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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #20-24
April 22, 2020
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Congratulates California Green Ribbon Schools Award Honorees

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that 25 schools and eight districts earned 2020 California Green Ribbon Schools awards. Among these state honorees are five “Green Achievers” nominated by the State Superintendent to receive U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition.

The U.S. Department of Education today confirmed all five Green Achievers as ED-GRS honorees, recognized for conserving resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. California’s honorees are among 39 schools, 11 districts, and five postsecondary institutions being honored nationally.

“Congratulations to this year’s honorees,” said Thurmond. “California Green Ribbon Schools expertly use local approaches to tackle global issues such as sustainability and environmental literacy. Students are not only learning and practicing environmental stewardship, but also sharing those sustainable practices with their families and in their communities.”

California’s 2020 ED-GRS honorees are:

  • Edison Elementary School, Alameda Unified, Alameda County
  • Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School, Glendale Unified, Los Angeles County
  • Creston Elementary School, Atascadero Unified, San Luis Obispo County
  • Carmel Unified School District, Monterey County
  • Woodside Priory (private) in Portola Valley, San Mateo County
The California Green Ribbon Schools Award uses the applications submitted for ED-GRS recognition to recognize schools and school districts for environmental excellence. Private school awards are conferred by the California Association of Private School Organizations.

Details on California’s ED-GRS honorees and a list of the California Green Ribbon Schools honorees are below. For more information, please visit California Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Award Program web page.

California's ED-GRS Honorees
Edison Elementary School, Alameda Unified, Alameda County

Edison Elementary School has been leading its community and district in efforts to become more environmentally focused since 2000. In 2008, Edison was the first school in Alameda Unified School District to implement a fresh salad bar, and it influenced other schools to follow. Between the years of 2009 and 2018, Edison documented a 41 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. The school began monitoring waste service levels in 2013 and demonstrates an 80 percent diversion rate. Edison has an edible garden containing fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables, with a designated space for instruction. Student letter campaigns from 2015 to 2019 to City of Alameda officials and local businesses have influenced local decision-making, including the implementation of three-stream recycling bins in downtown areas, the creation of the City of Alameda’s “Straws on Request,” and a compostable food ware ordinance for restaurants. Edison is motivated to continue to take its environmental and sustainability stewardship to new innovative levels in the coming years.

Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School, Glendale Unified, Los Angeles County

Clark Magnet is the flagship school of the career technical education program in the Glendale Unified School District. The school strategically collaborates with local post-secondary institutions as well as feeder schools to create a focused articulation of skills. Clark Magnet teaches several “a through g” qualified environmental science research classes, taking students into the field to use state-of-the-art industry equipment. Student senior projects tackle a range of environmental topics, such as the study of jellyfish, the creation of a hydroponics system, and the development of an agricultural microclimate. Students take an active role in leading sustainable practices in their school and community. Following an analysis of the microclimate at Clark Magnet, students started a “living wall” of plants to reduce the heat island effect. The school’s Environmental Club led the establishment of a rose garden and planted California native plants on campus in the interest of attracting bees and other beneficial insects. Students organized a BioBlitz event for the district and the public at a local wilderness park. Within their community, students assisted in the development of the City of Glendale’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. Clark Magnet is committed to providing students with engaging learning experiences that allow them to find their place in the world while also having a direct positive impact.

Creston Elementary School, Atascadero Unified, San Luis Obispo County

Creston Elementary School is creating a lasting difference for the world, teaching students who think about their resource use at school, at home, and out in their community. Creston Elementary staff created its own energy conservation plan to manage and reduce energy consumption. The school has removed waste bins from classrooms; only recycle bins are available for student and staff use in the classrooms. Creston staff decided to use chips from a downed tree as mulch to use around the school’s gardens. The school collects rainwater in five rain barrels around the site that students use to water the garden and planter beds. Creston utilizes approximately 90 percent of its school grounds as learning areas for students, including a main garden, a “kinder-garden,” a music garden, and a sensory garden.

Carmel Unified School District, Monterey County

Carmel Unified School District (CUSD) stretches from Big Sur on the Pacific Coast to Cachagua in the Carmel Valley, serving diverse students from across 600 square miles. CUSD’s mission calls out responsibility for the environment as a core belief. District committees brainstorm ways to reduce their environmental footprint as well as improve student wellness. Every school in CUSD has a garden as well as a composting program. Elementary schools have a dedicated garden teacher connecting student learning to the practical application in their school’s garden. Middle school students enrich their various environmental science courses at The Habitat, an environmental education nature center that, in conjunction with MEarth (the Habitat's nonprofit organization), offers science, environmental education, and sustainability programming. The Carmel High School Environmental Club is the first local Surfrider chapter, leading regular waste reduction initiatives. Both Carmel high schools partner with local land preserves to raise money and restore the areas.

Woodside Priory (private) in Portola Valley, San Mateo County

Woodside Priory School is a private and independent college preparatory school serving sixth to twelfth grade day and boarding students in Portola Valley. The school’s mission is centered on the ideals of lifelong learning and stewardship. Sustainability efforts at Priory started in 2009 with a student-formed Sustainability Club and have today grown to include a Sustainability Director to acknowledge the multidimensional aspects of school sustainability. Priory uses a codified approach to integrate sustainability themes throughout the school’s curriculum and within their eight sustainability-related courses. Priory’s 9,000-square-foot Franklin Garden is a demonstration garden that supplies the school kitchen with a daily harvest of fruits and vegetables. The school has instituted a large-scale composting program with a waste diversion rate of 75 percent, and each month diverts an estimated 450 pounds of food waste from landfills.

All California Green Ribbon School Awardees
Public Schools
  • Anderson W. Clark Magnet High, Glendale Unified, Los Angeles County (Green Achiever)
  • Creston Elementary, Atascadero Unified, San Luis Obispo County (Green Achiever)
  • Edison Elementary, Alameda Unified, Alameda County (Green Achiever)
  • Altamont Creek Elementary, Livermore Valley Joint Unified, Alameda County (Gold)
  • Georgia Morris Elementary, Rialto Unified, San Bernardino County (Gold)
  • Jefferson Elementary, Carlsbad Unified, San Diego County (Gold)
  • Jefferson Elementary, Redondo Beach Unified, Los Angeles County (Gold)
  • San Benito Elementary, Atascadero Unified, San Luis Obispo County (Gold)
  • Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Glendale Unified, Los Angeles County (Silver)
  • Golden View Elementary, Ocean View, Orange County (Silver)
  • Margarita Middle, Temecula Valley Unified, Riverside County (Silver)
  • McKinley Elementary, Bakersfield City, Kern County (Silver)
  • Mountain View Alternative, San Jacinto Unified, Riverside County (Silver)
  • Rialto Middle, Rialto Unified, San Bernardino County (Silver)
  • Santa Barbara High, Santa Barbara Unified, Santa Barbara County (Silver)
  • Susan La Vorgna Elementary, Temecula Valley Unified, Riverside County (Silver)
  • Ysabel Barnett Elementary, Temecula Valley Unified, Riverside County (Silver)
  • Katella High, Anaheim Union High, Orange County (Bronze)
  • Patricia Dreizler Continuation High, Redondo Beach Unified, Los Angeles County (Bronze)
Local Education Agencies
  • Carmel Unified, Monterey County (Green Achiever)
  • Atascadero Unified, San Luis Obispo County (Gold)
  • Claremont Unified, Los Angeles County (Gold)
  • Rialto Unified, San Bernardino County (Gold)
  • Temecula Valley Unified, Riverside County (Gold)
  • Sacramento City Unified, Sacramento County (Silver)
  • San Diego Unified, San Diego County (Silver)
  • Palo Alto Unified, Santa Clara County (Bronze)
Private Schools
  • Woodside Priory in Portola Valley, San Mateo County (Green Achiever)
  • Francis Parker, San Diego County (Gold)
  • Sonoma Country Day, Sonoma County (Gold)
  • St. Martin of Tours Academy, San Diego County (Gold)
  • The Nueva School, San Mateo County, (Gold)
  • Marin Montessori, Marin County (Silver)

# # # #

Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 20, 2023
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