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Five Arizona schools are being honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools, including Acacia Elementary School in the Vail School District, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas announced.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 342 schools nationwide as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017. The schools are being recognized for performance and closing the achievement gap, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.

Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 6 and 7, the schools will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., by the secretary and the Department of Education.

Marana school bus providing free meals

Marana Unified School District’s Marana Cares Mobile service will hit the road this week.

Created from a retired school bus, Marana Cares Mobile offers free, nutritious meals in an air-conditioned mobile facility with interior and exterior serving areas.

The handicap-accessible, refurbished mobile unit also offers Wi-fi, Chromebooks and literacy encouragement for children.

Marana Cares Mobile operates during school breaks and summer months. Since its inception, Marana Cares Mobile has served 4,616 meals, the district says.

The bus will be stationed at the southeast corner of Sandario and Anthony roads, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to noon and at 6560 W. El Tiro Road from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Las Artes Arts & Education enrolling for GED program

Pima County’s Las Artes Arts & Education Center is accepting students for its GED program session that begins Monday, Oct. 30. The program pays students a weekly incentive to offset the cost of transportation, clothing and school supplies. An orientation for new students will be held Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. to noon.

People between ages 17 and 22 must complete an application and take a basic assessment to determine placement level before attending the orientation, and can take the assessment at Las Artes, 23 W. 27th St., Monday through Thursday.

Las Artes will be accepting and assessing students through the first week of the session. The school says it has successfully prepared students for the new GED test in as little as 16 weeks.

Students will receive support with a variety of issues ranging from language barriers, anger management, legal intervention or child care. Case managers help coach and counsel students to overcome issues that keep them from succeeding in the classroom.

For information, contact Patty Short at 520-724-5050 or LasArtes@pima.gov, or visit Las Artes online.

Saint Ambrose hosting annual fiesta

Saint Ambrose School & Parish is hosting its annual fiesta at 300 S. Tucson Blvd. on Friday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Oct 14, from 2 to 10 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. The celebration will include carnival rides, live entertainment, food booths and a bar with the University of Arizona football game live on Saturday.

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