Robinson, Principal of New Boston Elementary.

Robinson says the award came as a pleasant surprise. She says she believes team work, supportive parents, and the schools "Response to Intervention Program," which focuses on reading, are all factors in the students success.

"We work hard at it. We are very diligent, very persistent, if we have to change things we do," Robinson said.

Teachers at the school say the are passionate about their craft and seeing their hard work is paying off is very rewarding, especially in a time when schools are facing so many challenges.

"It's wonderful to get positive news because with budget cuts, everything out there is so negative.It's nice to be honored as whole school. I think this award shows what we are doing works," said Tracy Sackville, a first grade teacher.