Saturday, January 5, 2013

Crossing our Fingers for Green Ribbons

We pushed the button yesterday afternoon on three applications for the Green Ribbon Schools award!  We applied for recognition for two of our schools, TSHS and GPES and for recognition as a school district.  These are lengthy applications asking for specific data and evidence of the school and district work in three pillar areas:
  • Pillar 1: Reducing environmental impact and costs.
  • Pillar 2: Improving the health and wellness of students and staff.
  • Pillar 3: Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.
While pulling together the data and writing the applications is a huge amount of work it also allows us pause for a moment and realize the sheer quantity and amazing quality of the sustainability work we are doing in our system.  Even if we aren't formally recognized for our efforts, first by the state, and then hopefully at the national level, our students and our community really are the winners in our work. 

Thanks so much to all the amazing work happening in all 8 of our schools and in our food service, maintenance, transportation, and technology departments.   There isn't any area of our program that isn't doing their part to examine our practices and work to increase our sustainability.    Here is the lead off sentence Kevin wrote for the district application.  "Imagine an entire school district where environmental sustainability is part of everyday life, from lunchroom recycling to core curriculum to the operations of the school system in every department."  We submitted over 35 pages in the applications detailing that work that we are doing in our system and it is pretty awesome!

Thanks so very much to everyone who worked on this project - they put in many, many hours of hard work in pulling together data and crafting language:  Lori Cloud, Kevin Patterson, Dawn Wakeley, Nancy Skerritt, Terry Duty, Cindy Barnhart, Cathy Haws, and Connie Jo Erickson. 

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