Green Ribbon Schools 2013 Roundup

This year, nearly all states that have a CHPS Criteria are participating in the Green Ribbon Schools program, offered by the US Department of Education. The goal of the program is to recognize those schools that demonstrate exemplary achievement in environmental impact, health and education.

Of the 13 states with CHPS Criteria, Hawaii, California, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are participating in the program. They will each nominate four schools to compete in the federal pool.

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) has been helping districts and states prepare for the applications. Susy Jones, High Performance Schools and Public Buildings Program Manager at NEEP, said, that the highlight of this year has been “how collaborative the process has been. Everyone is on the same page and speaking the same language. It has created uncommon allies.”

In Connecticut, the state has created an entire program that uses Green Ribbon Schools as a framework for raising the participation of all schools in achieving high performance schools. In Massachusetts, the state energy agency, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Department of Energy Resources worked together to present a streamlined application process for their many interested schools.

In Washington, state officials are still waiting for the final applications to come in – their state deadline is January 4, 2013. In many states, including California, Washington, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, state agencies held workshops to help their school districts get a handle on the application process. Jones, at NEEP, said, “The recognition at the federal level is a big deal, and the state agencies get that. Everyone is excited about this, and is pushing it forward.”

States that don't use a CHPS Criteria can also use the Operations Report Card to fulfill US DOE requirements for the program.

Four schools from each state – 3 public, 1 private – can be nominated to be considered in the federal pool. For the first time this year, states can also nominate a district for recognition. States will report the nominations in mid-February.

State's Embracing the Green Ribbon Schools Program to Further Green Schools Goals~order=2012-12-21
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