For immediate release:
April 23, 2012
Contact: Matt Krehbiel, Education Program Consultant, 785-296-8108
Kansas’ Brookwood Elementary, Eisenhower High School, and Erie High School Named Among First-Ever U.S. Department of Education
Green Ribbon Schools
Kansas Schools Among 78 Winning Schools in 29 States and D.C.; Includes 66 Public and 12 Private Schools in Urban and Rural Communities
TOPEKA --The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) are proud to announce that Brookwood Elementary (USD 512), Eisenhower High School (USD 265), and Erie High School (USD 101) are among 78 schools named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Kansas is among 29 states and the District of Columbia with schools receiving the first-ever awards.
“I congratulate Eisenhower High School, Erie High School and Brookwood Elementary for their focus on science and environmental education,” said Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker. “These three schools are shining examples of what is happening in hundreds of schools across Kansas. The study of science has been integrated into the curriculum of these schools, making education relevant and exciting.”
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is a federal recognition program that opened in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy.
“Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”
In Kansas, KSDE and KACEE partnered to identify schools that were striving to achieve the rigorous expectations of this award.
"In a state with nearly 400 schools already identified as Kansas Green Schools, it was difficult to narrow the field in selecting the Kansas nominations, but we’re so proud of the example set by the three Kansas awardees,” said Laura Downey, KACEE Executive Director. “These schools are making huge strides in greening their schools while engaging their students in hands-on and real world learning opportunities.”
The 78 awarded schools were named winners from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies. Among the list of winners are 66 public schools including 8 charters, and 12 private schools composed of 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools. Profiles of the winning schools from Kansas are posted at www.kansasgreenschools.org.
"The schools nominated by the Kansas State Department of Education are just a sampling of the many schools in Kansas that use science as a context to engage students in learning,” said Matt Krehbiel, science education program consultant at KSDE. “These schools all challenge students to not only learn about the environment, but to apply their knowledge to change their schools. The result is engaged and passionate students who are successful in the classroom and take leadership roles in their schools and in their communities.”
The U.S. Department of Education’s “Green Ribbons” are one-year recognition awards. Next year’s competition will open in summer 2012. Kansas schools interested in applying for next year should go to http://www.kansasgreenschools.org/kansas-green-ribbon-schools and use the application workbook at the bottom of the page as a guide to start collecting evidence to support your application.