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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2009

3 named Blue Ribbon Schools

Advertiser Staff

Momilani Elementary in Pearl City, Royal Elementary near Punchbowl and 'Ewa Beach Elementary were named Blue Ribbon Schools yesterday by the state Department of Education at the Hawaii Distinguished Schools awards.

The three schools, chosen from among 13 public school nominees, will represent Hawai'i in the 2010 National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Momilani and Royal schools were previous recipients of the award.

"On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you every single teacher, administrator, counselor, custodian, cafeteria worker, and everyone else I may have missed, thank you for contributing to the education of our children," Garrett Toguchi, chairman of the state Board of Education, said in a news release.

"You have not only shown that you are up to the challenge, but these statistics show that you have met the challenge."

Frito-Lay of Hawaii, the sponsor of the Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program, awarded the three elementary schools $3,000 each. Other schools nominated were Kalani High, Ma'ema'e Elementary, Mänoa Elementary, Noelani Elementary, Wilson Elementary, Äliamanu Elementary, Mänana Elementary, Käne'ohe Elementary, Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School and Education Laboratory Public Charter School.

The 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools — Kapälama Elementary and Lanakila Elementary — were also recognized yesterday and presented with $1,000, in addition to the $3,000 they received last year upon selection as Hawai'i's representatives to the NCLB Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

Kapälama and Lanakila received the National Blue Ribbon designation along with 312 other schools from across the country at a ceremony on Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C.

Since 1988, 56 Hawai'i public schools have been nominated to the national level of the Blue Ribbon Schools Program, with 37 receiving National Blue Ribbon School honors.

The Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program honors schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap, or whose students achieve at the highest levels. These schools have shown dramatic improvement in test scores or are achieving in the top 10 percent of schools in the state in reading and mathematics. At least one-third of the schools must have 40 percent or more of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds.