Two Missouri entities — a public school district and a private school — earned recognition from the U.S. Department of Education today as 2022 Green Ribbon Schools thanks to their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure sustainability education.
The 2022 honorees in Missouri include:
- The School District of University City — U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee
- Principia School (St. Louis) — U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School
“This is a distinguished national list and I’m proud of both Missouri institutions for earning this special honor,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “I’m impressed by the innovative ideas employed by both The School District of University City and Principia School to support the health and wellness of their students and staff and to ensure environmentally-friendly practices are incorporated into their school culture.”
In recent years, The School District of University City constructed multiple Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified elementary schools, 25 solar panels, and 49,000 square feet of rain gardens for water conservation. The district has utilized the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model to monitor and promote holistic wellness across environmental health, medical and mental health, and racial equity. The district is also recognized as a leader in project-based environmental and sustainability education, with outdoor “STEAM Labs” at every school campus, complete with a garden facilitator and multidisciplinary lessons.
Principia School has shown its commitment to reducing environmental costs and impact by restoring 42 acres of forest and six acres of savanna in suburban St. Louis, creating a biodiverse “island” accessible to students. Principia maintains several thriving affinity groups to support the health and wellness of its students and staff, centering around the experiences of LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and international students. Teachers at Principia utilize outdoor spaces to create authentic learning opportunities, and students are able to study science, language arts, social studies, and math in an outdoor classroom space.
Across the country, 27 schools, five districts, and four postsecondary institutions were honored as 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.
The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination information, can be found here. More information on this federal recognition award can be found here.