Last Opportunity to Apply to Your State for 2015 ED-GRS

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          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

Last Opportunity to Apply to Your State for 2015 ED-GRS

In the News


Apply to your State NOW for U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools 2015  

Participating states have posted applications for schools, districts and postsecondary institutions with deadlines to submit to them in the winter. State authorities’ school, district, and postsecondary nominations are due to ED by February 1, 2015, so most state deadlines are in December or January. Interested PK-12 schools and districts should contact their state education agencies about the school and district award applications.

This year, in addition to a total of five school and district nominees, each state may nominate one postsecondary institution for exemplary achievement in all three Pillars. Interested colleges and universities should contact their state higher education authorities for information on how to apply.

Hearing from interested schools, districts, colleges, and universities may be helpful to P-12 and postsecondary state authorities considering 2014-2015 participation. State education authorities can contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information. They can find updated criteria and other state implementation guidance on our website.

Have doubts about ED-GRS? Some Frequently Asked Questions on all three award categories are available here. >>>>


World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development was November 10-12

The World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development was held in Aïchi-Nagoya, Japan earlier this month.   This was the final convening for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The Decade has spurred hundreds of thousands of people to reorient education globally towards a central goal: to learn to live and work sustainably.  Read the conference declaration and final report.  View a brief video on global trends in Education for Sustainable Development.   Hear ideas on living sustainably from children.  >>>>

Lowell Elementary students plant a Rainbow Garden in Long Beach, CA

Upcoming Events


Children’s Environmental Health Network Conference- Children: Food and Environment

The Children’s Environmental Health Network, a non-profit whose mission is to protect children from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment, will convene for the organization’s upcoming research conference February 4-6, 2015 in Austin, Texas.  The theme for the conference is “Children: Food and Environment” and the focus is on how the interaction between food and environmental factors affect children’s health. >>>>


5th Annual Green Schools National Conference is March 4-7th in Virginia Beach 

The annual Green Schools National Conference, the only national conference bringing together experts and stakeholders to influence sustainability in K-12 schools and districts, is designed to allow attendees to learn about creative strategies for success and to take home real-life tools that can transform schools.  Early bird registration continues until December 15. >>>>

High Meadows School students observe aquatic communities at the campus pond in Roswell, GA

Grants, Contests and Awards


The 2015 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award: Nominations Due March 1st

The Director’s Award recognizes state education authorities’ exemplary efforts to administer U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS).  Annually, the ED-GRS Director’s Award goes to the state education official who does the most to advance sustainable education in their state, by such means as: Running a robust nomination process; connecting more schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions to sustainability resources; amplifying the stories of their applicants and honorees; helping schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions connect to and learn from one another; partnering with a variety of state and non- and for-profit private sector entities; and exhibiting a dedication to exceptional school facilities, health, and environmental education through activities outside of the administration of the ED-GRS award. If you wish to nominate a state education official, please send your nomination and justification to by March 1st.  Any state education official who is involved in implementing the ED-GRS award and who has not already won the Director’s Award is eligible for nomination.  Read about the work of past Director’s Award recipients here. >>>>

EPA award

EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award Deadline is January 30

EPA is accepting applications for the 2015 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management. This award is the nation’s highest honor for programs delivering excellent environmental asthma management as part of their comprehensive asthma care services. Eligible applicants include health plans, healthcare providers, or community-based programs with work that: 1) Addresses environmental triggers as part of a comprehensive asthma program; 2) Promotes healthy homes, schools and workplaces to improve the lives of people with asthma; 3) Fosters high-performing collaborations and partnerships. >>>>


AmeriCorps: Helping Local Leaders Accomplish Big Things in Their Community

Operation AmeriCorps is asking tribal and local leaders to identify a high-priority local challenge that AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps NCCC and/or AmeriCorps VISTA members can address in a relatively short period of time (no more than two years). The grant competition is open to tribal and local governments, including counties, cities, towns, and school districts; and state service commissions. The first priority focuses on specific postsecondary outcomes for students.  The second priority is more flexible and allows localities to identify their most pressing challenge.  The organization is looking for proposals that are place-based, coordinated with existing community organizations, and with transformational outcomes. >>>>


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Nominations for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching  are now open.  Principals, teachers, students, parents, and the public may nominate exceptional math or science teachers who are currently teaching grades 7-12.  Teachers may also self-nominate.  The President bestows up to 108 awards each year.  Since the program’s inception in 1983, over 4,300 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Nominations close on April 1, 2015. >>>>


President’s Environmental Youth Awards Deadline is December 31st 

The President’s Environmental Youth Awards program promotes awareness of our nation's natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. The program includes two components: a regional certificate of special recognition and a national award competition. All qualified applicants each year receive a certificate of recognition from their EPA regional office. In addition, one outstanding project from each region is selected to receive a national award plaque. Projects are developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship.  >>>>

Students at St. Thomas Aquinas School help to pull invasive garlic mustard at a local park in Indianapolis, IN.



EPA Publishes New Guidance for Schools

EPA released Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades. The Guidelines provide school districts with tools to integrate indoor air quality protections into school energy efficiency retrofits and other building upgrade projects, thus helping schools implement important energy efficiency upgrades without compromising occupant health.  By following the recommendations outlined, school districts will reap the benefits of improved student and staff health and reduced operational costs. >>>>


The Office for Civil Rights Releases New Title VI Guidance

Secretary Duncan recently announced guidance to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources and safe school facilities so that they have an equal opportunity to succeed. The guidance, issued by the Office for Civil Rights, provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards set in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The guidance is one part of President Obama’s larger equity agenda, including the recently announced Excellent Educators for All initiative, and takes into account the ongoing efforts of states, school districts and schools to improve equity. >>>>


New Guidance to Address Bullying of Students with Disabilities

In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new anti-bullying guidance in the form of a letter to educators. New guidance was released to remind public schools that they have a responsibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to prevent bullying and protect students, particularly students with disabilities. The new guidance builds upon the anti-bullying guidance released by the Department in 2013, 2010, and 2000. The most recent release makes it clear that the law bars any form of discrimination based on disability in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. >>>>


Spotlight on a Resource: Cleaning for Healthy Schools

This site has two toolkits: one for Green Cleaning and one for a selected range of other Healthy Products. The kits offer free posters, webinars, tip sheets, checklists, and links to find products. Take a moment to review and share it with your schools and communities.  For a review of the Healthy Products toolkit, see the article "Sustainable Purchasing for Schools" from the most recent issue of School Planning & Management magazine. >>>>


ED’s Green Strides Webinar Series continues with the tools ALL schools can use to reduce costs; improve health; and teach effective environmental education. Find sessions for educators, facilities managers, and advocates weekly. 

Dec. 2, 2014, 2:00–3:30 p.m.  ENERGYSTAR and Green Building Rating Systems (EPA)

Dec. 3, 2014, 1:00–2:30 p.m.  Indoor Air Quality for School Building Upgrades (EPA)

Dec. 3, 2014, 1:00–2:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

Dec. 3, 2014, 3:00–4:00 p.m.  How to Be a Summer Meals Champion (USDA)

Dec. 4, 2014, 1:00–2:00 p.m.  How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR (EPA)

Dec. 10, 2014, 1:00–2:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager Schema Changes (EPA)

Dec. 11, 2014, 1:00–2:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager: Benchmarking Mixed Use Properties (EPA)

Dec. 16, 2014, 2:00–3:00 p.m.  Bed Bugs in Schools (EPA)

Jan. 14, 2015, 4:00–5:00 p.m.  Summer Meals: Funding and Grant Opportunities (USDA)

Jan. 22, 2015, 2:30–3:30 p.m.  Summer Meals: Engaging Tribal Organizations (USDA)

Jan. 27, 2015, 4:00–5:00 p.m.  Summer Meals: Explore the New Toolkit (USDA)

Jesuit High School students participate in a trash audit during AP Environmental Science in Portland, OR.

Connect with Green Strides on the Web

Green Strides: Environment, Health and Facilities at ED
ED-Green Ribbon Schools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon
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