Eight Minnesota schools have earned recognition for their students' academic achievement from the U.S. Department of Education.

The schools are among 349 public, private and charter schools from across the country recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools because of their academic performance or their work in closing achievement gaps between different groups of students. All of the Minnesota schools recognized this year were named in the program's Exemplary High Performing Schools category, which means they were top performers on statewide assessments.

On the list: Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Elementary School in Buffalo Lake; Canby Elementary School in Canby; Fertile-Beltrami Elementary School in Fertile; Maple River East Elementary School in Minnesota Lake; Red Rock Central Secondary School in Lamberton; School of Engineering and Arts in Golden Valley; Vandyke Elementary School in Coleraine and Wayzata Central Middle School in Plymouth.

The schools selected for the award will be honored at a celebration in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7 and 8.

Erin Golden • 612-673-4790