Stonegate Elementary School in Irvine has nabbed a federal Blue Ribbon award for the first time in the school's history.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools that rank in the top 15% in state test scores for English and math, or have at least 40% of students from low-income families and have made significant jumps on the state's Academic Performance Index, according to the Department of Education.
Stonegate posted an API score of 963 out of the 1,000 points possible this year.
Principal Stan Machesky received news of the award during a web broadcast early Tuesday and said it gives the school a nice sense of accomplishment to be recognized on a national scale.
"It's an acknowledgment of the dedicated community and staff we have at our school," he said.
Schools nominated for a Blue Ribbon must submit an application for the award. In California, only schools that have won state Distinguished School honors are invited to apply for the Blue Ribbon.
While the Blue Ribbon carries with it no monetary prize, it allows schools increased visibility.
Since the program's founding in 1982, the Department of Education has bestowed the award on more than 7,000 schools.
— Hannah Fry