Two U-46 high schools ranked among best for 2013

Two Elgin Area School District U-46 high schools made the list of best schools for 2013 of two national magazines.

U.S. News and World Report named Elgin High School among the Best High Schools for 2013. The school received a national rank of 1,776 and a state rank of 56. Meanwhile, Newsweek named Bartlett High School to its list of America’s Best High Schools for 2013. Bartlett High ranked 1,754 and was selected for producing college-ready graduates.

In a video posted on U-46’s YouTube channel, Elgin High students, teachers and administrators share their experiences about classes and extracurricular activities at the school.

U.S. News and World Report used a 3-step process to determine its list of best high schools including: looking at reading and math scores on high school’s proficiency tests to see if students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state; looking at whether the school’s least-advantaged students (African American, Hispanic and low-income) were performing better than the average for similar students in the state; and looking at college-readiness performance using Advanced Placement test data.

Bartlett High School students, teachers, guidance counselors and administrators also talk on video about the school’s innovative curriculum.

According to Newsweek, the list of America’s Best High Schools is developed using six criteria, including graduation and college acceptance rates, AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student, average SAT/ACT scores, average AP/IB/AICE scores, and percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course.

Bartlett High has a 90 percent graduation rate, 78 percent college readiness rate, 0.3 AP tests taken per student, average ACT score of 20, average AP score of 2.9, and a free or reduced lunch rate of 29 percent.

U-46 partners make holidays brighter for students in need:

Dozens of Elgin Area School District U-46 students will get to enjoy a brighter holiday season this year thanks to the generosity of several of the district’s area business partners.

Wells Fargo in Elgin, the Wisdom Family Foundation, and Meier made donations to help students in need. Jenny and Tyler Diciolla, owners of Lifeline Plumbing in Elgin, donated more than 40 turkeys to U-46 families in need.

“U-46 is fortunate to have so many wonderful business partners who, without ever being asked, graciously give to help students in need,” Superintendent José Torres said in a news release.

The Wisdom Family Foundation, a longtime U-46 supporter, provided a generous grant for Project Access, the district’s homeless education program. The grant will cover the costs to allow U-46 homeless students to receive emergency transportation, attend field trips, and enjoy other educational experiences. Since 2007, the program has grown from serving about 360 students to more than 750 students today.

Wells Fargo Bank in Elgin will adopt 10 students in need for Christmas, providing them with clothes, toys and other items on their wish lists. Elgin’s Meijer will donate 75 backpacks to students selected through the Project Access Program.

“Many of our homeless students don’t know where they are going to sleep from one night to the next so these donations will certainly give them a little extra holiday cheer,” said Maggie Schroeder, U-46 Homeless Liaison/Project Access Coordinator. “I’m grateful our business partners see the positive impact Project Access is having on students in need. These investments truly do make a difference.”

Families from the Bartlett community also contributed to Project Access, including the Grosam family, Kirkby family, Smith families, and Czyz family.

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