Green Ribbon Schools Award Program
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). 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 generally announced by CDE in March, confirmed by ED in late spring, 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 (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), 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 and districts 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 2022-23 Application Interest Survey. Beginning July 2022, schools and districts completing the survey will receive a school or district application to complete online. The survey and the online application period will close at 12:00 P.M. PST on November 2, 2022.
Resources from U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Resources to Assist in the Completion of the Application
2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Selectees
Past U.S Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Selectees
Green Ribbon Schools Webinar 6-30-2020 (Video; 16:58)
California Green Ribbon Schools (CA-GRS) Award
The California Green Ribbon Schools (CA-GRS) recognition award is the corresponding state award for the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools recognition award (ED-GRS). Your ED-GRS application review is automatically considered for the CA-GRS award with no additional work from you. To learn more please visit the California Green Ribbon Schools webpage.
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