The U.S. Department of Education has named five Iowa schools among 342 National Blue Ribbon Schools for their overall academic excellence or for their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The schools recognized for closing achievement gaps include Charter Oak-Ute Elementary School, Charter Oak-Ute Community School District; North Kossuth Elementary School in the North Kossuth Community School District; and Stilwell Junior High School, West Des Moines Community School District. Overall academic excellence awardees were Tipton Elementary School, Tipton Community School District; and Whittier Elementary School, Indianola Community School District. “Iowa can learn from these schools as our education system continues to make sure every student is prepared for success in and beyond school,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said in a release.