Illinois announces Green Schools Award program

State Board of Education accepting nominations from schools taking a comprehensive approach to environmental education and management

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has launched the Illinois Green Ribbon Schools Award program, recognizing schools that are leading the way to promote sustainability and environmental education.  ISBE will accept applications from schools that have integrated best practices in energy, water and waste management, healthy school environments and environmental education.

“Schools that have ‘gone green’ turn their entire operation into an ongoing educational lesson,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “These schools are teaching by example, demonstrating the impact our daily practices have on our environment and modeling leadership that makes a difference today and for generations.”

School districts with fewer than 200,000 students may select one school for which they submit an application. School districts with more than 200,000 students may select two schools for which they submit applications. Additionally, a district may apply as a district rather than selecting an individual school. Illinois will announce its winners in late December.

“The school environment, from the food that’s served to the quality of the indoor air, profoundly impacts a student’s ability to learn. The Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools that are leading the way in providing healthy, safe and sustainable learning environments for our children,” said Mark Bishop, Vice President of Policy and Communications for the Healthy Schools Campaign. “We are excited to recognize the excellent work that is going on in Illinois’ schools and applaud ISBE’s leadership in supporting healthy and sustainable schools.”

Illinois has nominated six schools as part of the U.S. Green Ribbon Schools program, established in 2011. But this year, ISBE has developed its own streamlined application and will recognize up to four state winners in addition to sending them on to compete in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program. The U.S. Department of Education will announce its winners in April 2014, followed by an award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Applications, available at http:/, must be submitted online or to the ISBE office in Springfield by 5 p.m. November 15.