From Coast to Coast, EB2L Facilities Tour Offers Opportunities to Learn the Most!

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

ED Officials Continue Best Practices Facilities Tour in Wisconsin


The ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practices Tour continued last week in Wisconsin.  As with the tours in Alabama, New England, and the New York and New Jersey,  the visits included tours of school buildings and grounds, conversations with students and teachers regarding environmental education, health and sustainability, and discussions with key partners and energy management personnel.  Read more about Wisconsin, New Jersey and New York, New England and Alabama tour legs on our blog.  Also view press clips from Alabama, New England, New Jersey and Wisconsin.



Students at Purdy Elementary, in Fort Atkinson School District, WI release the ducklings hatched in the school courtyard at their constructed boardwalk and wetland.

Next Up: West Coast and Washington, DC 

In September, the EB2L Facilities Best Practices Tour continues on the West Coast and right in Washington, DC.  All are welcome to come learn at school visits and Best Practices Listening Sessions on each tour leg.  Tour participants have included federal, state and local elected and agency officials, mayors, governors, members of state and national congress, non-profits, architects, builders, food service and maintenance representatives.  

The West Coast Tour Leg Agenda

Monday, September 16
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tour of Journey School, 27102 Foxborough, Aliso Viejo
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tour of Environmental Charter High School, 16315 Grevillea Ave,      Lawndale
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tour of Grand View Elementary School, 455 24th Street, Manhattan Beach
Tuesday, September 17
9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. Tour of Longfellow Elementary School, 3800 Olive Ave, Long Beach
10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. Tour of Charles Evans Hughes Middle School, 3846 California Ave, Long Beach
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Listening Session

Wednesday, September 18
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Tour of Willamina Elementary, 1100 NE Oaken Hills Dr, Willamina
11:45 a.m. –1:00 p.m. Tour of Catlin Gabel School, 8825 SW Barnes Rd, Portland
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Tour of Sunnyside Environmental, 3421 SE Salmon St., Portland
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tour of Gladstone High School, 18800 Portland Ave., Gladstone
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Reception

Thursday, September 19
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Tour of Sacajawea Elementary, 700 NE 112th St, Vancouver
12:30 p.m. – 1:30, p.m. Tour of Camelot Elementary, 4041 South 298th Street, Auburn
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tour Millennium Elementary School, 11919 SE 270th Street, Kent
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Listening Session Panel and Reception, McKinstry, 5005 3rd Avenue South, Seattle
Friday, September 20
8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Tour of Secondary Academy for Success, 22107 23rd Drive Southeast, Bothell
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Tour of Tahoma High School 18200 Southeast 240th Street, Covington
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tour of Tahoma Junior High 25600 Southeast Summit Landsburg Road, Ravensdale
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Tour of Glacier Park Elementary, 23700 Southeast 280th Street, Maple Valley


The Washington, D.C. Tour Leg Agenda

Wednesday, September 25th
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Tour of Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, 220 Taylor St, NE
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tour of Woodrow Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake Street, NW
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  Facilities Best Practices Listening Session
3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Tour of Sidwell Friends School, 3825 Wisconsin Ave, NW (By pre-registration only)
Learn more about all of our tour sites in our Highlights of the Honorees 2012 and 2013 Reports.  Remember to connect with EDGreenRibbonSchools on Facebook and @EDGreen Ribbon on Twitter to follow the tour!

Tis the Season to Hit the Road: The EB2L Facilities Best Practices Tour is in Good Company!


Strong Start, Bright Future: The Secretary’s Back-to-School Bus Tour hits the Southwest

Secretary Duncan and senior Department officials will visit four states and dozens of cities across the American Southwest as part of the Department’s four annual Back to School bus tour.  This year’s theme is “Strong Start, Bright Future.”  Various events will highlight education successes and engage communities in conversations about early learning, K-12 reforms, and college affordability and completion.>>>  


The President Proposes a Better Bargain to Make College Affordable

Last week, as part of a broader initiative to secure a better bargain for middle class families, President Obama visited four cities on a college affordability bus tour across New York and Pennsylvania.  Starting at the University at Buffalo, the President laid out three steps to ensure that college remains within reach for all young people: (1) pay colleges and students for performance, (2) promote innovation that cuts costs and improves quality, and (3) help students manage loan debt. >>>


Other News, Events and Opportunities


Connecting with Public Lands on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

With the March on Washington in the news, it's worth recalling that the National Monuments were, 50 years ago, and continue to be today, National Park sites.  As National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis noted in his remarks on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, in photos at that location from 50 years ago, you can see two National Park Rangers next to Martin Luther King, Jr.  With help from the National Park Foundation users can record their own versions of the "I Have a Dream" speech and listen to others.>>>   Find more National Park Service and other Department of the Interior resources and webinars on Green Strides!


Green Apple Day of Service is September 28th

The Green Apple Day of Service, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects.  On last year’s Day of Service, more than 1,200 events and school improvement projects took place, crossing all 50 states, on every continent, and in more than 40 countries.  Check out project ideas, read last year's highlights and register your 2013 project today!


Environmental Health in the News: Are Our School Buildings Harming Students?

With back-to-school in full swing, each school day, 55 million children and 7 million adults -- 20 percent of the total U.S. population and 98 percent of all children -- will spend their days inside school buildings. Despite our best efforts, we know that schools -- the very buildings they step into every day -- are working against them.  Many of our kids are returning to unhealthy school environments. >>>


The North American Association for Environmental Education will host its annual conference on October 8-12 in Baltimore, MD.  Topics will include Citizen Science & Public Participation in Scientific Research, Connecting Kids & Nature, Conservation Education & Behavior Change, Greening Formal Education, Leadership & Education, Sustainable Communities and Teaching about Environmental Issues.>>>


ED’s Green Strides Webinar Series continues with the tools to reduce schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education.  Find more sessions for educators, facilities managers, and advocates weekly.  A few upcoming session include:

Sept. 4, 2013, 4-5 p.m. Food Day in Schools: How to Get Involved (CSPI)

Sep. 11, 2013 2-3 p.m. Green Purchasing for Schools (GSI)

Sept. 24, 2013 4:30-5:30 p.m. Hands on the Land (multi-agency)

Sept. 25, 2013, 3-4 p.m. Cleaning and Maintenance for Healthier Schools (EPA)

Sept. 26, 2013, 2-3 p.m. Recycle-Bowl Competition and Educational Resources (KAB)

And many more sessions listed here.  Also find resources on the Green Strides Resources Page!


Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge

The second Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge competition will provide $280 million in state-level competitive grants to improve the quality of early learning and development programs and close educational gaps for children with high needs.  Invitations for both a technical assistance webinar on September 4 and a technical assistance planning workshop on September 10 have been made available through state governors’ offices.  Applications are due on October 16, and the agencies will announce winners in December.>>>


Race to the Top – Districts

When ED announced the recent round of the Race to the Top District competition, it invited applicants to demonstrate how they can personalize education for all students in their schools. Through the grant, districts will provide teachers the information, tools, and supports needed to personalize the learning experience and substantially accelerate and deepen each student’s learning. It will also create opportunities for students to identify and pursue areas of personal academic interest. For more information, check out the Race to the Top District website


38 Participating States for ED-Green Ribbon Schools 2014 

State education agencies are encouraged to indicate intent to nominate schools in 2014 by September 1, 2013 by emailing green.ribbon.schools@ed.govStates pictured in green have indicated their intent to nominate in 2014. Public and private K-12 schools and public school districts must be nominated by state departments of education.  Applications for states’ nominations are devised and disseminated by participating states.  Schools and districts cannot apply directly to the U.S. Department of Education.  State education agencies' participation is voluntary.  You may locate contact information for state education agency selection committee contacts, who nominate schools to the U.S. Department of Education here.   If a contact is not listed on the ED-GRS site, you may locate the main number to a state department of education hereSchool nominations from state education agencies are due to ED-GRS by February 1, 2014.  State education agencies can obtain more information by emailing


Centers for Disease Control Releases 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study Results

School districts nationwide are showing improvements in measures related to nutritional policies, physical education and tobacco policies, according to the 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS).  SHPPS is the largest and most comprehensive survey to assess school health policies.  "Schools play a critical role in the health and well-being of our youth," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. >>>


Sierra Club Publishes Annual List of Green Colleges and Universities

For the seventh year, Sierra Club published its list of greenest universities.  Check out some of the nation’s ‘coolest schools.’>>>


New Tool for State Legislators Aligns to Three Pillars of ED-Green Ribbon Schools

During the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC released a report highlighting green schools activity in state legislatures around the country.  At the encouragement of state lawmakers, the Center for Green Schools has reorganized its Green Schools Menu of Options for State Legislators to align with the three Pillars of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.