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Morris Community High School receives recognition

Morris Community High School was ranked number 81 out of 658 of the best Illinois high schools by US News and World Report.

The school earned a silver metal rank for being a high performing school with a lower college readiness score.

The data complied for the report is used from the 2014-2015 school year. It takes factors like overall test scores from state and AP testing, poverty level and college readiness in account.

Patrick Halloran, the superintendent of District 101 congratulated students, teachers, their leadership team, parents and the community.

“It's a validation of our aligned improvement efforts to challenge students,” Halloran said.

Early on in No Child Left Behind, the goal 100 percent would meet the adequately yearly progress by 2014. District 101 was one of many districts that didn't meet the standards in the No Child Left Behind program, and the district initiated the Rising Star requirements according to Holloran.

Behind the Rising Star are a team of staff members, parents, and a board member representative who continuously push to improve the school.

“We didn't look at the Rising Star Requirements as a negative, we embraced the requirements for the structure it gives districts. That has become a very successful part of our improvement efforts,” Halloran said.

Principal of Morris Community High School Kelly Hussey said that the school has focused on improvements like expanding the selection and availability of advanced placement classes over the past few years.

“We've encouraged students to elevate themselves into more challenging coursework which would take more students into honors coursework, and thus sit competitively in an AP class and score well in an AP test,” Hussey said.

Hussey said he is proud of his students, but he won’t let the score be the end all be all.

“We haven't reached the pinnacle. We can't look at a score like this and say thank goodness we've reached the peak. The business of trying to achieve never stops,” Hussey said. “We're going to work hard to achieve it again and anything else we can achieve that will demonstrate the hard work that is being put in on behalf of this district, the students and the community.”

A plaque will be put on the wall at Morris Community High School to honor the achievement. The news will also be featured during the high school's "pause for applause" segment on the daily announcements.

"It will help everybody realize that they're all being applauded. Everybody has a hand in these kind of things."

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