W.Va. Looking for Schools Committed to Sound Environmental Practices

December 16, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is looking for schools seeking to participate in the West Virginia Sustainable Schools Award Program.

The program recognizes schools that integrate sustainability literacy into the curriculum, model best management practices at the school, and help build healthy and sustainable communities. Schools seeking an award must excel in at least one of the three areas and be making progress in the others. Schools chosen to receive grants promise to work to save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.

“West Virginia schools are already making great strides toward creating healthy environments in schools, including some that have become Energy Star schools for their conservation efforts” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Now we want to recognize schools that strengthen that work by imbedding sustainability practices into all aspects of school life.”

The program is part of a U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security. Four West Virginia schools recognized as West Virginia Sustainable Schools will be nominated to become a U.S. Green Ribbon School.

The West Virginia Department of Education invites public and private schools to submit a letter of intent to apply by Dec. 31. A link to a full application will be available Jan. 3 only to schools that previously submitted a letter of intent to apply. Awards will be announced March 10.

Information on submitting a letter of intent to apply and a draft application will be posted Dec. 19 at http://wvde.state.wv.us/sustainable-schools. The draft application is intended to give schools an understanding of information that will be required to successfully complete the online application.

For more information about the West Virginia Sustainable Schools Award, contact the WVDE Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.  For more information on U.S. Green Ribbon Schools, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.


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