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October 16, 2012
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


New York State Education Department Announces 2nd Year Of Participation In Green Ribbon Schools Program;

Public And Nonpublic Schools Invited To Apply

Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced today that New York State is participating in the second year of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) program, and invites public and nonpublic schools to apply for this national recognition.

The ED-GRS program recognizes schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide goal to increase energy independence and economic security.

The Green Ribbon Schools recognition award will be given to schools that have demonstrated high achievement in the three ED-GRS Pillars:

Pillar I:     Reduce environmental impact and costs.

Pillar II:    Improve the health and wellness of students and staff.

Pillar III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), civic skills and green career pathways.

Public and nonpublic schools are eligible to apply and should submit their applications to the New York State Education Department’s Office of Facilities Planning. Commissioner King is permitted to nominate up to four schools and one school district to the U.S. Department of Education.  If four schools are nominated, one must be a public school where at least 40 percent of its students are disadvantaged and one must be a nonpublic school.  All schools must meet high college- and career-ready standards, be in compliance with federal civil rights laws, and all federal, state and local health and safety standards and regulations.

Last year, three New York State schools -- Hampton Bays Middle School, Sleepy Hollow Middle School, and Bethlehem Central Middle School -- were among 78 schools in the nation named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

Submission details, including the program timeline and application process, are available at

For more information on the Green Ribbon Schools program, please visit