The state board of education says 624 schools made the Illinois Honor Roll list for academic progress and consistent high performance in 2012.
Those vying for the recognition included more than 4,000 public schools, as well as charter schools.
Illinois Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch visited the John Jay Elementary School in Arlington Heights on Monday. The suburban Chicago school is one of three Illinois schools to win the Academic Improvement Award four times.
Koch praised it and other schools for making major academic strides.
Northern Illinois University helps the board establish criteria and identify award winners. Among various categories, the Illinois Honor Roll recognizes schools that overcome unique challenges to close achievement gaps.
The Illinois Honor Roll website lists the chosen schools online.