COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The U.S. Education Department has named five South Carolina schools as models of excellence.
Officials announced the state's National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2012 Friday. The five are among roughly 300 winners nationwide.
They are Hammond Hill Elementary in Aiken County, Marrington Middle School of the Arts in Berkeley County, Forestbrook Elementary in Horry County, Oak Grove Elementary in Lexington District 1 and South Kilbourne Elementary in Richland District 1.
South Carolina's winners were chosen because of dramatic gains in students' English and math test scores. More than half of the schools' students live in poverty. All received an "A'' on their 2012 federal report cards.
Awards ceremonies will be held in Washington in November. Schools will receive Blue Ribbon School flags and engraved plaques.