'EDUCATIONAL GEM’ ON WEST SIDE WINS TOP RECOGNITION FROM FEDS
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today recognized Frazier International Magnet School, a Chicago Public Schools magnet on the west side of Chicago, as a top school nationally. Duncan made the announcement as part of a program recognizing the best schools across the country as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The Illinois State Board of Education nominated only 18 schools statewide to compete for the top federal recognition. Frazier International Magnet School earned the prestigious award in the first year possible under federal guidelines. Federal rules in the National Blue Ribbon Schools program require five years of data before any school can be recognized. “Hard work and dedication by staff, students, and families with 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 former Principal D’Abell.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels. The U.S. Department of Education will honor 236 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 18-19 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.”
Frazier opened in 2007 to replace the failing E. Franklin Frazier Elementary. In their first year, 62.5% of Frazier International students met or exceeded state standards. In just three years, Frazier was honored by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn with a state proclamation for becoming Chicago’s first 90/90/90 school – one in which nearly 100% of the students are members of a minority group, nearly 100% receive free or reduced lunch, and 95% met or exceeded state standards in 2012.
Kyle Truevillian, a top performing student who has attended Frazier since it opened, said he’s proud to be part of the Frazier family. “I’m proud to be part of the Frazier family because Frazier has done a lot for me in the last few years. It has elevated my educational experience. When you learn about the world you have more opportunities to explore the world.” Truevillian hopes to attend Southern Methodist University where he has participated in a medical preparation program for the last several years through a school partnership. Kyle now attends Whitney Young High School.
While Frazier International is the only non-selective Chicago school bestowed with this honor in 2013, the school joins the ranks of previous CPS Blue Ribbon winners Audubon, Jones, Lane Tech, and Northside College Prep. “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 official "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.”
Frazier International is a shining example of academic excellence. The work that the Administration and staff have done is nothing short of amazing. I've visited Frazier International myself and can tell you firsthand that the school is a true educational gem on the west side of Chicago. - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in a letter.
As a magnet school, Frazier International has a magnet theme – the well-respected International Baccalaureate program – no testing is required for admission and there is no attendance boundary. Any family in Chicago may utilize the online application process to gain admission to Frazier. If more students apply than there are available spots, the Office of Access and Enrollment chooses students through a random lottery. Alderman Michael Chandler said he supported the expansion and hopes the Blue Ribbon style of quality education at Frazier will be available to even more students in the 24th ward.
“I am proud to hear Frazier International has been bestowed this national recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. I look forward to the future growth of the school and its continual high standards of excellence that is displayed by its principal, its teachers, administrative staff and students.” said Chandler. As further recognition of the performance of Frazier International Magnet School students, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel allocated nearly $1 million in legacy funds (funds left over from the Chicago NATO conference) to create dedicated sports/play space for Frazier International Magnet School. Plans for the new space are expected to be revealed this winter.