COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
September 7, 2012
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Virginia is pleased to participate in the United States Department of Education's (USED) Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) award program. The program is intended to recognize schools that are integrating environmental learning with goals for 1) healthy students and school employees and 2) a school facility with a positive environmental impact. The application is intended to focus on measurable and verifiable results wherever possible, and Virginia’s application, though based on the national criteria, provides ample opportunities for schools in the Commonwealth to highlight Virginia-specific emphases and initiatives. Fishburn Park Elementary School in Roanoke City and The Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration in Franklin County were recognized as the 2012 USED Green Ribbon Schools representing Virginia.
The GRS award process consists of two steps. The first step is to complete and electronically submit the state application to the state review committee. Virginia is permitted up to four state nominations. Of these four total nominees, at least one must be a private school and one must be a school with at least 40 percent of its students from disadvantaged backgrounds (either Title I or Title I eligible).
After a national selection committee has reviewed states’ nominees, USED will recognize 50 or more GRS awardees. Of Virginia’s four state nominees, potentially all may be designated as GRS awardees. The 2013 GRS recipients will be invited to an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
A Virginia GRS informational session will be conducted via webinar on September 26, 2012, at 4 p.m., and a follow-up webinar will be conducted on October 17, 2012, at 4 p.m. The first webinar (September 26, 2012) will focus on suggestions for completing the application for the 2012 USED GRS recipients. The second webinar (October 17, 2012) will be an open question and answer session to offer technical assistance. Information about the USED Green Ribbon Schools program may be found on the Virginia Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Web site. Schools interested in participating in the webinars may find information on the Green Ribbon Schools Web page.
For a school to be nominated for the Green Ribbon Schools award program by Virginia, the nonbinding GRS Intent to Submit form included in the application should be submitted by September 21, 2012. The GRS application must be completed and received by the Virginia Department of Education by December 10, 2012, no later than 4 p.m. For additional information, please contact Eric M. Rhoades, acting director, Office of Science and Health Education, by e-mail at Eric.Rhoades@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 786-2481.