Green Schools Have Come of Age!
• U.S. Department of Education began ED-GRS
recognition award in Fall 2011 and named the
first cohort in April 2012.
• The award highlights the innovative best
practices of a handful of schools that are:
– Reducing environmental impact and costs;
– Improving health and wellness; and
– Providing effective environmental and
Put Another Way
1. Schools’ and their occupants’
impact on the environment;
2. Schools’ environmental and
behavioral impact on
3. How schools teach students
about the environment and
sustainability to prepare
them for citizenship and
employment in the 21st
A Means To Use Existing Resources to
Achieve Current National Goals…
Economic health and stability
• Much needed improvements to school
facilities create jobs and save schools money.
• Prepare students to participate in the green
• Strengthen the nation's energy security
• Conserve critical natural resources.
…And School and Student goals
• fostering health, wellness and achievement
• providing a well-rounded education,
• increasing STEM skills, content knowledge
• ensuring students’ college and career
preparedness and civic skills
What ED-Green Ribbon Schools is Not
• NOT an additional set of priorities for schools.
• Instead, it connects schools with existing
resources and standards that advance current
• These are high standards that advance current
aims to cut costs, provide a well-rounded
education, increase STEM skills and
engagement, foster health and wellness and
ensure students’ preparedness for 21st
century economy and citizenship.
Let’s Look at How and Why ED-Green
Ribbon Schools Came to Be
• Public request to EPA, ED and White House
• Concept launch with heads of EPA, ED and
CEQ in April 2011, indicating the pilot year
cohort would be named in spring 2012.
• Summer 2011 developing award criteria and
nomination infrastructure, consulting with
associations, states, national and local NGOs,
school communities, technical experts, the
public, and numerous federal partners.
Campaign Steering Committee Supporting Organizations (State)
Campaign for Environmental Literacy Arkansas Environmental Education Association
Earth Day Network California Association for Environmental and
National Wildlife Federation Outdoor Education
U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education
Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia
Supporting Organizations (National)
Alliance for Climate Education Environmental Education Association of Alabama
Alliance to Save Energy Environmental Education Association of New
American Architectural Foundation Mexico
American Federation of Teachers Environmental Education Association of Oregon
American Montessori Society Environmental Education Association of
Association for the Advancement of Washington
Sustainability in Higher Education Environment Education Connections of South
BlueGreen Alliance Dakota
Committee on Architecture for Education Environmental Education Council of Ohio
Council of Educational Facility Planners
International Environmental Educators of North Carolina
Council of Environmental Deans Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance
and Directors Idaho Environmental Education Association
Earth Force Kansas Association for Conservation and
Green Charter Schools Network Environmental Education
Green Community Schools Kansas Green Schools Program
Green Fox Schools Kentucky Association for Environmental
Green Schools Alliance Education
Green Schools Initiative Kentucky Environmental Education Council
Green Schools Network
GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Maryland Association for Environmental and
Healthy Schools Campaign Outdoor Education
Hispanic Access Foundation Maryland Green Schools
National Association of Elementary Minnesota Association for Environmental
School Principals Education
National Association of Independent Missouri Environmental Education Association
Schools Nebraska Association for Conservation and
National Audubon Society Environmental Education
National Clearinghouse for Educational New York State Outdoor Education Association
National Council for Science and the Oregon Green Schools
Environment Pennsylvania Association of Environmental
National Education Association Educators
National Energy Education Development Rhode Island Environmental Education
National Green Schools Coalition South Carolina Green Steps Schools
National Green Schools Network
National School Boards Association Tennessee Environmental Education
National Science Teachers Association
North American Association for Tennessee Environmental Literacy Working
Environmental Education Group
Project Learning Tree Texas Green Ribbon Schools
U.S. Partnership for Education for Utah Society for Environmental Education
Zerofootprint Challenge for Schools Vermont Sweep: State-Wide Environmental
Washington Green Schools
West Virginia Green Schools
West Virginia Environmental Education
Wisconsin Green & Healthy Schools
How ED-Green Ribbon Schools Works
• Recognizes schools that meet a variety of existing
standards, implementing or employing numerous
complementary policies and resources.
• A nation-wide recognition award, not a grant.
• Incents change by communicating high standards
and recognizing the most exemplary schools or
individuals according to specified criteria.
• State applications are a learning tool for schools
to obtain a baseline assessment in all three Pillars
Green Schools National Conference,
Denver, CO, February 28, 2012
34 Authorities Intending to Nominate 2012-2013
40 Authorities Intending to Nominate inin 2012-2013
Selecting ED-Green Ribbon Schools
• Schools must be nominated by their state
education agency and cannot apply directly to
• Mechanism for private, BIE and DOD schools.
• State education authorities evaluate schools
based on 3 ‘Pillars’
• Compliance with federal, state and local civil
rights, health, safety and environmental laws.
• Based on their evaluation, state authorities send
nominees to USED.
Communicating Best Practices
• The Green Strides Webinar Series: Green
Ribbon is not a certification or program. It will
highlight just a few exemplary schools each
year. Through the Strides Series (GSWS) it
connects all states, districts and schools with
• The blog, newsletter, Facebook and speakers
bureau are other opportunities to connect
schools with federal resources and expertise.
Timeframe for Pilot
Timeframe 2012-2013 Year
• Summer 2012: States encouraged to indicate their intent
to submit nominees to USED.
• July: ED provides 2012-2013 criteria
• Sept: States begin selection processes
• December: States select nominees to USED.
• February 15: States submit nominees to ED for the Green
Ribbon Schools recognition award.
• April 22: USED announces honorees.
• June 3: USED hosts national recognition award ceremony.
(all dates tentative)