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 2014, 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 was one of 34 states participating in the federal program in the pilot year and continued its participation in the second 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 is the first step in your eligibility as a US Green Ribbon School nominee. All schools interested in being recognized as a WV Sustainable School should send a letter of intent to sustainableschools@wvde.state.wv.us by October 31, 2013. Schools that don't meet the October deadline may still apply; this date will be used to schedule technical assistance workshops for interested schools.

Applications to receive recognition as a WV Sustainable School must be submitted by December 20, 2013. The WV Sustainable Schools advisory council will review the applications and announce awards on January 10, 2014. Up to four schools and one county will then be nominated to the USDE for the Green Ribbon School awards. The USDE expects to award approximately 50-75 awards in 2014. Additional information about the WV Sustainable Schools and U.S. Green Ribbon Schools criteria can be found here.

Please direct all inquiries to sustainableschools@wvde.state.wv.us.


Dates to remember

October 31, 2013Letter of Intent is due (not required)
December 20, 2013WV Sustainable Schools applications due
January 24, 2014WV Sustainable Schools awards/nominations announced
February 1, 2014WV Sustainable Schools winners nominated to US Green Ribbon Schools
April 22, 2014US Green Ribbon Schools announced
July 22, 2014US Green Ribbon Schools award ceremony