State Superintendent Torlakson Honors California Green Ribbon Schools Award Winners

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SACRAMENTO —State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today nominated one California school district and four individual schools to compete in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition program, which honors schools that conserve resources while promoting health and environmental literacy.

“Green Ribbon schools are leading the way in resource conservation, health and wellness, and environmental literacy,” said Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach. Torlakson stressed that green schools are especially important now that the environment is facing so many threats.

“California won’t reach our smart and ambitious climate goals without the public sector—and especially without public schools—leading the way,” he said. “We need to protect our magnificent and precious natural resources, and learn more about topics such as the causes of global warming and the acidification of the oceans.”

            The nominees are:

Jack London Community Day School, Valley Glen, Los Angeles County

·Monterey Road Elementary School, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo County

·Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Placer County

·Top of the World Elementary School, Laguna Beach, Orange County

· Maple Village Waldorf School (private), Long Beach, Los Angeles County

These five are also California’s “Green Achievers,” the highest honor in the California Green Ribbon Schools recognition program.

Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate exemplary achievement in three “pillars.” Pillar I: reduce environmental impact and costs; Pillar II: improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and Pillar III: provide effective environmental education that teaches many disciplines and is especially good at effectively incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, civic skills, and green career pathways.

The California Green Ribbon Schools recognition award uses the applications submitted for nomination to ED-GRS to recognize schools and school districts for environmental excellence. Private school awards are conferred by the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO).

California is one of 25 states as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity that are expected to nominate schools and districts for federal recognition this year. Continued participation and leadership in the program is a recommendation of Torlakson’s Environmental Literacy Task Force.

The U.S. Department of Education will confirm state nominees in May 2018.

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