2012-2013 Hawaii Blue Ribbon School


Nuuanu Elementary School, Blanche Pope Elementary School in Waimanalo and Waikiki Elementary School schools were selected from this group to be Hawaii's nominees to the No Child Left Behind - 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. These schools have shown dramatic improvement in test scores or are achieving in the top 10 percent of schools in the state in both reading and mathematics.

Since 1988, 62 Hawaii public schools have been nominated to the national level of the Blue Ribbon Schools Program, with 46 receiving National Blue Ribbon School honors.


Frito-Lay of Hawaii established the Hawaii's Outstanding Public Schools Program in 1985, which evolved into the Hawaii Blue Ribbon Schools Program in 1988. It was renamed the Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program in 2003. The Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program is evaluated by a panel of judges on criteria based on academic accountability targets and acceptable growth in reading and mathematics as required by the No Child Left Behind Act.


Past Schools

Media: KHON

For more on the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, visit:

National Blue Ribbon Schools Program


Frito-Lay of Hawaii and Hawaii State Department of Education Announce Three 2011 Hawaii Distinguished Schools Winners

Schools Will Represent Hawaii in National Blue Ribbon Program


HONOLULU &emdash; Waialua Elementary, Koko Head Elementary and King Liholiho Elementary Schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools today by Frito-Lay of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Department of Education at the Hawaii Distinguished Schools awards held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa. The three schools, chosen from among 15 public school nominees, will represent Hawaii in the 2011 national No Child Left Behind &endash; Blue Ribbon Schools Program. King Liholiho Elementary is a previous recipient of this award for outstanding achievement and was selected as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2003-2004.

Frito-Lay of Hawaii, sponsor of the Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program, awarded these three elementary schools with $3,000 each for their outstanding achievements this past school year.

Ewa Beach Elementary, Momilani Elementary and Royal Elementary, selected last year as 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools, were also recognized and presented with $1,000, in addition to the $3,000 they received upon selection as Hawaii's representatives to the No Child Left Behind &endash; Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The three 2010 selected schools will receive the National Blue Ribbon designation along with other schools from across the country at a Washington, DC ceremony later this month. Since 1988, 56 Hawaii public schools have been nominated to the national level of the Blue Ribbon Schools Program, with 40 receiving National Blue Ribbon School honors.

The elementary and secondary schools that were named as Distinguished Schools and nominated for the Hawaii Blue Ribbon award included:


· Haleiwa Elementary

· Waialua Elementary

· Palisades Elementary

· Laie Elementary

· Hookena Elementary

· Kahala Elementary

· Kalani High School

· Koko Head Elementary

· Liholiho Elementary

· Maemae Elementary

· Manoa Elementary

· Noelani Elementary

· Nuuanu Elementary

· Aikahi Elementary

· Education Laboratory NCPCS

2005-2006 Hawaii Blue Ribbon School

Nuuanu Elementary School will Represent Hawaii in National Program

DOE Press Release


Recognized also in 1985-1986

Student Council president (Caitlyn Bonilla) and vice president (Alexe Navarro) were interviewed by KGMB.

(Quicktime video)

Nuuanu Elementary School

 Hawaii News Now

Star Advertiser


The No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their states or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.


The Secretary sends a letter of invitation to the Chief State School Officers and CAPE requesting the submission of information for nominated schools.

November 8:

Responses are due from the CSSO to the Secretary.

November 22:

The Department sends letters of invitation with applications to the schools recommended by the CSSO.

February 10:

Completed applications from the public schools are due to the Department.


The Secretary announces the 2006 No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools..

Fall 2006

Two people from each school, the principal and a teacher, will be invited to a Washington, DC ceremony where the schools will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their status.

Posted on: Saturday, November 5, 2005

Big winners: Kauluwela, Lunalilo, Nu'uanu schools

By Beverly Creamer

Advertiser Education Writer

Raelene Chock, Clayton Kaninau and sixth-grader Caitlyn Bonilla represented Nu'uanu Elementary at the Blue Ribbon ceremony.

* The Hawai'i Distinguished Schools Program recognizes schools that make significant progress in narrowing achievement gaps of their students or whose students achieve at the highest levels, consistently performing in the top 10 percent on state tests under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The winners were chosen from a field of 20 schools on O'ahu and the Big Island that made "adequate yearly progress."

* Over the past 17 years, 41 Hawai'i school have been nominated to the national program and 27 have been selected national Blue Ribbon Schools.

* This is the third year these awards have been linked to the federal law, which requires schools to demonstrate greater proficiency each year until 2014, when all students are expected to be proficient in both reading and math.

Three Honolulu elementary schools - Kauluwela, King William Lunalilo and Nu'uanu - have been named Blue Ribbon Schools for 2005-06 and will represent the state in the national No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

They were chosen from among 20 schools on O'ahu and the Big Island and were recognized at a luncheon that was held yesterday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa's Tapa Ballroom and sponsored by Frito-Lay of Hawai'i. Each school was awarded $3,000 by Frito-Lay.

Yesterday's program also recognized Ali'iolani, Hokulani and Kahala Elementary schools, which were recently named 2005 National Blue Ribbon Schools. They were awarded an additional $1,000 each from Frito-Lay for receiving the national award.

In accepting their honors, principals had praise for their teachers, pupils and parents.

Kauluwela Elementary, in the category for schools with at least 40 percent of its pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, was recognized for being in the top 40 percent on state assessments and for demonstrating improved student achievement.

Many pupils at Kauluwela are from immigrant families and start school knowing little English, but monthly parent literacy sessions engage the parents in helping their youngsters learn. Day and night classes offer parents the opportunity to improve their own English.

In some cases, parents and children come to school together, said Title I teacher Lorri Kondo. A reading mastery program helps children catch up to their grade level in as little as one year, although it may take longer if they start out knowing very little English.

"With our reading mastery program we've really seen great success," Kondo said. "They're coming up into grade levels much better prepared.

"Now that the kids feel so much more confident in their reading, you see a lot of them wanting to go to the library and borrow books.

"In class now there's no shame in reading. Everybody wants to participate and read out loud."

The school of 390, whose principal is Gwendolyn Lee, also offers an online technology support program for basic reading and communication skills and integrating technology into almost every area of learning. Pupils can use the schoolwide computer program to practice their reading skills every day.

Lunalilo Elementary received the honor in two categories. Like Kauluwela, 40 percent or more of its pupils are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and its pupils achieve in the top 10 percent.

With an enrollment of 600 in kindergarten through Grade 5, the school has consistently surpassed national norms in reading and math.

Its mission: "Together - school, home and community - we will provide a safe, nurturing and challenging environment for helping each child become well adjusted, healthy, responsible, a productive citizen, an achiever of standards, and a critical thinker."

The school's principal is Clyde Igarashi. One in 10 pupils comes from a bilingual family, and a large part of the school's enrollment consists of children from outside the district's geographic boundaries who must apply to gain admission.

At Nu'uanu Elementary, with an enrollment of 380 in kindergarten through Grade 6, the fifth-graders consistently perform in the top 10 percent on state tests in reading and math.

Principal Clayton Kaninau credits pupils, teachers and parents for this consistent performance in test scores. He praised the commitment of his teachers who open up school early and stay late to tutor children if needed.

He especially praised parents for the support they offer. "We couldn't do it without them. They hold up their end of the bargain at home," he said.

The organization for parents, Aikane 'o Nu'uanu, gives each teacher up to $300 every year to spend on extras needed in their classrooms.

Along with being part of their children's educations, parents volunteer to help in many ways at the school, including two Saturday mornings of cleanup each year for which as many as 50 parents show up.

"They help us clean the yard, paint cubbyholes, put up shelves, provide fans," Kaninau said. "Whatever needs to be done."

Clayton Kaninau, Principal

2005 Hawaii Blue Ribbon School


Nuuanu Elementary School, founded in 1960, serves 380 students from kindergarten to grade 6 that represent a variety of ethnic groups. More than 50 percent of the students receive geographic exception to attend this school.


Some of the factors that make Nuuanu a popular choice include: 1) a strong and established academic core program; 2) a convenient location for parents working in the metropolitan Honolulu area; 3) availability of a before-school and after-school care program; and 4) language schools and YMCA programs within close proximity to the school.


The school has received several commendations over the years for student achievement. It received the Sustained High Achievement Award during the 1983-84 school year and a Sustained Superior Achievement Award in 1986-87 from the Honolulu District. It received a National Award for Excellence in Education in 1985-86. In 1991-92, Nuuanu Elementary was a Honolulu District recipient for the Elementary School Recognition Program and was honored as one of six elementary schools finalists in Hawaii Distinguished Schools Program sponsored by Frito-Lay of Hawaii.

Nuuanu Elementary provides quality instruction for its students in a nurturing and caring environment. Its teachers work on curriculum alignment projects that match with the National Goals 2000 and Hawaii State Goals, Hawaii State Commission on Performance Standards and the Essential Content. Faculty has received in servicing on effective teaching and learning strategies, and in 1995-96, Nuuanu School was selected as a Success Compact literacy school. Its School/Community-Based Management Council supports the Success Compact literacy improvement process by sponsoring parent workshops that support literacy in the home environment.


Vision: We are learners for life.


Mission Statement: To develop and nurture the knowledge, skills and capabilities of all so that we are able to use information wisely, adapt to change and pursue lifelong learning.






2005 Hawaii's Distinguished Schools -- List


Hawaii Blue Ribbon Schools (3)


Kauluwela Elementary School

King William Lunalilo Elementary School

Nuuanu Elementary School

In 1985-1986, the National Award for Excellence in Education was granted to the school followed with honors in 1991 in the state of Hawaii Elementary School Recognition Program.

From 1985-86 to 1987-88, Frito-Lay of Hawaii sponsored Hawaii's Outstanding Schools Program as a local recognition program only.

In 1988-89, Hawaii's Outstanding Schools Program became the program to identify nominees for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

From 1988-89 through 2004-05, 41 schools were nominated and 27 were selected as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

From 1985-86 through 2004-05, the U.S. DOE has awarded 31 National Blue Ribbons to public schools in Hawaii.


Manoa Elementary


Nuuanu Elementary