East Hawaii News

E.B. de Silva Elementary Awarded National Recognition

October 1, 2014, 2:14 PM HST
* Updated October 1, 2:15 PM
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United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has recognized 337 schools as National Blue Ribbon recipients, including E.B. de Silva Elementary School in Kaumana.

The Hawai’i State Department of Education has acknowledged that E.B. de Silva is the first neighbor island school to be named a Blue Ribbon recipient since Holualoa Elementary in 2008.

The last time an East Hawai`i school was given this award was between 1994-96 when Waiakea High School was honored. Waiakea High also received the recognition in 1988-89.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the country who are either achieving high learning standards or are making grand improvements in closing the performance gap.

In its 32-year history, the program has awarded approximately 7,900 schools nationwide with this achievement.

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education– that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” Secretary Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”

The U.S. Department of Education will honor the 337 schools, 287 of which are public and 50 private, at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 10-11.

Schools being awarded the title of National Blue Ribbon recipients are recognized in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools.

Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels.

Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroup and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels.

For the 2013-2014 award year, the U.S. DOE put emphasis on the focus of both categories’ performance criteria around subgroups within a school and improving graduation rates for all students.

Each year, the U.S. DOE invites nominations from the top education official in each state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureaus of Indian Education.

Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

Up to 420 schools throughout the country may be nominated based on the number of K-12 students and schools in each jurisdiction. From there, the U.S. Secretary of Education invites nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.

This recognition praises the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students are encouraged to thrive and master intense content.

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