ED-Green Ribbon Schools Gets a Facelift for 2012-2013

Now that the 2012 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are recognized, the Department has refined the selection guidance it provides to state nominating authorities to make for a smoother competition for states and schools in the second year.  The award was created to recognize high-achieving schools striving for 21st century excellence by:

1)     Reducing environmental impact and costs;

2)     Improving the health of schools and wellness of students and staff; and

3)     Providing effective environmental and sustainability literacy, incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.

For ED-GRS 2012-2013, ED implemented suggestions from stakeholders and partners to improve the site and nomination infrastructure, especially the following:

    • 2012-2013 Criteria explain the program’s purpose, vision, eligibility, requirements and the Department’s authority for creating such an award.
    • Each state or nominating authority is assigned a maximum number of possible nominees.
    • An updated Resources page serves as a clearinghouse for hundreds of programs, grants and tools in all areas of the award.
    • A Framework provides recommended measures by which to evaluate schools and select nominees to ED for eligible nominating authorities.
    • The Sample Application is offered as another optional tool for nominating authorities to assist them in selecting schools.

ED encourages state education agencies to use the following dates to guide their nominee selection:

September:  States begin selection processes.

February 15: States submit nominees to ED.

April 22:  ED announces honorees.

June 3: ED honors selectees at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

Already, over 30 states have indicated their intent to nominate schools for the 2012-2013 year.

While the award is designed to highlight and communicate the innovative practices by just a few exemplary schools, all schools may sign up for the Green Strides Webinar Series to connect with resources and programs available to them. The series aims to provide all schools the tools they need to reduce their costs and environmental impact; improve health and wellness; and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.  To learn more about the 2012 ED-GRS cohort’s exemplary practices, read Highlights from the 2012 Honorees and a Snapshot of the 2012 Cohort.

Connect with ED-GRS on Facebook.  Sign up for ED-Green Ribbon Schools updates here.


  1. Thank you for launching this great national initiative. Fantastic to see so many states interested in participating! Let’s keeping encouraging every state to take part.

  2. The timing of the 2012 recognition ceremony was, at best, very awkward for a number of award winners, making it impractical for them to attend. The late May/early June is one of the busiest times of the entire school year for a majority of schools in my state and I suspect also across the country. The selection of a similar date for the 2013 recognition is quite disappointing.

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