schoolFive Silicon Valley schools are among 15 in California that have been recognized as 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The winners and their school districts include Simonds Elementary in San Jose Unified, Faria Elementary in the Cupertino Union district, Chadbourne Elementary in Fremont Unified, Jensen Ranch Elementary in Castro Valley Unified and the private Valley Christian Junior High in San Jose.

The schools were honored for either high achievement or for making significant academic improvement. They were among 236 public and 50 private schools identified by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The winners will be honored at a national awards ceremony Nov. 18 and 19 in Washington, D.C.

For information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, and for a list of the winners across the country, go to

— Sharon Noguchi, staff of Mercury News.