Washington, DC - White House Council on Environmental Quality Acting Chair Mike Boots and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mark Schaefer joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today to congratulate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees on their achievements at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

At the event, 48 schools were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including STEM, green careers and civics. In addition, nine districts were honored with the District Sustainability Award.

Representatives from honored schools and districts received sustainably crafted plaques and banners in recognition of their achievements.

“Healthy, safe and sustainable facilities combined with wellness practices like outdoor physical activity, nutritious food and hands-on environmental learning form a strong foundation for a quality education,” said Secretary Duncan. “Today’s honorees are leading the way on incorporating best practices to reduce facility costs and increase achievement, health and equity, for all schools - not just aspiring green schools.”

“The 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are leading by example for the rest of the country,” said Acting Chair Boots. “As they take important steps to improve public health and reduce environmental impacts, like cutting carbon pollution and improving water quality, today’s honorees are also increasing efficiency and cutting costs. That’s exactly the kind of leadership we need to build a cleaner and safer world.”

"We live in a time when ecosystems and the forces that influence them are changing rapidly. Now more than ever, we need to prepare youth for a world in which their understanding of and participation in decisions about resource conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable development will define the quality of their lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Schaefer. This is why U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is so important to individuals, communities, schools, and businesses across America."

Duncan also announced the 2014 “Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students” Best Practices Tour. The annual Green Strides Best Practices our will take place August-October 2014 and spotlight school environmental health. During the tour, federal, state and local visitors will bring attention to how school facilities, health and wellness, and environmental education affect equity and achievement and highlight best practices that states, districts and schools are using to improve the overall wellness, productivity, and achievement of occupants through health, safety, and educational improvements. This year’s tour legs include past and present school and district honorees in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and West Virginia.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools were chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by 30 state education agencies. Honorees include 39 public schools and nine private schools. The public schools include 10 early learning programs, three charter, one magnet and three career and technical schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 29 elementary, 16 middle and 18 high schools from 27 states. Twenty-one of the 2014 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, and 18 are rural.

View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 57 honorees.

The Department is asking districts to indicate their intent to nominate schools for next year’s awards by Aug. 1, 2014.For the first time ever, the 2015 Green Ribbon Schools awards will be open to colleges and universities. States will offer applications for interested schools, districts and postsecondary institutions in the fall. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.

Best Practices Tour Agenda

West Virginia

Monday, August 18

1:00 p.m. -2:15 p.m. Tour Petersburg Elementary School, 333 Rig St, Petersburg, WV 26847

Tuesday, August 19

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Listening Session in Charleston
1:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Tour Wyoming County Career and Technical Center, W Virginia 97, Pineville, WV 24874

Kentucky

Wednesday, August 20

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Tour Northern Elementary School, 3600 Cincinnati Rd, Georgetown, KY 40324
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tour Georgetown Middle School, 730 S Hamilton St, Georgetown, KY 40324
2:30 – 5:00 p.m. Listening Session, Tour and Discussion, Big Ass Fans Headquarters, 2348 Innovation Drive, Lexington, KY 40511

Thursday, August 21

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Tour Rosa Parks Elementary, 1251 Beaumont Centre Lane, Lexington, Kentucky 40513
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tour Wellington Elementary School, 3280 Keithshire Way, Lexington, KY 40503
1:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. Tour Locust Trace AgriScience Farm, 3591 Leestown Road, Lexington, KY 40511

Friday, August 22

9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Tour Hilltop Elementary School, 2 Ram Drive, Wheeling, WV 26003
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tour Cameron Middle-High School, 61 Maple Avenue Cameron, WV 26033
2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Tour Eastwood Elementary School, 677 201st Memorial Hwy, Morgantown, WV 26505

Florida

Thursday, September 4th

10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Tour Pine Jog Elementary School, 6315 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
12:15 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Tour Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33415
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Tour Galaxy Elementary School, 550 Northwest 4th Avenue, Boynton Beach, FL 33435
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Social hosted by City of West Palm Beach’s Office of
Sustainability

Friday, September 5th

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tour Silver Ridge Elementary, 9100 SW 36th St, Davie, FL 33328
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tour Driftwood Middle School, 2751 NW 70th, Hollywood, FL 33024
12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Listening Session at South Plantation High School, 1300 SW 54th Ave, Plantation, FL 33317
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Hugh Taylor Birch Youth Lodge featuring New River Middle School, 3109 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Colorado

Tuesday, September 16th

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Kick Off Event and Listening Session at Colorado Department of Education, Denver
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tour Denver Green School, 6700 E Virginia Ave, Denver
12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch and Introduction to Douglas County School District, 620 Wilcox St, Castle Rock
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Tour Flagstone Elementary School, 104 Lovington St, Castle Rock
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Tour Larkspur Elementary, 1103 W. Perry Park Ave, Larkspur

Wednesday, September 17th

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Tour Wellington Middle School, 4001 Wilson Ave, Wellington
9:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Tour Lesher Middle School, 1400 Stover Street, Fort Collins
11:35 a.m. – 11:35 p.m. Tour Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, 3002 E Trilby Rd, Fort Collins
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Lunch and tour Boulder Valley Public Schools, 6500 Arapahoe Rd, Boulder

Minnesota

Tuesday, September 23rd

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.: Tour School of Environmental Studies, 12155 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, Apple Valley, MN 55124
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.: Tour Garlough Elementary, 1740 Charlton St, West St Paul, MN 55118
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Tour Heritage E-STEM Middle School, 121 Butler Ave W, West St Paul, MN 55118

Wednesday, September 24th

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Tour Waconia Public Schools, 512 Industrial Blvd, Waconia, MN 55387
11:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m.: Tour Jeffers Pond Elementary, 14800 Jeffers Pass NW, Prior Lake, MN 55372
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Tour Five Hawks Elementary, 16620 Five Hawks Ave SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Listening session – Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, 4540 Tower St SE, Prior Lake, MN 55372

Maryland

Wednesday, October 8th

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Tour Folger McKinsey Elementary School, 175 Arundel Beach Road, Severna Park, MD 21148
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tour Dunloggin Middle School, 9129 Northfield Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042
1:00 – 2:15 Listening session
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tour Francis Scott Key Middle School, 910 Schindler Drive, Silver Spring, Maryland 20903