CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two public schools and one county school district have been nominated by the West Virginia Department of Education for consideration as U.S. Green Ribbon School Award honoring sound environmental practices.
Hometown Elementary School in Putnam County, Petersburg Elementary School in Grant County and Marshall County Schools were nominated for the national award. All three schools also were named West Virginia Sustainable Schools, while Hometown received West Virginia’s Black Bear Award as the state’s highest achiever.
“Many West Virginia schools have worked hard to support healthy school environments and accelerate learning,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. “This program allows us to recognize schools that have incorporated sustainability practices into all aspects of school life.”
Both the federal and state programs recognize schools that exemplify a commitment to sustainable practices in their facilities. They also have worked to integrate those practices into the curriculum and helped build healthy and sustainable communities. All schools must meet rigorous standards in three criteria: environmental and sustainability education; healthy school environments; and environmental impact and energy efficiency of facilities. Educational efforts should incorporate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), civic skills and green career pathways.
The national recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to improve student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and work force preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security.
Schools named West Virginia Sustainable Schools must agree 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. The state program is a joint project of the West Virginia Department of Education; Canaan Valley Institute; the West Virginia School Building Authority; the U.S. Green Building Council, West Virginia Chapter; the West Virginia Environmental Education Association; the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; the West Virginia Division of Energy; McKinley and Associates; Green School Leadership Institute; and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
For more information, contact the WVDE Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.