Inverness Associates
Supporting schools in sustainability, strategic planning, governance, and leadership mentoring.

NAIS Schools Leading the Green Movement

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan yesterday announced the selection of 11 NAIS schools, among a group of 78 nation wide, to receive the first Green Ribbon Schools Award, a very impressive showing. 

The recipients demonstrate best practices to reduce environmental impact, promote health, and ensure a high-quality environmental and outdoor education program.  They were selected from an initial group of over 350 schools that submitted applications to their state education departments.  The NAIS schools named include: The Athenian School,
 Danville, California; Sidwell Friends Middle School,
 Washington, DC;  Savannah Country Day School,
 Savannah, Georgia;  Hawaii Preparatory Academy,
 Kamuela, Hawaii; The College School, St. Louis, Missouri; Crossroads College Preparatory School,
 St. Louis, Missouri;  The Willow School
, Gladstone, New Jersey; American Hebrew Academy,
 Greensboro, North Carolina;  Catlin Gable School,
 Portland, Oregon; Springside Chestnut Hill Academy,
 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The Overlake School,
 Redmond, Washington. 

The large number of NAIS schools in the finalist group is a testament to the commitment being made to environmental sustainability.  The U.S. Department of Education has already announced a second year for the Green Ribbon Schools.  As the head of California’s Private School Selection Committee this year, I ask that you encourage your state education officials to participate in the program, and that you consider submitting an application for the 2012-13 school year to have your school recognized.  The full text of Secretary Duncan’s press release, and Green Ribbon Schools contact information, is included below.

Paul Chapman, Inverness Associates


Obama Administration Names 78 Schools in 29 States and D.C. as First-Ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School; Winners Represent a Diverse Portfolio of Schools, Includes 66 Public and 12 Private Schools in Urban and Rural Communities

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was joined today by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to announce the first-ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, a list including 78 schools that span 29 states and D.C.  The announcement was made during a visit to Stoddert Elementary School, one of D.C.’s two honorees.

“Science, environmental and outdoor education plays a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education, helping prepare them for the jobs of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is a federal recognition program that opened<> in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy.

"Schools that take a green approach cut costs on their utility bills, foster healthy and productive classrooms, and prepare students to thrive in the 21st century economy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "These Green Ribbon School award winners are taking outstanding steps to educate tomorrow's environmental leaders, and demonstrating how sustainability and environmental awareness make sense for the health of our students and our country."

The 78 awarded schools were named winners from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education.  More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies. Among the list of winners<> are 66 public schools, including 8 charters, and 12 private schools. In total, the schools are composed of 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools.

"These Green Ribbon Schools are giving students and educators what they need to maximize learning and minimize risks like asthma and other respiratory illnesses, ensuring that no child is burdened by pollution in or around their school," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Today's winners are protecting our children's health and opening up environmental education opportunities for students. The EPA is proud to help recognize the Green Ribbon award winners and will continue working to improve the environment of our nation’s schools and helping prepare students to succeed in the emerging green economy.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s “Green Ribbons” are one-year recognition awards. Next year’s competition will open in summer 2012. State agencies are encouraged to send their intents to submit nominees by June 15, 2012 via email to<>.

Connect with more U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools resources<>.

Read all U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools blogs<>.

Connect with U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools on Facebook<>.