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Mayor Richard M. Daley joined teachers and students during a ceremony to celebrate Walter Payton College Preparatory High School receiving the top award at the Intel Schools of Distinction contest last week in Washington, D.C. Payton was declared the winner over five other schools from across the nation to earn the Star Innovator Award, which is presented to the school that best exemplifies innovative math and/or science programs.
“Since I have been Mayor, investing in math and science education has been a high priority in the Chicago Public Schools,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. Through the Chicago Math and Science Initiative, we have transformed the teaching and learning of math and science with more instructional time, better materials and better-prepared teachers. And the hard work of many people is paying off.”
At Payton — a selective enrollment high school located at 1034 N. Wells St. — math teachers participate in lesson study and are engaged in collaborative processes. All courses include measurement, data analysis and modeling activities using the same digital lab instruments employed in science classes.
The school schedule includes block lessons once a week and innovative, co-curricular seminars throughout the semester to engage students in the study of advanced or unusual topics.
More than a quarter of Payton students take five or more math courses before graduation, including Advanced Placement statistics classes and university-level electives. More than 99 percent of Payton students meet or exceed state math standards. Additionally, Payton students have a 98 percent graduation rate and excel in academic competitions.
In recognition of Payton’s efforts, the school was awarded an estimated $175,000 in a combination of cash grants from the Intel Foundation and an award package including curriculum materials, professional development resources and hardware and software from program sponsors.
“The future well-being of Chicago depends to a great degree on how successful we are in giving our young people the kind of global education that prepares them to be leaders in our city, our nation and in the world. I want to thank Intel for its support of our students and its commitment to our City’s future,” said Mayor Daley.