Environment & Sustainability
Environment and Sustainability Education
OSPI's goal for environment and sustainability education is to support academic success and life-long learning, and to develop a responsible citizenry capable of applying knowledge of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems to meet current and future needs.
Environmental education is a mandatory area of study in Washington, required by WAC 392-410-115.
Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program
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.
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. 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.
Schools can answer the application with data and information based on the 2017-2020 school years - information is not required to be from facilities for the 2020-2021 school year. In fact, most schools and districts who receive the award do so by demonstrating systemic and sustained practices. We do not want remote learning and closed school facilities to be a barrier to your application. Please contact us with any questions about accommodations due to the pandemic.
OSPI forwards state finalists to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). ED chooses national award recipients from this group.
Washington applications are open for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) Recognition Program. Applications are due January 8, 2021. For more information, or technical assistance please contact Washington's program coordinator Elizabeth Schmitz.
The state's K–12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Learning Standards describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
OSPI and E3 Washington led the development of the Washington State Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan.