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Skinner North Classical School Named 2016 National Blue Ribbon School

By Mina Bloom | September 29, 2016 5:40am
 Skinner North Classical, 640 W. Scott Ave.
Skinner North Classical, 640 W. Scott Ave.
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NEAR NORTH SIDE — Skinner North Classical School, a selective-enrollment elementary school on the Near North Side, won this year's national Blue Ribbon award, it was announced Wednesday.

Skinner North, 640 W. Scott St., was one of three Chicago schools to receive the honor. St. Daniel the Prophet School in Garfield Ridge and St. Juliana in Edison Park were also recognized. 

Across the country, 329 schools were honored.

"It's really exciting for us," said Principal Ethan Netterstrom of the award. "We have a really great group of kids, teachers and parents all working hard. A big thing for us is not just the academic piece, but also the social and emotional piece. We put a lot of time and effort into it." 

Netterstrom has been principal since the all-classical school opened in 2009. The school was created because Skinner Classical School was so crowded that it had to expand. The result was a campus on the Near North Side and in the West Loop.

The Blue Ribbon announcement comes after Chicago Magazine ranked Skinner North the sixth best elementary school in the city.

Enrollment is up at Skinner North. This year, the school enrolled 488 students, compared to last year's 478, according to Chicago Public Schools data. Despite the gain in students, the school lost $61,280, according to the data. Across the city, public school enrollment dropped by 3.5 percent this year compared with last, according to the data.

In 2015, St. Cornelius School in Jefferson Park was named a Blue Ribbon school. The school was closed by the Archdiocese of Chicago in June as part of a plan to merge the schools of four churches in Jefferson Park, Portage Park and Gladstone Park as part of a "regional" approach to Catholic education in Chicago.

LaSalle Language Academy in Old Town was the other Chicago school to be named a Blue Ribbon School in 2015.

Since 1982, the honor has been awarded to schools that achieve overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, according to the award's website.

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