U. S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, 2012

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U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools: Highlights and Success Stories from the First-Ever Honorees group 14
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools: Highlights From the First-Ever Honorees

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, 2012


Contents 2

Introduction 6

Winners at a Glance 8

Alabama 9

Munford Elementary School, Munford, AL 9

Winterboro High School, Talladega, AL 9

Arizona 10

The STAR School, Flagstaff, AZ 10

Roadrunner Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ 10

Arkansas 10

Acorn School, Mena, AR 10

Bureau of Indian Education 11

Circle of Nations-Wahpeton Indian School, ND 11

California 11

Longfellow Elementary School, Long Beach, CA 11

Environmental Charter High School, Lawndale, CA 12

Grand View Elementary, Manhattan Beach, CA 12

The Athenian School, Danville, CA 12

Colorado 13

Flagstone Elementary School, Castle Rock, CO 13

Denver Green School, Denver, CO 13

Wellington Middle School, Wellington, CO 13

D.C. 14

Stoddert Elementary, NW 14

Sidwell Friends School, NW 14

Florida 14

Learning Gate Community School, Lutz, FL 14

Pine Jog Elementary, West Palm Beach, FL 15

Terra Environmental Institute, Miami, FL 15

Georgia 16

Arabia Mountain High School, Lithonia, GA 16

Springdale Park Elementary, Atlanta, GA 16

Savannah Country Day School, Savannah, GA 16

Hawaii 16

Ewa Makai Middle School, Ewa Beach 16

Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Kamuela, HI 17

Illinois 17

Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago, IL 17

Thomas J. Waters Elementary, Chicago, IL 18

Prairie Crossing Charter School, Grayslake, IL 18

Iowa 19

Des Moines Central Campus High School, Des Moines, IA 19

Kansas 19

Eisenhower High School, Goddard, KS 19

Erie High School, Erie, KS 20

Brookwood Elementary, Leawood, KS 20

Kentucky 21

Rosa Parks Elementary, Lexington, KY 21

Georgetown Middle School, Georgetown, KY 21

Richardsville Elementary, Bowling Green, KY 21

Maryland 22

Dunloggin Middle School, Ellicott City, MD 22

Francis Scott Key Middle School, Silver Spring, MD 22

Folger McKinsey Elementary School, Severna Park, MD 23

Lucy School, Middletown, MD 23

Michigan 24

Clarkston High School, Clarkston, MI 24

Detroit Edison Public Service Academy, Detroit, MI 24

Minnesota 24

Garlough Environmental Magnet School, West Saint Paul 24

Kennedy Community School, Saint Joseph, MN 25

North Shore Community School, Duluth, MN 25

Missouri 26

Crossroads College Prep, Saint Louis, MO 26

The College School, Saint Louis, MO 26

Nebraska 27

Lothrop Science and Technology Magnet, Omaha, NE 27

Miller Park Elementary, Omaha, NE 27

New Jersey 27

Bernard High School, Bernardsville, NJ 27

Midtown Community Elementary, Neptune, NJ 28

Alder Avenue Middle School, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 28

The Willow School 29

New York 29

Hampton Bays Middle School, Hampton Bays, NY 29

Sleepy Hollow Middle School, Sleepy Hollow, NY 30

Bethlehem Central Middle School, Delmar, NY 30

North Carolina 31

Evergreen Charter School, Asheville, NC 31

American Hebrew Academy, Greensboro, NC 31

Ohio 32

Loveland High School, Loveland, OH 32

North Adams Elementary, Seaman, OH 32

Oregon 32

Sunnyside Elementary School, Portland, OR 32

Willamina Elementary School, Willamina, OR 33

Gladstone High School, Gladstone, OR 33

Caitlin Gabel School, Portland, OR 34

Pennsylvania 34

Radnor Middle School, Wayne, PA 34

Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School, Chambersburg, PA 35

A.W. Beattie Career Center, Allison Park, PA 35

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, PA 35

Rhode Island 36

Classical High School, Providence, RI 36

Nathan Bishop Middle School, Providence, RI 36

Virginia 36

Fishburn Elementary School, Roanoke, VA 36

Gereau Center, Rocky Mount, VA 37

Washington 37

Tahoma Junior High, Ravensdale, WA 37

Camelot Elementary, Auburn, WA 37

Secondary Academy for Success, Bothell, WA 38

The Overlake School, Redmond, WA 38

West Virginia 38

Hilltop Elementary, Wheeling, WV 38

Wyoming County Career and Technical Center, Pineville, WV 39

Wisconsin 39

Dimensions of Learning Academy, Kenosha, WI 39

Middleton High School, Middleton, WI 39

Purdy Elementary School, Fort Atkinson, WI 40


When Secretary Duncan opened the inaugural year of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) in September 2011, he said that the winning schools would be those that were making the greatest progress in three areas, known as “Pillars”: 1) reduced environmental impact; 2) improved health; and 3) effective environmental education. While the schools recognized this year have gone about their greening efforts in different ways depending on their specific circumstances, they all have shown significant progress in the three pillars of our award, and continue to make efforts to improve each day.

Selectees of the inaugural cohort of ED-GRS were reviewed exhaustively at the state level, where they competed for one of up to four nominations state education agencies were asked to send to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). In their respective states, schools were reviewed by committees from multiple state education agency offices, judges from state environmental, energy, and/or natural resources agencies, and, in many cases, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional office judges as well.
Because of the short timeline for this first year, competitions for school applicants in many states were open only for a matter of weeks. Even in this short window, over 1,000 schools across the nation began applications, and over 350 ultimately completed and submitted them to their state education agencies. ED provided some guidance as to how state education agencies might evaluate schools on the three pillars and their nine underlying elements, but ultimately, states had flexibility in their selection processes, provided that they documented schools’ comprehensive progress in the three areas. Each nomination package, all of which are posted on the ED-GRS website, reflected comprehensive progress in not one, but all three pillars. Rewarding such progress is the principal aim of this new federal award.
Many aspects of the inaugural year of ED-GRS impressed federal judges even before the first nominations arrived. First, we were struck by the number of states – over 30 -- that voluntarily elected to nominate schools, especially given the number of competing priorities, the budgetary limitations, and the time constraints at the time of the ED-GRS launch in September 2011. Next, we were impressed by the enthusiasm states and schools showed about this new recognition award. They not only wanted to participate in a federal competition recognizing the high achievement of schools in environmental impact, health, and education, but they were willing to invest significant time and energy to take part.
The inaugural cohort of nominees themselves impressed federal judges in countless ways. Initially, we noted the diversity of the schools applying. The schools include 66 public institutions, including 8 charter schools, and 12 private schools. Among them are 43 elementary, 31 middle, and 26 high schools, with several of the 78 schools enrolling various configurations of primary and secondary grades. Perhaps most of all, we were struck by the number of schools attended by underserved students.
As we soon learned, schools serving disadvantaged students – including schools that were 100 percent American Indian, two-thirds Hispanic, or 98 percent African American, as well as schools with populations with high numbers of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch -- have used efforts to reduce their environmental impact, improve students’ health, and provide effective environmental literacy. In addition, these schools used their “greening” efforts as a springboard for school innovation and academic improvement.
That these so-called ‘disadvantaged’ schools were masters of stretching limited resources further should not have surprised us. Green schools, after all, are all about creating an education built to last; in simple terms, a sustainable education, which requires, nearly by definition, ingenuity and resourcefulness. And what type of school might better understand conservation? So, when we saw schools providing better education to traditionally underserved students, we realized that our nation’s green schools are a great tool to advance equal access to quality education for all students.
What follows are some highlights of the winners of the first ED-GRS recognition award. They are by no means exhaustive accounts of schools’ strengths, but rather a few highlights that caught federal reviewers’ attention, anecdotes that may be instructive to other schools, and instances of incredible innovation.
Trailblazers in many ways already, they lead as shining examples for all schools to follow in their efforts to go green. They are the first ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, winners of the first federal award to recognize comprehensive achievement in the areas of environmental impact, health, and education. We are immensely proud of and inspired by them, and confident that you will be as well.
Andrea Suarez Falken


U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

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