WV Sustainable Schools
The WV Department of Education (WVDE) is excited to announce WV Sustainable Schools award program and our participation in the federal Green Ribbon Schools program. WV Sustainable Schools is a recognition program for schools that exemplify a commitment to sustainable practices in the facilities as well as integrate those practices into the curriculum and community. All public and private schools in West Virginia will be invited to apply for this state and national recognition.
In April 2011 the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) announced a new prestigious award program. The Green Ribbon Schools program will recognize schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer sustainability education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. The recognition award is part of a larger USDE 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.
In 2013, the USDE will recognize schools where staff, students, officials, and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable, and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates. West Virginia is one of 34 states participating in the federal program in the pilot year. In an effort to recognize the successful programs around the mountain state, WVDE is partnering with other state agencies and organizations in the development of the WV Sustainable Schools program. Applying to the WV Sustainable Schools award program will be the first step in the Green Ribbon School nomination. All schools interested in being recognized as a WV Sustainable School must complete and submit the Intent to Apply form by October 19, 2012. Schools which don't meet the October deadline may still apply; this date will be used to schedule technical assistance workshops for interested schools.
Once the WVDE receives a letter of intent from a school, the school will be mailed a full application. The completed application will be used to evaluate the school's performance in the areas of (1) sustainability literacy and learning, (2) healthy school environment, and (3) environmental impact and energy efficiency of facilities.
Applications to receive recognition as a WV Sustainable School must be submitted by January 11, 2013. The WV Sustainable Schools advisory council will review the applications and announce awards on February 15, 2013. Up to four schools will then be nominated to the USDE for the Green Ribbon School awards. The USDE expects to award approximately 50 awards in the pilot year. Additional information about the WV Sustainable Schools and U.S. Green Ribbon Schools criteria can be found here.
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