CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 106
Nov. 22, 2011

Green Ribbon Schools Awards Program Announced

Schools in Missouri may now seek national recognition for being “green,” state education officials announced today.  The Green Ribbon Schools awards program, launched as a pilot this year by the U.S. Department of Education, will recognize public and private schools for taking a comprehensive approach to “greening” their school.

The award criteria call for schools to demonstrate high levels of achievement where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to create energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments.

Award criteria also call for evidence of healthy behaviors and environmental education, which will help promote knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to prepare students to participate in the green economy.

The deadline is March 2, 2012, for Missouri public and private schools to submit applications to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for initial review.  A team of reviewers from state agencies related to education, health and the environment will select up to four Missouri schools for national nomination.  The U.S. Department of Education will select approximately 50 award winners for the 2011-12 pilot year.

While the award confers no federal funds, Green Ribbon Schools winners will be invited to participate in national and local recognition ceremonies, similar to those conducted for the national Blue Ribbon Schools award program.  The recognition may also inspire further green efforts nationally and locally and increase staff, parent and community support.

DESE will release additional details about the nomination process to schools next week.