SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced Thursday that this yearâ€™s Illinois Green Schools will be recognized at the Illinois Healthy and High Performing Schools Symposium on Friday at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. The Green Schools award program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect student and staff health and wellness, and offer environmental education. The three recipients are Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake, Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School in Oak Lawn, and Evanston Skokie School District 65 in Evanston.
â€œThe symposium will provide an excellent platform to publicly thank these schools for their efforts in ensuring students are not only learning in a safe and clean environment but are also learning how to create a healthy lifestyle and global environment,â€ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. â€œI am glad we are able to honor their hard work and highlight the benefits of implementing environmentally efficient equipment, promoting student and staff health and reducing waste for future generations.â€
Students and staff at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School enjoy filtered drinking water fountains, which protect users from ingesting potential contaminants. Thanks to two refillable water stations, the school has seen a great reduction in the amount of plastic bottles discarded and ultimately being taken to landfills. Their paper recycling program, along with a 1:1 netbook program, has significantly reduced the schoolâ€™s paper consumption. They are currently working on the implementation of alternate sources of energy to further reduce environmental impact.
Students in Evanston Skokie School District 65 enjoy at least 120 minutes of physical education per week, including both formal PE classes and free-play recess time. At least 50 percent of the districtâ€™s PE classes are conducted outdoors whenever temperatures are above 40 degrees. Solar panels in three of the schools not only conserve energy but are also used for educational purposes. Students can go online and compare the energy generated by the solar panels at various times of the day.
Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake is an early childhood and kindergarten facility that is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve the health and wellness of their staff and young students. They have partnered with a local hospital to implement the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program to help support health and wellness in the school and in the community. Administrators and staff believe that exposing young children to environmental topics lays the foundation for future instruction and learning.
â€œThe Illinois United States Green Building Council congratulates the three Illinois Green Ribbon Schools Award recipients,â€ said Stuart Brodsky, US Green Building Council Illinois Chapter Board of Directors Member. â€œWe are excited to see their significant accomplishments to greening schools in Illinois.â€
The Illinois Healthy and High Performing Schools Symposium is hosted by the US Green Building Council Illinois Chapter, the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, Governor Pat Quinn and Adlai E. Stevenson High School.
For more information about the Illinois Green Ribbon School program, visit http://www.isbe.net/green_ribbon/.