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News Release - Green Ribbon Schools

April 22, 2013

News Release

Colorado school named Green Ribbon School; first-ever district awardee also named

Award Honors Schools and Districts for Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs; Improving Health; and Offering Environmental Education

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that one Colorado school has earned the prestigious national Green Ribbon Award and one district has earned the District Sustainability Award.

Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School (Poudre School District) in Ft. Collins was among 64 schools honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, Douglas County School District was among 14 districts honored for the first-ever District Sustainability Award.

“Today’s honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs; improve health, performance and equity; and provide an education geared toward the jobs of the future. In fact, the selected districts are saving millions of dollars as a result of their greening efforts. And the great thing is that the resources these honorees are using are available for free to all schools."

Built in 2005, Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School continues to be a national leader in environmental leadership and sustainable design. With unique energy features like geothermal heating and cooling, wind powered electricity and open-space daylight features, Kinard is the only school in Colorado that scores a perfect 100 based on Energy Star rating standards.

Douglas County School District built a Sustainability Program based on student-led programs. Efforts support the three “legs” of sustainability – social, environmental and economic. The program has grown from 11 students in one class to more than 3,000 students running the energy program across more than 60 schools. Electrical use has dropped over 20 percent and recycling and gardening are growing throughout the district.

The schools were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 32 state education agencies. The list of selectees includes 54 public schools and 10 private schools. The public schools include seven charter, five magnet and four career and technical schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 40 elementary, 23 middle and 19 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 29 states and the District of Columbia. Over half of the 2013 honorees serve a student body more than 40 percent of which is eligible for free and reduced price lunch. The list of all selected schools and districts, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 78 honorees can be found here.

The U.S. Department of Education’s “Green Ribbons” are one-year recognition awards. Next year’s competition will open in summer 2013.

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