Articles tagged with environment

Bryant honors new “Green Ribbon” schools at ceremony

National School Boards Association Executive Director Anne L. Bryant helped honor a group of schools with environmentally friendly designs that have integrated student learning into the features of their buildings and environments.

A June 4 ceremony was the inaugural event for the U.S. Department of Education’s new “Green Ribbon” program, designed to recognize schools with facilities that have reduced environmental impact, improved the health of their students, and have coordinated effective environmental education. Some 78 schools received the award, some with newly constructed buildings and others which had undergone “green” renovations.

“Reading through each story of the winning schools I see hope, light, and a focus on real 21st century learning,” Bryant said. “These schools used the physical structures, whether gardens, forests or solar energized school buildings, to teach STEM and analytical thinking, project based learning, problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork. 21st Century learning reinforces communication skills, creativity, and collaboration.”

Bryant pointed to examples of winners, such as Longfellow Elementary School in Long Beach, Calif. The school won a 2011 Energy Star award with a perfect score of 100, partners with a local middle school to share best practices, gives each teacher professional development in environmental sustainability, conducts all physical education classes outside and hosts a “Walk to School Wednesday” to engage not only students but community members.

Bryant was also particularly impressed with Terra Environmental Institute in Miami, a science-focused magnet high school that focuses on engineering, medical, and biological science courses to promote learning and conservation techniques.

For more details about this year’s winning schools and the Education Department’s Green Ribbon program, go to:

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/highlights-2012.pdf

Joetta Sack-Min|June 11th, 2012|Categories: Environmental Issues, School Buildings|Tags: , |

Turning America’s schools “green”

The U.S. Department of Education announced this week that 33 states and the District of Columbia have submitted intents to nominate schools for the new Green Ribbon Schools awards program launched this past September. Schools nominated by state education agencies are eligible to receive the award.

Participating states, as well as the District of Columbia, to date are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The Department also received intent to nominate from the Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Education school district.

The program asks states to nominate schools in their jurisdiction that come closest to achieving the high bar that Green Ribbon sets: net zero environmental impact of facilities, net positive health impact on students and staff, and 100% environmentally literate graduates.

Participating states are currently posting applications for schools in their jurisdictions, and will submit nominees to the Department by March 22, 2012. The Department will announce winners in April, 2012 and will host the first national U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools ceremony in Washington, D.C., in late May 2012. The national ceremony will be followed by local ceremonies at each of the winning schools in fall 2012.

BoardBuzz likes this and is proud that the National School Boards Association is part of the executive committee of the Coalition for Green Schools. To learn more about greening your school district, check out the resources from the Center for Green Schools.

Alexis Rice|December 8th, 2011|Categories: Environmental Issues, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Buildings|Tags: , , , |

Going green to save some green

recycle-greenIt’s become a cliche to say that just about every school district is taking drastic actions to save money. States and districts are seeing sizable shortfalls that demand officials take drastic actions to keep their schools running these days, and budget forecasts do not appear to be getting any better.

As much as we hate budget cuts, the threat can spur creativity and force school officials to look at ways to create efficiencies.

“Going green” is certainly not a new trend–it’s actually been around for decades and began gaining prominence more than a decade ago. School districts that were thinking ahead to days when funds might be particularly tight—such as, now–were building schools that required less energy and maintenance. Others that did not have the luxury of building new facilities still found ways to create better environments through renovations and simple programs such as having teachers turn off lights and electrical devices when not in use.

These days, a lot more schools are making those changes. Which not only helps save money for other programs that might be cut, but let’s not forget the main purpose: helping the environment. Assuming our school budgets will eventually recover, programs designed to save energy and operating costs should remain in place indefinitely.
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Naomi Dillon|March 29th, 2010|Categories: American School Board Journal, Student Achievement|Tags: , |

A bit of green in the midst of winter

These days “going green” for schools is no longer a trend-it’s becoming a necessity. And now green living has its own designated week, where teachers across the country will infuse green lessons into the curriculum.

The Green Education Foundation has designated Feb. 2 to 8 as “National Green Week,” and has mobilized 250,000 students to learn and help demonstrate how to reduce the volume of trash their classrooms and schools produce.

The voluntary mission shows students how to reduce their daily amount of waste, for instance, by using reusable or recyclable containers for snacks. This week, participating classes will weigh their daily trash output and compare the totals after next week’s “going green” lesson. The foundation’s goal is to reduce the waste produced by schools by two million pounds and save districts thousands of dollars on solid waste disposal.

But they’re also hoping students will take the lessons home and find ways to reduce their amount of household trash as well. The foundation, which is mainly supported by a for-profit business that sells eco-friendly products and organic apparel, was started last year by Victoria Waters, who was inspired by her children’s concern over the plight of seals.

The foundation started by distributing green tools to classrooms and encouraging students to find better ways to avoid waste and recycle products. The program’s mission grew after an experiment at Fisher Elementary School in Walpole, Mass., where students reduced their school’s trash output by 70 percent and started a recycling program in their suburban town.

The foundation offers curriculum guides and lessons on going green, and more information can be found on their website. And stay tuned for ASBJ’s April issue, which will feature a special supplement on the many ways your schools can go green, too.

Joetta Sack-Min, Associate Editor

Naomi Dillon|January 28th, 2009|Categories: American School Board Journal, Curriculum, Governance, School Buildings|Tags: , , |
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