A new national program, Green Ribbon Schools, which honors public schools and their dedication to sustainability is underway with 35 states nominating schools they feel deserve the recognition. The program, which is spearheaded by the US Department of Education began in the 2011-2012 school year and recognizes schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates.
One of those schools nominated is Roadrunner Elementary School in Phoenix, site of the first Green Schoolhouse Series build. After a lengthy and rigorous application process, Roadrunner was chosen by the state to be nominated for the national recognition. The school qualified by adhering to the departments following Pillars and Elements:
Environmental Impact and Energy Efficiency
- Reduced or eliminated greenhouse gas emissions, using an energy audit or emissions inventory and reduction plan, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements, conservation measures, and/or and on-site renewable energy and/or purchase of green power;
- Improved water quality, efficiency, and conservation;
- Reduced solid and hazardous waste production, through increased recycling, reduced consumption, and improved management, reduction, or elimination of hazardous waste streams; and
- Expanded use of alternative transportation to, during and from school, through active promotion of locally-available, energy-efficient options and implementation of alternative transportation supportive projects and policies.
Healthy School Environments
- An integrated school environmental health program based on an operations and facility-wide environmental management system that considers student, visitor and staff health and safety in all practices related to design, construction, renovation, operations, and maintenance of schools and grounds; and
- High standards of nutrition, fitness, and quantity of quality outdoor time for both students and staff.
Environmental and Sustainability Education
- Interdisciplinary learning about the key relationships between dynamic environmental, energy and human systems;
- Use of the environment and sustainability to develop STEM content knowledge and thinking skills to prepare graduates for the 21st century technology-driven economy; and
- Development of civic engagement knowledge and skills, and students’ application of these to address sustainability and environmental issues in their community.
Congrats Roadrunner Elementary School
The US Department of Education has announced the first-ever Green Ribbon Schools! Click here to see which nominees made the list!