CHICAGO, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Network of Charter Schools congratulates Prairie Crossing Charter School for being honored with the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Blue Ribbon award recognizes schools across the country with exemplary student performance or schools that significantly close the achievement gap by increasing students' academic achievement. Prairie Crossing Charter School is one of 286 recipients of the national Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence across the country, and is among 21 schools to receive the honor in Illinois. This prestigious award is a mark of excellence recognized by parents, policymakers, and districts across the country.
"Prairie Crossing Charter School is a true innovator in public education and is proving that an education tailored to meet student needs can drive tremendous learning gains," said Andrew Broy, President of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. "We congratulate the entire PCCS community - students, staff, parents, and supporters. This honor is a testimony to all of your hard work and dedication."
Opened by the Illinois State Board of Education in 1999 and authorized by the State Charter School Commission, Prairie Crossing Charter School is an environmentally-focused public school serving kindergarten through eighth grade. It provides a choice for parents in Lake County, Illinois, who are looking for another public education option for their child. The school's curriculum focuses on transforming students' lives through academic discovery and interaction with unique natural, ecological, and community resources.
"One of the ingredients to our success is the strength of the relationship our teaching staff has with our students," said Andrea Koeniger, Dean of Faculty and Students at PCCS. "Our small school size permits more personal connections between the students and their teachers, allowing the teachers a greater understanding of our students' needs as a whole person. Integration of the environment within our curriculum increases our students' level of global understanding, connecting what they are learning in the classroom with the outside world."
Ms. Koeniger attended a special awards ceremony in Washington D.C. to accept the national honor for Prairie Crossing Charter School and also received a plaque and flag to signify the school's exemplary status. National Blue Ribbon schools serve as examples for other schools throughout the nation.
"This is a great accomplishment for the PCCS community," states Geoff Deigan, Executive Director ofPCCS. "The National Blue Ribbon award is shared with our parents, our students and our staff.Without the commitment and dedication of each - we could never have achieved such an award.Partnering with our parents and our focus on academic rigor helps PCCS remain the premier choice forpublic education in Lake County."
This is the second national award for the school. In 2012, Prairie Crossing Charter School received the national Green Ribbon Award, which honors schools for using a comprehensive approach to creating "green" environments and promoting good health.
The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) seeks to improve education by establishing and supporting high-quality charter public schools that transform lives and communities. As the voice of Illinois charter public schools, INCS advocates for legislation on behalf of the charter sector, provides support to strengthen charter public schools, and influences education policy for the benefit of all public school students.
Contact: Jodie Cantrell
312-629-2063 ext. 28
SOURCE Illinois Network of Charter Schools