US-ED Green Ribbon Schools Program

U.S. - ED Green Ribbon Schools Program


The National Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Awards

At the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the Green Ribbon Schools initiative which recognizes schools that have demonstrated exemplary achievement in all three Pillars and every element. This recognition award is part of a larger U.S. ED effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates and workforce preparedness. It is also a government-wide effort aimed to increase energy independence and economic security.

Green Ribbon Schools Pillars and Elements

1. Environmental Impact and Energy Efficiency: Reduced or eliminated greenhouse gas emissions; Improved water quality, efficiency, and conservation; Reduced solid and hazardous waste production; Expanded use of alternative transportation.

2. Healthy School Environments: An integrated school environmental health program; High standards of nutrition, fitness, and quantity of quality outdoor time [ 3 ] for both students and staff.

3. Environmental and Sustainability Education: Interdisciplinary learning: environmental, energy and human systems; STEM content; Development of civic engagement in the community.

The 2016 GRS Awardees

This year, two Florida school districts and one school were among the national awardees! In total, across the country, total of 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The 2016-2017 GRS application period is now OPEN!


This year, all K-12 schools and school districts that participated in the state’s Florida Green School and District Recognition program, will be eligible to submit an application for this national recognition program. *Florida Department of Education will send an official invitation to all eligible applicants with further instructions on the submission process.

Those schools and districts invited to participate this year, must complete and submit their application to;; and by 5:00 p.m. on December 2, 2016.

If you have questions as you complete the application, please contact Don Whitehead at for questions about Pillar I, Penny Taylor at for questions about Pillar II, and PJ Duncan at for questions about Pillar III.

Green Ribbon Schools Timeline:

  • School Application submissions to Florida Department of Education due by December 02, 2016
  • Florida Department of Education nominee submissions due by February 01, 2017
  • U.S Department of Education selection of nominees will be on April, 2017
  • Award ceremony will be held TBA. 


Learn more about the Green Ribbon Schools Award.