Two CPS Elementary Schools Named Among Best in the Nation by U.S. Department of Education 

Edgar Allan Poe Classical School on the South Side and Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School on the North Side Recognized as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools
Thursday, September 28, 2017 

For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620

CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools announced today that Edgar Allan Poe Classical School and Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School have been named 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education – a prestigious honor reserved for the best schools in the nation. Poe, located on the South Side of Chicago, and Solomon, located on the City’s North Side, are two of only 16 public schools in Illinois and 342 schools nationwide to be honored with this distinction in 2017.

“The Blue Ribbon award is a great honor and I am extremely proud of Poe and Solomon for joining the growing number of nationally recognized schools in the CPS community,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This is a testament to the hardworking students, teachers, principals and administrators, and proof that a child can learn and succeed no matter what neighborhood they come from or type of school they attend.”

“I want to congratulate the administrators, teachers, students, and parents of Poe and Solomon, who have helped build the outstanding schools recognized today by the U.S. Department of Education," said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. "Poe and Solomon represent not only the best of Chicago but the best this nation has to offer in providing a high quality, community-based education to our students."

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program 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. Both Poe and Solomon have received the honor in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category for testing in the top 15 percent of all schools in Illinois, achieving high performance among key subgroups and completing a rigorous application process that evaluated everything from social and emotional learning supports to professional development to quality classroom instruction. 

"As a lifelong educator and CPS graduate, it brings me great pride to see Poe and Solomon join the growing list of CPS schools to receive the Blue Ribbon as a result of their tireless commitment to providing students with a pathway to success,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson.

Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 schools. In November, Poe and Solomon will be formally recognized at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., where they will hear from other esteemed educators, share best practices, and celebrate their hard-earned achievements.

About the Schools:

Poe is a K-6 selective enrollment classical school serving approximately 200 students on Chicago’s South Side in the historic Pullman community. As a classical school, Poe is open to children throughout Chicago, but most of its students live on the South Side. Poe prides itself on creating a family environment where deep personal connections are formed between parents, staff, and students.

"This award is a testament to Poe’s dedicated school community, and today, the South Side of Chicago is beaming with pride as we are recognized with this prestigious honor,” said Poe Principal Eric Dockery. “We’re proud of Poe’s accomplishments and this award is an affirmation that we're on the right track and making progress on behalf of our students. It is an honor that will inspire us to work even harder to provide the best possible educational experience for our students."

Solomon is a neighborhood school serving 360 students on Chicago’s Northwest Side in the Peterson Park community. The school features a diverse student body, serving as a home to over 40 different spoken languages, as well as hosting a pre-kindergarten through 8th grade special education cluster program for students with a significantly modified curriculum. Solomon provides a variety of academic opportunities, including Chinese language courses, accelerated math, and yearlong supplemental arts instruction, in conjunction with core programming, to support the academic and social-emotional needs of all students. 

“Being recognized as an Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School is an important recognition for the Solomon community who puts tremendous effort into ensuring our students continue to excel every day," said Solomon Principal Christopher Gamble. “We are honored to be named among the best schools in the nation and will continue to strive for excellence.”

Previous National Blue Ribbon Schools from CPS include: 

Skinner North Elementary, 2016 
LaSalle Language Academy, 2015 
Payton College Prep, 2014 and 2008
Frazier International Magnet School, 2013 
Skinner West Elementary, 2013 
Jones College Prep, 2012 and 2006 
Lane Tech College Prep, 2012 
Audubon Elementary School, 2011 
Northside College Prep, 2011 
Jackson Language Academy, 2010 
Whitney Young Magnet High School, 2009 
Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary, 2008 
Horace Greeley Elementary, 2007 
George Leland Elementary, 2004

Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.  


Page Last Modified on Thursday, September 28, 2017