Students at four mid­dle schools in the Ano­ka-Hennepin School District were recognized recently by the school board for winning an FBI a­ward for their performance on a cybersafe­ty program.

A group of stu­dents and their com­puter ex­plo­ra­tion teach­er, Ste­ven Burrill, re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate from Robert C. Bone, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis division, at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. In the entire month of December, there were 1,642 schools that used the program.

The eighth-grade stu­dents go to Jack­son, Northdale, Oak View and Roo­se­velt middle schools. The eighth-grad­ers got an av­er­age score of 93 percent, which placed them a­mong the top schools in the coun­try for that month. The schools won in the “shark” cate­go­ry, mean­ing that there were more than 100 stu­dents par­tici­pat­ing.

The pro­gram is called FBI Safe Online Surf­ing, or FBI-SOS. The pro­gram, de­vel­oped by the FBI, takes the form of inter­ac­tive games.

Any­one can ac­cess the games, but only reg­is­tered schools can take the exams and com­pete for awards. The pro­gram has dif­fer­ent “islands,” or levels, for third-grade through eighth-grade students.

It’s de­signed to teach kids how to safe­ly navi­gate the in­ter­net. The pro­gram teaches students how to identify preda­tors, recognize cyber­bullying, as well as the prop­er use of so­cial me­di­a and other skills.

“Just like par­ents take meas­ures to make sure their child is phys­i­cal­ly safe by lock­ing the front door, we need to make sure our kids are safe on­line,” said Craig Lischer, an FBI spokesman.

Since the pro­gram be­gan in 2012, there have been more than 2 mil­lion users who have tak­en the exams. That does not in­clude kids who play the games and nev­er take the test.

Four out of the six mid­dle schools in the Ano­ka-Hennepin School District use the pro­gram.

Jim Skelly, the district’s di­rec­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said the pro­gram is ne­ces­sary for kids who are grow­ing up with tech­nol­o­gy and so­cial me­di­a.

“We are rou­tine­ly deal­ing with is­sues of im­prop­er use with stu­dents and so­cial me­di­a,” Skelly said. “This pro­gram is part of the dis­trict’s ef­fort to ad­dress that.”

Jeyca Mal­do­na­do-Me­di­na is a University of Min­ne­so­ta stu­dent on as­sign­ment for the Star Tribune.