What schools are honorees of the 2015 Green Ribbon?

Posted by Ronald | June 12, 2015  |  No Comment

“Going green” is changing the way we live and work and can include such activities as carpooling, recycling and reusing products to be more environmentally friendly. With the U.S. Department of Education’s implementation of a recognition award for K-12 schools that focuses on green initiatives, the critical questions to be asked are: What schools are honorees of the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools? What is a best practice exemplified by one of these school districts?

In its fourth year of implementation, the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. Earlier this year, 58 schools were announced winners of the Green Ribbon Award, 14 districts were honored for the District Sustainability Award and nine postsecondary institutions were honored the Postsecondary Sustainability Award.

Representing a diverse population, 47 percent of the honorees are from a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural and one-third of the higher education institutions are community colleges. According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs and provide healthy learning environments. U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”

As a model for other school districts, the following provides a cursory of one honoree’s initiative: Cobb County School District (CCSD) in Cobb, Georgia.

In addition to programs to improve air quality from school buses and reduce utility cost and waste, CCSD created a maintenance department indoor environmental quality (IEQ) team to conduct periodic inspections of all facilities to locate and correct potential leaks created by burst water lines or sewage backups. According to the district, “the IEQ team also investigates school concerns related to odors and possible mold. The district’s Green Seal-certified custodial supplies program eliminated six traditional cleaning chemicals and replaced them with one chemical, Oxy Orange. This Green Seal-certified cleaner has reduced chemical exposure for custodians, teachers and students. CCSD’s installation of vinyl floor tile instead of carpeting during renovations and new construction has allowed for rapid and complete removal of dirt and dust during cleaning of floors. The IPM program provides pest control by eliminating habitat, food and water sources while minimizing treatment applications.”

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of nine books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths,” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates,” “Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Careers for Children” and Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Animals in Africa. He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]


Leave a Comment