The U.S. Department of Education has announced that State Education Agencies are now invited to nominate schools for the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program:
The aim of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is to inspire schools, districts and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to strive for 21st century excellence, by highlighting promising practices and resources that all can employ. To that end, the award recognizes schools, districts, and IHEs that: 1 – Reduce environmental impact and costs; 2- Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and 3- Provide environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.
Each state is permitted to nominate at many as five Pre-K-12 schools or districts, including one that may be a private school. If more than two schools or districts are nominated, then one nominee must serve at least 40 percent of students from a disadvantaged background. Additionally, once selected as an honoree, a school or district may not be selected again.
After nominees are submitted by the state, the Department of Education will review the nominees to ensure that progress is being made on three Pillars – or areas of focus – that are included in the nomination requirements. They are (1) reduced environmental impact and costs, (2) improved health and wellness, and (3) effective environmental and sustainability; along with the underlying elements. This review will determine the 2016 honorees that will be announced on Earth Day Friday, April 22.
Candidates must contact their state departments of education (or equivalent DoDEA or BIE jurisdictions) or state higher education authorities for information on selection in each state.