HIDOE News Release: Hōkūlani, Kahala, Nuʻuanu Elementary schools named 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools for high-performing academicsPosted on Sep 16, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom
HONOLULU — Hōkūlani, Kahala and Nuʻuanu Elementary schools have been named 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education in recognition of the Oahu schools’ academic performance.
“National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of excellence in teaching and learning for schools across the nation,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “We are so proud to have Hōkūlani, Kahala and Nuʻuanu represent our Hawai‘i public schools with a strong commitment to rigorous learning and a well-rounded education that prepares our students for successful futures. Congratulations to the students, teachers, staff and families for their collective efforts on this prestigious achievement.”
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 student groups and all students.
Hōkūlani Elementary’s performance exceeded statewide averages in English language arts by over 12 percentage points and in math by nearly 30 percentage points. A past National Blue Ribbon School awardee in 2005 and 2012, the Honolulu school aligns its mission and vision of raising effective problem-solvers who are curious and engaged in learning, with intentional planning and impact monitoring. The school has a strong commitment to providing personalized support for all students with instruction and timely intervention taking place individually and in small groups. Hōkūlani prioritizes a balanced approach to education by offering specialized learning experiences such as social-emotional learning, coding, Spanish and Hawaiiana. The school is also an art integration school, leveraging grant initiatives with programs like ArtBento and Artists in the Schools to embed creative and expressive opportunities for students to engage in core curricular standards.
Kahala Elementary’s performance exceeded statewide averages in English language arts by 0.3 percentage points and in math by over 5 percentage points. The elementary school serves a student body of 342 learners, with 20% of students English Language Learners and 30% from economically disadvantaged families. A previous National Blue Ribbon awardee in 2005, Kahala focuses on educating leaders, innovators, artists and community contributors by instilling a passion for learning through a variety of educational experiences. Their Artist in Schools program uses drama to teach empathy and self-advocacy skills, and students also have the opportunity to participate in the Kōkua Foundation’s ‘ĀINA in Schools program, which teaches environmental stewardship. Garden-based learning is also available to students, where they can connect to the land, and the Choose Love program is integrated into the school’s culture to help students foster a better sense of belonging and connectedness at school. Kahala sustains its academic excellence through standards-based instruction where students analyze, synthesize and apply information, and provides robust learning opportunities that focus on small group instruction, differentiation, and inclusionary practices.
Nuʻuanu Elementary’s performance exceeded statewide averages in English language arts by nearly 12 percentage points and in math over 14 percentage points. Previously recognized as a National Blue Ribbon awardee in 1986, 2006 and 2003, the school offers specialized learning experiences such as performing arts, technology, social-emotional learning, as well as a variety of extra-curricular activities established through partnerships with community organizations. All educators at Nuʻuanu are fully licensed, have an average of 16 years of teaching experience, or have been at the school for an average of 16.5 years. The school’s parent organization, ʻAikane O Nuʻuanu, is credited with fostering a strong school community culture, coordinating school-wide events like campus beautifications, pumpkin carving nights, movie nights and family fun nights.
An awards ceremony to celebrate the awardees will be held in Washington D.C. in November. For more information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit: https://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.