CHICAGO — Whitney Young Magnet High School is among six Chicago public schools to earn coveted National Blue Ribbon honor from the U.S. Department of Education.
The prestigious West Loop selective enrollment school — along with Decatur Classical School, Hancock High School, Jones College Prep, Lenart Regional Gifted Center and Northside College Prep — were honored with the 2020 Blue Ribbon, officials announced in a press release Friday.
It’s the most Chicago Public Schools honored in a single year, CEO Janice Jackson said, calling it an “unprecedented accomplishment” for the district.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private schools leading the country in student performance or student growth. In total, 372 schools nationwide were given the distinction in 2020.
Twenty-two CPS schools have earned a Blue Ribbon since 2004, according to the district. Jones College Prep, Whitney Young and Northside College Prep have won the distinction in previous years.
This is the first time Whitney Young has won the award since 2009, Principal Joyce D. Kenner said.
“This is a big deal,” Kenner said Monday. “Given all that we have gone through over the past years, I’m near tears and ecstatic because I do believe that our school community deserves this recognition. We just work so very hard to make sure that we are addressing the needs of all of our students.”
Decatur, Jones, Lenart, Northside and Whitney Young were recognized as ‘exemplary high performing schools’. Hancock was recognized among ‘exemplary achievement gap closing schools.’
“Not only do these National Blue Ribbon schools highlight the talent and excellence of our CPS educators, school leaders and students, but they also reflect our city’s wonderful diversity with institutions throughout Chicago being represented,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.
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