Three Ohio Schools Recognized as National Green Ribbon Schools
Release date: 4/28/2014
Green efforts are putting three Ohio schools in a national spotlight. They are among a group of 48 schools nationwide receiving the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School designation. Each school is an outstanding example of reducing environmental impact and utility costs, promoting better health for students and staff, and incorporating environmental education, including civics and green career pathways, into the curriculum.
Metro Catholic School in Cleveland, Milton-Union Exempt Village School in West Milton and West Geauga High School in Chesterland are models of a comprehensive approach to being green in learning and operations.
“I applaud the innovative measures used each day by these Ohio schools,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, state superintendent of public instruction. “These schools are teaching their boys and girls to be conscious of the environment, to be good stewards of each of their community’s resources, and, at the same time, blending these lessons into their curriculum.”
Milton-Union maintains high educational achievement ratings, and the school’s commitment to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability plays an integral role in keeping costs low. In 2012, Milton-Union replaced old and energy-inefficient buildings with a new combined pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade building. The new building incorporates state-of-the-art environmental system controls and features enhancements to the building envelope for energy efficiency. From the beginning of the project, the goal was for the building not only to be energy efficient, but also a learning tool for sustainability for students, staff and community.
Twenty-six years ago, three urban Cleveland parish schools joined as one to form Metro Catholic School. The goal was to create a fiscally sound school that would be available for all urban children, regardless of religion or ethnicity. From the outset, this school has provided cutting-edge educational programs along with a focus on justice issues, especially the environment, now serving 80 percent of students below the poverty line. The school has continued teaching and modeling environmentally sound principles.
Since West Geauga High School began its energy conservation program roughly five years ago, its efforts have saved nearly six million kW of electricity, as well as over 28,000 cubic feet of natural gas. West Geauga has avoided producing nearly seven million metric tons of CO2, and has provided the district a savings in utility costs of more than $1,000,000. Through recycling and composting programs managed by student groups, thousands of pounds of solid waste have been diverted from landfills. These tremendous milestone efforts are being realized by educating people about environmentally responsible behaviors.
Additional details about the Ohio schools’ efforts can be found in a report with highlights on all the honorees. The report can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School honorees were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies. The list of selectees includes 39 public schools and nine private schools. The public schools include 10 early learning programs, three charter, one magnet and three career and technical schools.
The schools serve various grade levels, including 29 elementary, 16 middle and 18 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 28 states. Twenty-one of the 2014 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The list of all selected schools and districts, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here.