Parkway Named Green Ribbon School by US Education Secretary

Parkway School

Parkway School

Parkway School is one of four schools in addition to one district to be named a 2015 US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

The announcement was made by Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on April 22.

In addition to Parkway, the other three Connecticut schools nominated by Connectiuct Green LEAF Schools are Academy of Engineering and Green Technology in Hartford, Greens Farms Academy in Westport and Rogers International School in Stamford.

“We are very proud of the important ‘green’ work that the Parkway School community has been engaged in for some time now,” said Greenwich Schools Superintendent Dr. William S. McKersie in a release.

Parkway is a PK-5 elementary school in Greenwich serves 260 students. “Green” education activities at Parkway include constructing a pollinator garden that is certified as a National Fish and Wildlife Schoolyard Habitat, partnering with a local organic farmer to sell produce and learn about healthy eating, hosting Green LEAF Night to share lessons about sustainable living with families, and service learning projects.

In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were 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, 9 colleges and universities were honored for the Post Secondary Sustainability Award. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC.

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”

The schools, districts, and post secondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. The list of 81 total selectees includes 52 public schools and six private schools. The public schools include two charter and three magnet schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 35 elementary, 19 middle and 17 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 28 of the nominating authorities. Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the post secondary institutions are community colleges. The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here.

Connecticut Green LEAF Schools is a program Connecticut Departments of Education, Energy and Environmental Protection, Administrative Services, and Public Health, in collaboration with more than thirty-five environmental and educational partners. Seventy-six schools have signed on to the program. Nine schools and one district, have achieved Green Ribbon recognition, including this year’s honorees, and Common Ground High School, Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet, both on New Haven, and Environmental Science Magnet at Mary Hooker from Hartford, Interdistrict Discovery Magnet School of Bridgeport, and Greenwich Academy, Greenwich.

Connecticut Green LEAF helps schools to grow greener and focuses on “Leading, Educating, Achieving, and Fostering healthy, green schools for all.” There are three goals, to the program including: Providing effective environmental and sustainability education; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and reducing environmental impact and cost.

Connecticut Green LEAF Schools is free and open to all K-12 schools, both public and private. Schools receive support in meeting the goal, including webinars, lessons, and professional development. There are currently 76 schools participating in the program.

All participating schools will be recognized for their accomplishments. Schools that show substantial progress in greening their schools may be eligible for nomination for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Award.

The Connecticut Green LEAF School program supports Connecticut schools in providing effective environmental and sustainability education, improving the health and wellness of their students and staff and reducing their environmental impact and costs. LEAF stands for “Leading, Educating, Achieving and Fostering green, healthy schools for all”. The program is a collaborative effort led by the Connecticut Departments of Administrative Services, Education, Energy and Environmental Protection and Public Health, along with other state educational and environmental organizations. The program celebrates and recognizes those Connecticut schools making progress toward sustainability. The Connecticut Green LEAF School program will also support the nomination of a select group of schools to the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School program. For more information, please visit www.ctgreenleaf.org .