Hahaione, Kaelepulu, Palisades earn Blue Ribbon nod


The three elementary schools are Hawaii's nominees for the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which recognizes high performance and progress toward closing the achievement gap.

​​​HONOLULU - Hahaione, Kaelepulu and Palisades elementary schools have been named as Hawaii’s 2015 Blue Ribbon Schools nominees, in recognition of their exceptional student achievement gains and improvement efforts.

The three schools have applied to represent Hawaii in the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on academic excellence and progress closing the achievement gap. The U.S. Department of Education will announce national winners in the fall during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. 

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. 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 subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels.

Hahaione, Kaelepulu and Palisades were all recognized as Exemplary High Performing schools. They have also shown improvements under the Hawaii State Department of Education’s Strive HI Performance System, which evaluates schools on key success indicators such as student achievement and growth, readiness and progress toward closing achievement gaps.

“Each year, our Hawaii Blue Ribbon Schools offer a shining example of what is possible when educators, families and communities rally behind a goal of student achievement,”said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We thank them for equipping our students for school and life success and wish them the best of luck as they represent our state in the nation’s capital.”

At Hahaione Elementary, students are empowered to develop and ask questions, investigate, research, analyze and synthesize information to solve problems and demonstrate knowledge as part of the school’s International Baccalaureate World School program. In the 2013-14 school year, Hahaione, located in Hawaii Kai, had its student proficiency, growth, readiness and achievement gap rates rank in the top five percent of Hawaii schools.

Kaelepulu Elementary attributes its student achievement gains in large part to two key initiatives. The Kailua school embeds 16 Habits of Mind –a set of problem solving and life skills –across the curriculum, and focuses on research-based effective instructional strategies by analyzing student work and data through Instructional Leadership Teams. 

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, Palisades Elementary in Pearl City continues to successfully strive toward its vision of developing lifelong learners, thanks to the dedication of staff and engaged families, as well as community supports and resources. Between 2010 and 2014, reading proficiency rose to 87 percent from 78 percent, while math proficiency jumped to 83 percent from 74 percent.

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