Recognizing Our Six National Blue Ribbon Schools
SCHOOLS | October 14, 2020
Recognizing Our Six National Blue Ribbon Schools

A classical school in West Ridge. A gifted center in Chatham. Four diverse high schools representing the North, South, and West Sides of Chicago. This year, six CPS schools received the 2020 National Blue Ribbon School distinction—the most ever for the district in a single year. 

Five schools—Decatur, Jones, Lenart, Northside and Whitney Young—received this prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Education in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category for their strong academic performance. From the experiential learning program at Northside to Latin classes at Decatur to the nationally recognized chess and academic decathlon teams at Young, these schools help students thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Hancock received the award in the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools category for its impressive work in closing academic achievement gaps among students. This year, more than 95 percent of Hancock seniors graduated, and more than 85 percent of graduates received at least one early college and career credential. Principal Vanessa Puentes Hernandez has worked hard over the past decade to cultivate a collaborative and student-centered culture in her roles as an English teacher, dean of students, and now as the school’s principal. 

“One of the things that I love about Hancock is the community feel. I really appreciate that because I get to know my parents and my students very well,” Principal Puentes Hernandez said. “We are like a family which helps us support students. I just love Hancock; it’s an amazing place to work.”

To learn more about Hancock’s story, check out the video below.