Administration Honors U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees; Announces Second Annual Best Practices Tour

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202

Contact: Press Office (202) 401-1576 or

White House Council on Environmental Quality Acting Chair Mike Boots and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mark Schaefer joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to congratulate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees on their achievements at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

At the event, 48 schools were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including STEM, green careers and civics. In addition, nine districts were honored with the District Sustainability Award.

Representatives from honored schools and districts received sustainably crafted plaques and banners in recognition of their achievements.

“Healthy, safe and sustainable facilities combined with wellness practices like outdoor physical activity, nutritious food and hands-on environmental learning form a strong foundation for a quality education,” said Secretary Duncan. “Today’s honorees are leading the way on incorporating best practices to reduce facility costs and increase achievement, health and equity, for all schools – not just aspiring green schools.”

“The 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are leading by example for the rest of the country,” said Acting Chair Boots. “As they take important steps to improve public health and reduce environmental impacts, like cutting carbon pollution and improving water quality, today’s honorees are also increasing efficiency and cutting costs. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we need to build a cleaner and safer world.”

“We live in a time when ecosystems and the forces that influence them are changing rapidly.  Now more than ever, we need to prepare youth for a world in which their understanding of and participation in decisions about resource conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development will define the quality of their lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Schaefer.  This is why U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is so important to individuals, communities, schools, and businesses across America.”

Duncan also announced the 2014 “Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students” Best Practices Tour.  The annual Green Strides Best Practices our will take place August-October 2014 and spotlight school environmental health. During the tour, federal, state and local visitors will bring attention to how school facilities, health and wellness, and environmental education affect equity and achievement and highlight best practices that states, districts and schools are using to improve the overall wellness, productivity, and achievement of occupants through health, safety, and educational improvements.   This year’s tour legs include past and present school and district honorees in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and West Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools were chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by 30 state education agencies. Honorees include 39 public schools and nine private schools. The public schools include 10 early learning programs, three charter, one magnet and three career and technical schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 29 elementary, 16 middle and 18 high schools from 27 states. Twenty-one of the 2014 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, and 18 are rural.

View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 57 honorees.

The Department is asking districts to indicate their intent to nominate schools for next year’s awards by Aug. 1, 2014. For the first time ever, the 2015 Green Ribbon Schools awards will be open to colleges and universities. States will offer applications for interested schools, districts and postsecondary institutions in the fall. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.


Best Practices Tour Agenda 


Monday, August 18th

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Tour Petersburg Elementary School, 333 Rig St, Petersburg, WV 26847

Tuesday, August 19th

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Listening Session in Charleston

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Tour Wyoming County Career and Technical Center, W Virginia 97, Pineville, WV 24874


Wednesday, August 20th

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.          Tour Northern Elementary School, 3600 Cincinnati Rd, Georgetown, KY 40324

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.            Tour Georgetown Middle School, 730 S Hamilton St, Georgetown, KY 40324

2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.              Listening Session, Tour and Discussion, Big Ass Fans Headquarters, 2348 Innovation Drive, Lexington, KY 40511

Thursday, August 21

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.            Tour Rosa Parks Elementary, 1251 Beaumont Centre Lane, Lexington, KY 40513

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.          Tour Wellington Elementary School, 3280 Keithshire Way, Lexington, KY 40503

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Tour Locust Trace AgriScience Farm, 3591 Leestown Road, Lexington, KY 40511

Friday, August 22nd

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Tour Hilltop Elementary School, 2 Ram Drive, Wheeling, WV 26003

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.          Tour Cameron Middle-High School, 61 Maple Avenue Cameron, WV 26033

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.             Tour Eastwood Elementary School, 677 201st Memorial Hwy, Morgantown, WV 26505


Thursday, September 4th

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Tour Pine Jog Elementary School, 6315 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

12:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.            Tour Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.             Tour Galaxy Elementary School, 550 Northwest 4th Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL 33435

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.             Social hosted by City of West Palm Beach’s Office of Sustainability

Friday, September 5th

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Tour Silver Ridge Elementary, 9100 SW 36th St, Davie, FL 33328

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Tour Driftwood Middle School, 2751 NW 70th, Hollywood, FL 33024

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.           Listening Session at South Plantation High School, 1300 SW 54th Ave, Plantation, FL 33317

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.             Hugh Taylor Birch Youth Lodge featuring New River Middle School, 3109 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304


Tuesday, September 16th

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Kick Off Event and Listening Session at Colorado Department of Education, Denver

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.          Tour Denver Green School, 6700 E Virginia Ave, Denver

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.            Lunch and Introduction to Douglas County School District, 620 Wilcox St, Castle Rock

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.              Tour Flagstone Elementary School, 104 Lovington St, Castle Rock

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.              Tour Larkspur Elementary, 1103 W. Perry Park Ave Larkspur

Wednesday, September 17th

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.              Tour Wellington Middle School, 4001 Wilson Ave, Wellington

9:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.            Tour Lesher Middle School, 1400 Stover Street, Fort Collins

11:35 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.          Tour Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, 3002 E Trilby Rd, Fort Collins

12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.            Lunch and tour Boulder Valley Public Schools, 6500 Arapahoe Rd, Boulder


Tuesday, September 23rd

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Tour School of Environmental Studies, 12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, Apple Valley, MN 55124

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.          Tour Garlough Elementary, 1740 Charlton St, West St Paul, MN 55118

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.             Tour Heritage E-STEM Middle School, 121 Butler Ave W, West St Paul, MN 55118

Wednesday, September 24th

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.              Tour Waconia Public Schools, 512 Industrial Blvd, Waconia, MN 55387

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Tour Jeffers Pond Elementary, 14800 Jeffers Pass NW, Prior Lake, MN 55372

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.             Tour Five Hawks Elementary, 16620 Five Hawks Ave SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.             Listening session – Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, 4540 Tower St SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372


Wednesday, October 8th

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Tour Folger McKinsey Elementary School, 175 Arundel Beach Road, Severna Park, MD 21148

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.          Tour Dunloggin Middle School, 9129 Northfield Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.             Listening session

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.             Tour Francis Scott Key Middle School, 910 Schindler Drive
Silver Spring, Maryland 20903

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New Searchable, Free Teaching Resources on Climate and Energy in the CLEAN Collection Grades K-16

Looking for well-vetted resources on climate and energy literacy for the classroom?CLEAN has just launched a brand new, searchable portal of online learning activities, videos and visualizations on climate and energy.

The Brand New CLEAN Portal offers the following resources and support:

1. The CLEAN search engine directs you to online activities, videos, and visualizations on climate and energy that are searchable by grade level, topic, and resource type. These resources have been reviewed by scientists and educators for accuracy and classroom effectiveness and provide additional insight and guidance on using the materials.

2. Join the vibrant CLEAN Network email list for updates on educational policies and science, discussions with experts, conference & workshop announcements, and weekly telecons (Tuesdays at 1 pm ET). Join the CLEAN Network email list by contacting

3. Follow the CLEAN team on facebook or twitter to see featured resources from the CLEAN Portal as well as climate extensions to help you stay up-to-date on the latest climate and energy literacy news!

4. CLEAN’s guidance on teaching climate and energy science provides a set of essential principles to frame the science and inform your teaching strategies. Learn more about these scientific principles, why they are important and challenging to learn, strategies for teaching age groups, and get directed to relevant activities, videos, and visualizations for each principle.

CLEAN Principal Investigators:
Dr. Tamara S. Ledley, TERC, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Susan B. Sullivan, University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Boulder, CO
Dr. Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Find out more at

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Climate Change in Focus: Student Video Contest

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Environmental Education Foundation have launched an exciting video challenge for middle school students called Climate Change in Focus.  This contest asks middle school students to make a video that expresses why they care about climate change and what they are doing to reduce emissions or to prepare for its impacts.  Winning videos will be highlighted on the EPA website and the top three entries will receive cool prizes like a solar charging backpack.  Winning class projects will receive special recognition for their school.  The first 100 entrants will also receive a year’s subscription to National Geographic Kids Magazine. The deadline for submissions is March 10.

The National Environmental Education Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are partnering to bring you this climate change student video contest. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create a video that is 30-120 seconds long (so 2 minutes maximum) and that answers these two questions:

  1.     Why do you care about climate change?
  2.     How are you reducing carbon pollution or preparing for the impacts of climate change?

Your video should describe how climate change affects you, your family, friends, and community, now or in the future. Be cool! Be creative! Use storytelling or images or shadow puppets or anything that explains the steps you’re taking, or could take, to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for a changing climate. Feel free to recruit your friends and make it a group project (one prize will be awarded for each winning entry).

For more information, visit

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Workshop on Engaging Persons with Disabilities in the Environmental Sciences and Forestry

We are pleased to announce a new partnership between the Forest Service and the University of Southern Maine to develop a hybrid experiential educational program linking real time learning experiences with Real Time data to better engage students and staff with special needs in the environmental sciences and forestry.

Read the Press Release from the Forest Service.

Our first activity is a half-day workshop to be held at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest on March 14, 2014, where our USM colleagues will present 10 years of experience working with STEM students with disabilities, our Hubbard Brook staff will share background on our RealTime environmental sensor technology, and we will have a panel discussion to explore avenues of cooperation and collaboration between the programs. A flyer is attached.

Download the attached flyer

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Environmental and STEM Education: A Natural Connection

Thanks to Rick Reynolds for posting and sharing his Prezi!

References & Resources
Archie, M. (2003). Advancing Education through Environmental Literacy. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Download at:

Bell, J., Wilson, J., and Liu, G.. Neighborhood Greenness and 2-year Changes in Body Mass Index of Children and Youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2008;35(6):547-553. Download at:

The National Education and Environment Partnership. (2002). Environmental Education and Educational Achievement: Promising Programs and Resources. Washington, DC: National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. Download at:

The National Environmental Education Foundation. (2000, Sep). Environment-Based Education: Creating High Performance Schools and Students. Washington, DC: National Environmental Education Foundation. Abstract at:

Ritz, Stephen. (2012). A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx.

Taylor, A. & Kuo, F. Children with Attention Deficits Concentrate Better after Walk in the Park. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2008;12(5):402-409.  Abstract at:

More Research, Case Studies, and Ideas at:
Children & Nature Network:
National Environmental Education Week:
Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors:
Facing the Future:

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Seeking Reviewers for NH Student Applications to Youth Science Camp

We are seeking Science formal and non-formal educators to review applications from our NH students for participation in the National Youth Science Camp.

The review process will be entirely online this year.

If you are interested in reviewing the applications of NH students, please submit your name and contact information at

Apply to review student applications.

More information on Youth Science Camp

The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is an innovative and highly successful summer science honors program for two high-achieving high school students from each state in the nation and others around the world. The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to its participants, so that selected delegates may attend regardless of their financial status.

The 2014 NYSC will be held at Camp Pocahontas in the Monongahela National Forest near Bartow in the eastern mountains of West Virginia. Delegates to the 2014 NYSC will arrive in Charleston, West Virginia, on Friday, June 27, 2014, and will depart on Sunday, July 20, 2014. The National Youth Science Foundation will arrange round trip transportation from an airport near the delegate’s home to Charleston, WV. Delegates must participate in the entire NYSC program.

Each year, the governor of West Virginia invites the governor of every other state to initiate a process to select two delegates to attend the NYSC as his/her state’s delegation. In New Hampshire each high school may submit one candidate. Student applications are entirely online this year. Students may get application information on the NYSC Web site at

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be candidates for high school graduation between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014;
  • Must demonstrate superior academic proficiency, including recognition in mathematics and/or the sciences;
  • Must demonstrate an application of leadership abilities and social maturity through involvement in both school and community activities;
  • Must demonstrate skills and achievements outside the realm of science and outside the realm of academic pursuits; and
  • Must demonstrate a curiosity and an eagerness to explore many and varied topics.

Additional information can be found on the NH Department of Education’s Web site at .

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Get Out – Empowering Educators to Teach Outside

Get Out – Empowering Educators to Teach Outside

Thursday, September 26

4:30 – 6:30 pm

McClane Audubon Center, Concord

RSVP – 224-9909 x337

Download the Flyer

New England Environmental Education Alliance Conference and the Sustainable Schools Summit

Achieving Environmental Literacy: Health, Environment, Curriculum

November 1- 3, 2013

Salve Regina University – Newport, Rhode Island


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