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.

The word versions of the applications are below. Please note, the word versions of the applications are to aid in preparing for the final online submission of your applications

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.

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

2016 U.S. Department of Education's announcement of Green Ribbon Schools

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 2017 Green Ribbon School and District Awardees:

  • Lakeridge Elementary School, Mercer Island School District
  • Green Gables Elementary School, Federal Way Public Schools

Washington State 2017 Green School and District Leader Awardees:

  • Montessori Children's House, Redmond, Pillars II and III
  • Lakeland Hills Elementary School, Auburn School District, Pillars I and II
  • Cedarsong Nature School, Vashon Island, Pillar II
  • Nurture in Nature Preschool, Metro Parks Tacoma, Pillar III

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
Eco-Schools USA Western Washington University

   Updated 5/4/2017

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