MADISON — Two schools in the Oregon School District — Brooklyn Elementary and Oregon Middle —will learn later this year whether efforts to reduce their environmental impact will be recognized by U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program.
State Superintendent Tony Evers nominated the two schools. “It takes the entire school community, working together, to be a nominee for this national recognition,” he said. “I commend these schools for their commitment to ensuring a healthy, safe environment for both students and staff members and for preparing their students to be sustainability leaders.”
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools, districts, and higher education institutions that reduce schools’ environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of students and staff members, and provide effective environmental and sustainability education. The 2018 nominees applied through the Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin online application, which required extensive data collection and reporting across nine areas: community involvement, energy, environmental health, environmental and sustainability education, health and wellness, recycling and waste management, school site, transportation, and water. Both schools started with a focused initiative on health and wellness and expanded on those efforts over several years to address a variety of environmental topics both inside and outside of the school building. Their applications for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program were reviewed by two state-level teams of education consultants and content experts.
At the federal level, applications from each participating state will be reviewed to determine if the nominees: 1) meet all of the eligibility requirements; 2) comply with all applicable federal civil rights and federal, state, local, and tribal health, environment, and safety statutory and regulatory requirements; and 3) meet high college- and career-ready academic standards. Honorees will be announced later this spring.
The schools will be recognized at a “Celebration of Excellence in Environmental Education” on April 28 at the Lussier Heritage Center in Madison. Additionally, each will receive Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin “Sugar Maple” recognition as well as national certification through Project Learning Tree’s “Green Schools” program and National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program.
Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education Awards Banquet