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April 28, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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New York State Education Department Announces Selection of Schuylerville Elementary School as Federal Green Ribbon Schools Award Winner

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia today announced today that Schuylerville Elementary School was named a federal Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) Program. The New York State Education Department nominated Schuylerville Elementary for the honor; it was the only New York State school to be included among the 2016 U.S. Department of Education honorees.

“This national award inspires schools to strive for excellence by highlighting outstanding efforts to create energy efficient and sustainable school environments,” said Commissioner Elia.  “The Board of Regents and I congratulate the students, faculty and entire Schuylerville Elementary School community for all of the hard work they’ve invested in earning this Green Ribbon award. They are a model for schools throughout the state to emulate.”

“We are very proud to have our elementary school named a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education,” said Peter Riggi, superintendent of buildings and grounds for the Schuylerville Central School District. “This is a very exciting announcement that represents the culmination of many years of dedication to green and sustainability initiatives by students, staff, parents, and community partners.”

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 State Education Department nominated Schuylerville Elementary School for its exemplary leadership in meeting the three ED-GRS “Pillars.” Among the school’s accomplishments, they received an EPA Energy Star Award and designed school facilities to meet LEED Silver standards and Executive Order III; practiced a coordinated school health approach; obtained produce and eggs from local farmers; produced fresh vegetables and herbs in hydroponic and raised-bed gardens; and provided effective environmental and sustainability concepts at each grade level through the use of an outdoor classroom, bird trail, retention pond, and supplemental classroom programs that engaged students in critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making.

Across the nation, a 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 Green Ribbon Schools recognition award is given to schools that have demonstrated high achievement in all three ED-GRS Pillars:

  • Pillar I:   Reduce environmental impact and costs, including waste, water, energy use and alternative transportation;
  • Pillar II:  Improve the health and wellness of students and staff, covering environmental health and nutrition and fitness; and
  • Pillar III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, requiring robust environmental education that engages STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.

More information on the federal recognition award can be found here.  Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.