Award Year: 2014

Prairie Hill Elementary School

14714 Willowbrook Road
South Beloit, IL, 61080-9556

(815) 389-3957

Mr. Kevin Finnegan, Principal at time of Nomination

Prairie Hill CCSD 133

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It is our mission to provide learning opportunities and experiences to our students for a lifetime of growth and development.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 89%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Two or more races: 1%
  • ELL: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
1st grade students at Prairie Hill working collaboratively in math centers.

1st grade students at Prairie Hill working collaboratively in math centers.

Prairie Hill School, nestled in South Beloit, Illinois, began as a one-room schoolhouse in 1952 serving 86 students, kindergarten through eighth grade. Through the years, the school has grown, outgrown, and split into an elementary school serving 411 students, preK through fourth grade. Despite the growth, Prairie Hill has maintained that intimate, small town, collective climate. Early in its heritage, Prairie Hill was often referred to by parents, staff, administrators, and community members as the area's "best kept secret." There is no Prairie Hill town in Illinois. Instead, the school is the community, a place where families gather to build a true neighborhood school. Prairie Hill’s mission is achieved through a cohesive collaboration of educators, board members, and parents moving toward a unified vision of a community of self-directed, responsible citizens who are challenged to reach their full potential. Prairie Hill was awarded the Academic Excellence Award for three years running by the state of Illinois in recognition of 90% of students passing the Illinois Standard Achievement Test for three consecutive years. Prairie Hill has been a School Search Bright Star Award recipient for the past five years, a commendation for schools that display high student performance despite low funding per pupil. Its high achievement on state testing is a reflection of its progressive student-led philosophy, rigorous curricula, dynamic arts programs, high-quality, research-based classroom practices, motivated educators and administrators, dedicated parents, and commitment to nurturing the whole child. This is all accomplished while maintaining a family-friendly, small school atmosphere.