NEW YORK, June 29 (JTA) — Four Jewish day schools are among the 266 elementary schools named by the U.S. Department of Education as 1998-99 Blue Ribbon Schools. Blue Ribbon schools “excel in all areas of academic leadership, teaching and teacher development and school curriculum,” according to a statement by the Department of Education. The Jewish day schools singled out are Tarbut v’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, Calif., a community school; Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, Lubavitch; Minneapolis Jewish Day School, community; and the Katherine and Jacob Greenfield Hebrew Academy of Atlanta, Orthodox. Established in 1982, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program aims to improve education by identifying schools that are models of excellence and equity, making research-based, self-assessment criteria available to schools and encouraging schools to share information about their best practices. It recognizes elementary schools and secondary schools in alternate years. Schools are selected based on nominations from state education agencies and evaluations by a national review panel. Since the program’s inception, 3,800 schools — including 10 Jewish day schools — have been honored. There are approximately 800 Jewish day schools in the United States offering a dual curriculum of Judaic and secular studies.