Articles tagged with green schools

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:

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, School Buildings, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|Tags: , , , |

Going green to save some green

I’m cheap.

It’s a value that was instilled in me at an early age, from my mother and grandmother, who knew how to make a dollar stretch as far as it could-because it had to. My bargain-shopping drives my husband crazy sometimes, but he loves to brag as much as I do that I spent only $10 on my wedding dress at an upscale department store.

I don’t like to waste stuff, either, and I’d like to leave this planet in at least decent shape for future generations. That’s why I think the movement to go green may be the silver lining to this ongoing economic downturn.

Environmentalism has been around for years-I wrote my first story about a “green school” nearly 10 years ago, and it wasn’t a new trend even then. But I think what’s really pushing schools to look at green solutions is the cost savings, both in the short and long term.

What has changed in the past decade is the cost of going green. It used to be more expensive to build schools with energy saving features or purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products. Now the rising demand has lowered the prices of many materials and products. Energy costs have risen, too, and that’s one area in a budget where you can almost always find savings without cutting classroom programs. And the savings in the long run make it a no-brainer. 

We looked at the green schools movement in our April issue,  and profiled several school districts that had taken different approaches to sustainability. One had saved more than $1 million by hiring an energy consultant, another district profits from selling recyclable goods while instilling environmental values to its students.

Since the demand for green products and green construction is increasing, especially now that the federal stimulus money is being doled out, we’ll continue to follow the trends and bring you more ideas to save money and save the environment.

Joetta Sack-Min, Associate Editor

Naomi Dillon|May 13th, 2009|Categories: School Buildings, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , |
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