Kalihi Uka, Mililani Uka and Pauoa elementary schools have been named 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program award winners by the US Department of Education. The program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on academic performance and progress closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The three Hawaii schools were among 349 winners
nationwide announced today by US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
"The National Blue Ribbon Schools award is a tremendous accomplishment that reflects the hard work and commitment of an entire school community," said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. "These schools serve as models of excellence as we continue our work to elevate student voice, design schools that meet the unique needs of its students, and support the efforts of our teachers. Congratulations to Kalihi Uka, Mililani Uka and Pauoa elementary schools on this prestigious recognition."
Public schools nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award must meet one of two performance award criteria:
Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state's highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state's highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school's subgroups and all students over the past five years.
Schools are ranked based on one year of performance in math and reading. The eligible top six schools that meet the criteria set by the National Blue Ribbon Schools are presented to a selection committee of local community members. The committee selects the top three schools to be considered for nomination of the award.
The U.S. Department of Education will formally recognize all the honored schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on November 7 and 8.
Mililani Uka Elementary outpaced other school Strive HI performance averages in English Language Arts (ELA, 28 percent higher), Math (26 percent higher) and Science (25 percent higher) in School Year 2016-17. For the last four years, teachers at Mililani Uka have been receiving professional development focused on instructional strategies in core content areas. Students have benefited from consistent language and interwoven curriculum topics. Continuous collaboration on instructional practices and the analysis of testing and student data have resulted in increased student proficiency and reduced achievement gaps. Mililani Uka currently serves a student body of 699 students.
Kalihi Uka Elementary outpaced other school Strive HI performance averages in ELA (19 percent higher), Math (16 percent higher) and Science (11 percent higher) in School Year 2016-17. The school attributes its successes to "Impact Teams" that examined classroom data to prioritize learning needs and craft goals and objectives for all students. Differentiated levels of support for teachers also enabled them to implement rigorous lessons that led to increased student achievement. Teacher collaboration has cultivated a culture of open communication and effective working relationships. Kalihi Uka currently serves a student body of 239 students.
Pauoa Elementary outpaced other school Strive HI performance averages in ELA (26 percent higher), Math (33 percent higher) and Science (26 percent higher) in School Year 2016-17. The school prides itself on educating the whole child and designed a unique continuous improvement system centered on data analysis. Over the past four years, Pauoa has seen overall increases in ELA scores of 23 percent, in Math of 37 percent and Science of 15 percent. Pauoa currently serves a student body of 291 students.
For more information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit: ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.