By: Dan McMenamin, Bay City News
An elementary school in San Francisco's Outer Parkside neighborhood was one of only 20 public schools in California to be named a national Blue Ribbon School Thursday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Ulloa Elementary School received the honor, which only went to 305 schools nationwide including three others in the Bay Area, according to San Francisco Unified School District officials.
The Blue Ribbon program honors schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have successfully closed achievement gaps, particularly among disadvantaged and minority students.
About two-thirds of the students at Ulloa Elementary, located at 2650 42nd Ave., are Chinese and a third of its students are eligible for the state's free lunch program, according to the school district's most recent demographic data.
"We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award," school principal Carol Fong said in a statement. "This is due to the hard work of our team of teachers, and parents and, most of all, the students of Ulloa."
The other Bay Area schools to receive the Blue Ribbon honor are Peralta Elementary School in Oakland, James Leitch Elementary School in Fremont and Ruskin Elementary School in San Jose.
All 256 public schools and 49 private schools who were named as Blue Ribbon schools today will be honored at a conference and awards ceremony in Washington on Nov. 14 and 15.