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updated: 9/15/2011 6:20 PM

Four DuPage schools earn Blue Ribbon

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Four DuPage County schools were among 304 announced nationwide on Thursday as National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence or success in closing achievement gaps.

Mohawk Elementary School in Bensenville, Highland Elementary in Downers Grove, The Lane Elementary in Hinsdale and St. Joan of Arc in Lisle earned the honor from the U.S. Department of Education.

Only 15 other schools in Illinois won a Blue Ribbon, among 304 in the nation. All will be honored during a conference and award ceremony Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C. The four local schools being honored were nominated by the Illinois Department of Education or the Council for American Private education.

Some winning schools boast students who earn high scores on standardized tests or, in the case of private schools, score at the highest level on nationally normed tests. Other winners have at least 40 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve performance to high levels, which are also measured by the school's performance on state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

A total of 413 schools were nominated throughout the country.