Good news


Elm School has been recognized as a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School, the highest award given by the U.S. Department of Education.

The coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Elm was nominated as an Exemplary High Performing School, meaning it is among the state’s highest performing schools and also has very high performance in smaller subgroups of students.

“Elm is a family — there is a genuine warmth, sincerity and love amongst students, parents, staff, and community members,” Principal Sara Olson said. “When you enter the school, there is always someone there to greet you with a smile or helping hand. I am so proud of the dedication of our staff and students who led us to receive this great honor and feel privileged to serve as Elm’s principal.”

Superintendent Hector Garcia said he is thrilled by the well-deserved recognition.

“The learning environment at Elm provides students with a premier educational experience,” he said. “The entire Elm community is deeply engaged and committed to the success of our students. This award is a testament to that dedication.”

In a newer process, the state selects Blue Ribbon Schools and does not seek applications for the honor. Instead, the U.S. Department of Education requests nominations from the top education official in every state. Elm joins other National Blue Ribbon Schools in District 181 — Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale middle schools and Monroe, Madison, Oak, and The Lane schools.

The announcement was made Sept. 24. Typically, a recognition ceremony would be held in Washington, D.C. but due to COVID-19 restrictions the ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13.

Elm will host a celebration week in mid-October.