My name is Kathleen Smothers, and I am an Education Administrator in the School Facilities and Transportation Services Division.
Today, I am pleased to share with you information about California's participation in the Green Ribbon Schools Award program!
Before I start, there are a few housekeeping items to point out.
First, please note that we have placed all participants on mute. That way if someone comes into your office while you are watching this and starts talking the rest of the participants won't hear your conversation.
Secondly, please feel free to type in questions during the presentation. I have Diane Waters here with me and she will forward them to me so I can answer them at the end of the presentation.
This morning, through this webinar I will provide an overview of the Green Ribbon Schools Award program, explaining the intent, and three goals of the program.
Then, I will show you how to navigate the California Department of Education's Green Ribbon website to draw attention to different links that may assist you.
Finally, I will discuss this year's applications and answer any questions you might have.
At the end of July, California accepted the U.S. Department of Education's (USDE) invitation to participate in the second year of the Green Ribbon Schools Award program. As with last year, this award is designed to recognize schools taking a comprehensive approach to greening their schools.
This comprehensive approach asks for a lot more from a school than just conducting a lot of fun green activities with students. But rather the intent is to integrate environmental and health impacts with environmental learning activities.
This year the goals of the three pillars changed slightly. The goals are:
- Pillar I: Reduce environmental impact.
- Pillar II: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff.
- Pillar III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), civic skills, and green career pathways.
USDE is asking for the same two-step process as last year:
- The first step is to complete and submit the application to the California Department of Education (CDE).
- Then, if a school is selected as a state nominee, CDE will collect additional information that will be included in the nomination package to the USDE.
The USDE informed us that each state may submit up to four nominees.
If submitting more than one public school, one must be a school with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
If submitting four nominees, one must be a private school.
With regards to the nomination of a private school, we are coordinating again with the California Association for Private School Organizations (CAPSO).
CAPSO will be providing the private school nominee to the CDE to be forwarded to the USDE with the three other schools.
This year there will be a second award called the District Sustainability Award.
Each state is encouraged to submit one District nominee to the USDE.
California intends to participate, and has already designed and included the District application on our Website.
On December 22, 2011, our Green Ribbon Schools Award Program Website was up and running. We have been adding information to it monthly.
You can find the Website by either typing in its official link, or you can go to the CDE main Website, type in Green Ribbon Schools Award Program into the search engine at the top of the page, and be transferred over to the site.
This Fall we have already added many new links.
Here is a screen of the top of the opening page.
And here is a screen of the bottom of the page where I will be focusing your attention towards.
First, let's skip down to the fourth link, entitled Framework. When you click on this link you will be directed to a copy of the 2012-13 Federal Framework.
This framework is useful because it provides an overview of the application criteria.
The first column identifies the three main goals, or what we call the three USDE Green Ribbon School Pillars.
This slide provides a screen of the first of three pages.
The green arrow points to the first pillar entitled Environmental Impact and Energy Efficiency.
The green arrow on this next slide points to the sub-categories of each pillar. We call these sub-categories Elements.
Next, in the third column, each element is broken down into specific categories, such as Energy, Greenhouse Gases, Water, Grounds, and Waste.
The fourth column identifies the Green School Objectives.
While the fifth column identifies how a school might demonstrate progress toward these objectives.
Finally, and what I believe is most important, the sixth and final column provides a list of resources that will help you better understand what it means to reach the objectives.
However, as you all have likely been frustrated while attempting to read the fine print of this Framework we have provided a page on our Website that guides you to the various resources in a larger, more reader-friendly font size, and we have provided direct links to each resource for your convenience.
Here is a small section of the resource page section that I have taken a picture of.
You can see the various resources are organized under each Pillar and Element.
Now I'd like to guide you to the actual application questions.
We created our on-line application in a Word document, so that it might be easier to download and strategize which individuals would be the key staff in knowing the answers.
We in no way expect the site principal or one district staff member to know all the answers...just as we took the input of several key CDE individuals, state and federal agencies, and private business professionals to create these questions, we would anticipate that there would be a need for several school and district staff members to come up with specific answers.
Thus, it might be useful to print this Word document out and assign various folks to help you develop the answers.
It is important to note that since this application was developed on Microsoft Word, unfortunately, it will not be compatible on Macintosh computers.
Here is a screen of the School application cover page.
This cover page will provide you with instructions on how to complete and submit the application.
This arrow points to the link to where to submit it.
To enhance the application information, this year, schools may submit up to six photographs, two photos per pillar. Photos may be submitted to the link noted above.
I have played around with the application and found some helpful hints.
First, you probably won't be able to complete the application in one sitting.
I suggest downloading the application onto your desktop, then hold a management meeting inviting various staff to help you complete the necessary information. At your meeting, you could pass out copies of the application to all members, then assign individual questions to folks.
As folks deliver the information to you, you can add as necessary, saving various sections of work, and continue to gather input over several weeks time.
Here is a sample of the first page of the application. It consists mostly of data collection.
As you can see, it is mostly focused on how to identify you school.
You might find it necessary to talk with other staff in order to successfully complete each section.
Here is a sample of the three Cross Cutting Questions.
You might be able to answer all three questions or you might find it necessary to talk with other staff in order to successfully complete each question.
Whenever you are asked to respond "Yes" or "No" please click on the appropriate box. A check mark should appear in the box you click.
Please note that many questions ask for a short narrative response. Each narrative response will have a character count maximum. Here are illustrations of what a maximum of 250 characters response looks like.
Some questions in the application allow for 500 to 1,000 character responses.
This next link guides you to the District application.
Again, I envision no one single person being able to know all the answers to these questions.
Thus, it might be useful to print this Word document out an assign various folks to help you develop the answers.
If you choose to submit a District application, you will see that most of the questions are very similar to that of the school application.
As with the schools application, please submit the district application to the following e-mail address.
To give you an idea of how the scoring will work, we have provided you a detailed breakdown at this link called the Scoring Rubric.
This rubric shows how many points are awarded under each pillar and element. In addition, following each question on the applications, we provided how much each specific question is worth.
Near the beginning of each application there are various requirements schools and districts must acknowledge, such as there are no pending civil rights issues currently being investigated at the school, etc.
This arrow points to a link to the various Civil Rights, Health, Environment, and Safety Statutory and Regulatory Requirements.
IN finishing our our tour of the CDE Green Ribbon Schools Award Website, I want to draw your attention to just a couple more links.
This arrow points to a link called "Additional Resources Provided by the U.S. Department of Education".
And this arrow points to a link "Frequently Asked Questions Provided by the U.S. Department of Education".
Now, I have played around with the application and found some helpful hints.
As I stated before, you probably won't be able to complete the application in one sitting. If you download the application to your desktop you can save your work and continue to input information at a later date.
So here we are!
The middle of October and right on target. The applications were posted on September 18. Staff in our division will be available to assist you in completing the application. We are only a phone call away.
All school applications will be due back to the CDE on December 11, 2012. And California nominees will be sent to the USDE by February 15, 2013.
If you have staff that wasn't able to attend today's webinar we will be posting it on our Green Ribbon Website shortly.
As I stated earlier,
Once you begin the application you might want further guidance. In that case, this slide provides my contact information. Contact information is also provided at the bottom of the page of the Green Ribbon Website as well as in the two application directions.
Are there any questions?
This concludes today's presentation, I want to thank all of you for joining us, and wish you all the best of luck!