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by Ed Condon,
District 90 Superintendent
On Tuesday, September 29, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Lincoln Elementary School has been recognized as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School. The National Blue Ribbon is one of the most prestigious awards a school can achieve and places our school in the highest tier of schools in the United States. Lincoln is one of only 335 schools across the country to receive this designation. The recognition is based on a historical trend of overall academic excellence and demonstrated evidence that all students can reach high levels of achievement.
While the entire District 90 family is proud of Lincoln's award, we also understand that a school does not receive recognition of this caliber working in isolation. Lincoln Elementary School didn't achieve this honor by itself, but through the passion, loyalty, and dedication of an entire community.
It takes a village, most notably the Village of River Forest, to continue to produce National Blue Ribbon Schools. It requires the commitment of a host of individuals who are united in common cause and working collaboratively to enable a school to rise to such a level of accomplishment.
Some might ask, "What does it take to achieve a recognition of this nature?" It takes students who are enthusiastic and eager to take full advantage of the educational opportunities provided. It requires students to bring their natural curiosity and passion for learning to the classroom. It takes students who consistently ask, "why, how, or how come?", when they are presented with new and challenging information.
It also takes families who are committed to their children's education. It requires that parents and families actively exhibit their family's belief in the value of education. It takes families who make sure their students are prepared for rigorous instruction by receiving adequate sleep, nourishing meals, appropriate exercise, academic support, and open discussions about school expectations.
In addition, becoming a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School takes a committed faculty and school staff who are passionate about their craft. It requires that teachers and faculty provide challenging classroom instruction that is complemented by a nurturing, student-centered atmosphere. National Blue Ribbon School recognition requires the guidance of dedicated and tireless leaders, such as Lincoln's former principal, Pam Hyde, and its current principal Casey Godfrey. It takes a faculty and staff who use research-based practices to guide and instruct every Lincoln student - academically, socially, and emotionally.
Along with the tireless efforts of students, families, and faculty, producing a 2015 Blue Ribbon School requires the encouragement and support of an entire community. The River Forest community has been steadfast in its support of all District 90 schools. As with all of our schools, Lincoln Elementary School relies on the dedication of its Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and other volunteers to bring a sense of excitement and adventure to school activities that enrich classroom instruction. In River Forest, we are extremely fortunate that school resources are stable and are a strong reflection of the commitment of the entire community to support children and learning. Effective partnerships with invested entities such as the River Forest Park District, the River Forest Public Library, the River Forest Township, the Community Center, the River Forest Police and Fire Departments, the Youth Network Council, the Oak Park and River Forest Community Foundation, and many others that are committed to the success of our youth. To achieve 2015 Blue Ribbon status also requires the all-abiding support and backing of our Village officials and administration, who regularly demonstrate in both deeds and words their belief in our students.
In the coming weeks, Lincoln Elementary School will receive a plaque and flag as acknowledgement of the award. While those emblems will not mention all of the individuals and organizations that were critical to the school's recognition, please know that the entire Village contributed to this accomplishment. Whether you are a student, family member, faculty or staff member, volunteer, or River Forest resident, please know that you represent a member of the unbroken circle that nurtures and nourishes our entire school community.
As the Lincoln School family accepts this honor, please accept our gratitude and deep appreciation to the entire River Forest community for all you do to support our schools and all District 90 students. Thank you.
Answer Book 2018
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.
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