Other Award Programs
In addition to Eco-Schools, these programs provide a way for your school to be recognized for student and staff efforts to be good stewards of the environment.
Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries runs the Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program as the official environmental education school recognition program for Virginia. This is an award upon which you may build and achieve additional recognitions each year you participate.
First year schools meeting the minimum requirements will receive a Virginia Naturally plaque. Schools maintaining and continuing their efforts in upcoming years will receive a pennant featuring one of Virginia’s state symbols to hang in the school. A different pennant will be available for each additional year the school participates. In addition to the annual pennant, schools will be able to choose from a list of workshops that will continue their effort.
Schools may submit applications between May 1 and June 30 of each school year to be awarded in the following school year. Applications are different depending on which year of the program a school has reached.
Project Learning Tree Green Schools
Project Learning Tree’s GreenSchools program is similar to the Eco-Schools USA program. Students form a green team, audit their school, and work to improve their school’s sustainability. Any school can register for GreenSchools. There are five GreenSchools investigations students can complete: Energy, Environmental Quality, Schools site, Waste & Recycling, and Water.
Your school can also apply for national recognition as a Certified PLT GreenSchool if your school meets the program’s certification requirements.
PLT also has Early Childhood GreenSchools materials that are designed specifically for early childhood educators and younger learners.
Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) program recognizes schools, districts, and institutes of higher education that reduce environmental impact and costs; improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.
Applications are submitted to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), which runs the Virginia Green Ribbon Schools program. VDOE reviews all Virginia applications before submitting a select number of schools and districts for consideration to ED-GRS.
FCPS was recognized as a Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee in 2017, and Centreville Elementary was recognized as a 2017 Green Ribbon School.
This application process is more time-consuming and arduous than other recognition programs. If you are considering applying for this recognition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further as the application will require information and support from multiple central office departments as well as the superintendent’s signature.