The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors schools, school districts, and Institutes of Higher Education for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education (ED) effort to identify and communicate practices that result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness; and reinforces federal efforts to increase energy independence and economic security.
California K-12 public and private schools, early learning centers, and school districts are eligible to seek ED-GRS nomination from the California Department of Education (CDE). To be considered for an ED-GRS nomination, follow the online application process described in the directions documents below. CDE may nominate up to five schools or districts for ED-GRS. If your school or district is selected as a California nominee, CDE staff will work with you to submit the nominee presentation form and package to ED for consideration. State nominees are announced by CDE in February, confirmed by ED in April, and celebrated in a summer award ceremony.
Application reviews will be based on the applicant's demonstrated progress towards reaching the goals of each of the three ED-GRS Pillars, which are:
- Pillar I: Reduce environmental impact and costs
- Pillar II: Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff
- Pillar III: Provide effective environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways
Four items which are important to keep in mind as consideration is given to applying to become a nominee:
- These are ambitious goals and few, if any, schools are expected to have achieved all three, or perhaps even 100% of any of the Pillars.
- Schools demonstrating exemplary achievement in all three Pillars will receive the highest ranking.
- It is important to demonstrate concrete achievement, using quantitative measures, wherever possible.
- Additional documents supporting your answers may be requested.
Interested applicants should first complete the 2015-16 Application Interest Survey. Updated directions documents, including a list of questions, will be available on this Web page prior to the 2015-16 application release on September 4, 2015.
The application cycle for 2015-16 will begin in September 2015. Click on the directions documents below to review the 2014-15 application documents.
2014-15 Directions for Green Ribbon Schools Application (PDF) - For reference only.
2014-15 Directions for Green Ribbon District Application (PDF) - For reference only.
2016 Green Ribbon Schools Award Program Webinar - Coming soon