Two Virginia Schools & Two Divisions Earn National Green Ribbon Awards
Two Virginia schools and two of the commonwealth’s school divisions were honored today as national 2017 Green Ribbon School award winners. The U.S. Department of Education program recognizes energy-efficient and environmentally friendly schools and districts that promote environmental awareness, community engagement and student wellness.
The winning schools and divisions – with highlights from their award applications – are as follows:
- Centreville Elementary (Fairfax County) – Students maintain a wildlife habitat on the school grounds to increase biodiversity, conserve water, minimize mowing and serve as an outdoor classroom. The school works in conjunction with the Virginia Bluebird Society in maintaining a bluebird trail on the grounds. The instructional program includes sustainability, environmental literacy and service learning. Centreville Elementary earned Energy Star recognition and an EcoSchoolsUSA Green Flag from the National Wildlife Foundation.
- Discovery Elementary (Arlington County) – The school is the largest Net Zero Energy elementary school ever built and the first in the Mid-Atlantic region. The school has several outdoor learning environments, including a butterfly garden, an outdoor garden that uses rain barrels for its water source and an outdoor exploratory lab. Discovery Elementary’s Eco-Action Team of students, parents, teachers, and administrators promotes conservation and sustainability and directs the school’s effort to earn an EcoSchoolsUSA Green Flag.
- Albemarle County Public Schools – The division’s commitment to renewable energy is reflected in its expanding use of solar power in schools and other buildings. A green roof at Albemarle High, and white roofs at other schools, reduces heat islands by reflecting sunlight and heat away from buildings. Every school and support facility in the division has a comprehensive recycling program.
- Fairfax County Public Schools – The division's environmental education and sustainability program promotes learning while engaging students in green activities such as recycling, building wildlife habitats, conserving energy and growing food. Fairfax County’s Get2Green initiative includes a website to inform students, employees and the community about the division’s environmental footprint and the success of efforts to reduce it.
“By going green, students, faculty and administrators can make a difference both locally and globally,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “Students also develop critical thinking and problem solving skills – and the ability to collaborate with their classmates – as they plan and implement green projects.”
More information about the 2017 Green Ribbon School award winners is available online from the U.S. Department of Education-This is a PDF document. (PDF).