Educator Awards - Green Ribbon Schools
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  Hilary Seidel



Education Awards

Green Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program celebrates schools and districts making significant progress towards:

  • Pillar 1: Reducing environmental impact and costs.
  • Pillar 2: Improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff.
  • Pillar 3: Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

How are Green Ribbon Schools/Districts selected?
Schools and districts complete an online application. A state committee scores completed applications. The state may nominate up to five schools or districts. Public and private schools are eligible to apply however only one private school may be nominated. The state committee also selects schools and districts that excel in one or more of the pillars as Washington State Green School and District leaders. 

OSPI forwards state finalists to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). ED chooses national award recipients from this group.

Who can apply?
Public, private schools and public districts are eligible.
2016-2017 Green Ribbon Schools and District Applications are now open. Deadline for submission is January 9, 2017.

Interested in learning more about the application process? Take a look at our informational video about the Green Ribbon Schools application process or download the presentation.

How are Green Ribbon Schools/Districts recognized?
State finalists and national award recipients may attend several statewide events, will receive an award and join a state team of green leaders. ED invites national award recipients to a ceremony in Washington DC.

What if my school or district doesn’t meet all the benchmarks?
The Green Ribbon Schools program is ambitious. You should apply if you meet some benchmarks and are making significant progress towards meeting others. There are two levels of awards: the National Green Ribbon Schools Award program and the state Green Leader awards. If you do not meet all the benchmarks for the Green Ribbon Schools award, you may still be eligible for the Washington State Green Leader award.

Please Note:
On February 12, 2016, OSPI received additional guidelines from the US Department of Education regarding participation in state assessments. As with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), under the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)/Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act), states are required to incorporate test participation in some way into their accountability system. OSPI has determined that, effective February 12, 2016, any school or district which did not meet the 95 percent participation rate will not be eligible for any state or ESEA Title Program awards or recognitions (please refer to OSPI Bulletin No. 011-16B), including the Green Ribbon award program.

2016-17 Timeline
September: OSPI launches application.
January 9: Applications due to OSPI.
February 1: OSPI submits state finalists to ED.
April 24: ED announces national award recipients.
Summer 2017: ED hosts national award ceremony.

2016 Green Ribbon Schools, Districts, and Green Leaders

2015 US ED Green Ribbon Schools Awardee, Discovery Elementary, outlines their path to minimizing waste in their school.

For more information, please contact Washington’s program coordinator Sultana Shah.


US Department of Education 2016 Green Ribbon School and District Awardees:

  • Bethel School District
  • Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy, Eatonville School District
  • Gaiser Middle School, Vancouver Public Schools
  • Issaquah School District
  • Lakota Middle School, Federal Way Public Schools

Washington State 2016 Green School and District Leader Awardees:

  • Ilalko Elementary School, Auburn School District (Pillar 1)
  • Lakeridge Elementary School, Mercer Island School District (Pillar 1)
  • Montessori Children's School located in Redmond (Pillar 2)

Previous award winners


Green Ribbon Schools Local Sponsor

Green Ribbon School Local Sponsor - California Casualty


Green Ribbon Schools Partners

Facing the Future King County Green Schools
Pacific Education Institute Washington Green Schools
Wildlife Federation Western Washington University

   Updated 9/13/2016

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