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Haleiwa Elementary Among Nation’s Best

Haleiwa Elementary joined two other Hawaii schools being named 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Haleiwa, Ernest Bowen deSilva Elementary in Hilo and Red Hill Elementary were among 337 schools announced as winners Sept. 30 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In November, the schools will be honored in a recognition ceremony by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve high learning standards or are making notable improvements toward closing the achievement gap.

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of an American education — that all students, no matter their socioeconomic status or ZIP code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative and challenging learning environments,” declared Duncan.

The winning schools are recognized in one of two performance categories — subgroup student scores and graduation rates.

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.

At Haleiwa Elementary, named an exemplary high performing school, students regularly place in the 90-percent proficiency category in math and reading. Sixty-five percent of Haleiwa’s students come from economically disadvantaged homes.

Being recognized, said state schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, affirms and elevates each school’s progress in preparing students to succeed in college or careers.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program has given the award to 7,900 schools in its 32-year history.