Fewer than 300 schools nationwide were designated National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2013. CPS’s Frazier International Magnet School was among them - the first non selective-enrollment school to receive this honor.
Located on Chicago’s west side, Frazier opened its doors in 2007, and within three years was being recognized by Governor Pat Quinn as the city’s first 90/90/90 school (schools in which nearly all students are part of a minority group receiving free or reduced lunch, and ones where more than 90 percent of the student population meets or exceeds state standards). U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan elevated that distinction this week by awarding Frazier coveted Blue Ribbon status.
“We applaud Frazier Magnet School’s administration, students, parents and school community on receiving the distinguished honor of being named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “This outstanding recognition is a testament of their commitment to provide each of their students with a high-quality education that prepares them for success.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels, or where significant progress has been made in raising student achievement. Other Blue Ribbon Schools within CPS include Audubon, Jones, Lane Tech, and Northside College Prep.
“Hard work and dedication by students, staff and families, and the unwavering goal of preparing students for college preparatory programs in top-notch high schools is what makes Frazier International Magnet School one of the most successful elementary schools in Chicago,” said Frazier principal Faren D’Abell, who regularly welcomes visitors from throughout North America to share the best practices that his staff continues to refine.
An International Baccalaureate (IB) school, Frazier serves 268 students in grades K-8. As a magnet school, it is open to children citywide; however most of its students live in the Austin-North Lawndale community. In addition to its dedicated students and staff, Frazier credits its community partnerships, including relationships with the Steans Family Foundation, the University of Illinois Chance Program and the Merit School of Music with much of its success.
Frazier was among only 18 Illinois schools to be considered for the National Blue Ribbon Award. All 2013 awardees will be recognized in mid-November at a ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C.
“Excellence in education matters, and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” said Secretary Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon Schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”