The California Department of Education (CDE) has announced that California schools are now eligible to apply for the Green Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education. Schools must be nominated by state education officials and do not apply directly to the U.S. Department of Education. California will select up four state nominees to compete for the national Green Ribbon Award.
Green Ribbon Schools are part of a comprehensive federal policy for schools that incorporates existing standards related to environment, health and education. The factors for identifying Green Ribbon Schools include many of the elements of existing "green schools" programs such as LEED for Schools and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (also known as CHPS).
Applicants will be scored on the three Green Ribbon School Pillars: Environmental Impact and Energy Efficiency, Healthy School Environments, and Environmental and sustainability Education. Incorporated into these three pillars are a wide variety of environmentally sensitive benchmarks, including zero greenhouse gas emissions, food that is locally sourced and sustainable, and curriculum that ensures all students receive instruction on environmental and sustainability issues.
No funding is associated with the award, but a Green Ribbon School will be nationally recognized for performance related to environmental impact, health and education. The deadline to apply to CDE is February 17, 2012. The CDE will select up to four nominees by March 22, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education is expected to announce the winners on Earth Day, April 22, 2012. Additional information is located at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html. To view the application, visit the CDE website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/fa/sf/greenribbonprog.asp.
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