Virginia Green Ribbon Schools
This prestigious award is given to select schools across the nation that The U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools recognizes as schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. This voluntary federal program rewards schools that meet criteria in three goals:
- Goal I: Reduce environmental impact and costs.
- Goal II: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff.
- Goal III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.
Green Ribbon Schools Application
VDOE Application Materials 2015-2016
- 2015-2016 Virginia Individual School Application (Word)
- 2015-2016 Virginia School Division Application (Word)
- Also see Superintendent's Memo 232-15 — 2015-2016 Green Ribbon Schools
- USED Green Ribbon Schools main page
- USED Green Ribbon School Resource page (Word)
- USED statutory and regulatory requirements for award eligibility (Word)
School Year 2015-2016 Timeline
|September 11, 2015||VDOE issues school and school division applications and guidelines for soliciting and selecting nominees for submission to USED.|
|October 30, 2015||Intent to submit forms due to the VDOE.|
|December 7, 2015||Deadline for schools and school divisions to submit application to the VDOE for nomination.|
|December 2015||VDOE convenes review committee to review applications against eligibility requirements and USED criteria.|
|February - March 2016||USED verifies that nominees meet eligibility requirements and have been evaluated against USED criteria. USED, with assistance from EPA, then reviews and rates schools and school divisions based on eligibility criteria.|
|April 22, 2016||USED hosts national award announcement|
|July, 2016||USED hosts national recognition award ceremony|
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects. The SOL in certain disciplines support Environmental Literacy explicitly and in others implicitly. The Environmental Literacy Web page offers connections to the Virginia Standards of Learning, School Programs in Action, Teaching Resources, Grant Programs, and more.
Programs to support the Journey to USED Green Ribbon Schools
Virginia Naturally School Program
The Virginia Naturally Recognition Program is a building block program for Green Ribbon Schools. The program recognizes schools for incorporating the environment into their curriculum, conducting energy and water audits as well as establishing an outdoor classroom. The VA Naturally Recognition Program is not a competition, it recognizes schools for the steps they take each year to help students become environmentally literate citizens.
VSBA Green Schools
The VSBA Green Schools Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the broader community. School Divisions can become a certified "Green School Division." Many of these actions can save local school divisions money. Find out if your school division is a past winner of the VSBA Green Schools Challenge (PDF).
Project Learning Tree Green Schools
Project Learning Tree® (PLT) GreenSchools! is a nationwide environmental service-learning program that inspires students to take personal responsibility for improving the environment at their school, at home, and in their community. Students, teachers, and school staff receive tools, training, and resources for student-led Green Teams to create healthier schools – and save money. PLT GreenSchools! helps improve students’ academic performance in science, technology, engineering, and math, develops students’ critical thinking skills, and grows student leaders.
James River Green Building Council
Green Schools Challenge
The James River Green Building Council Chapter is challenging selected central Virginia schools to devise and implement, with the help of professional green mentors, the most creative, effective and no or low cost sustainable practices for their schools & communities.
To initiate this challenge, JRGBC provides interested schools with a group of volunteer mentors to help bridge the connection with local and national environmental resources. Mentors will work with select teachers and students to plan and implement low-cost sustainable projects for a duration of 5-6 months. Possible projects could include planting a rain garden or improving a school’s existing recycling program.