Eatonville schools earn Green Ribbon awards

Two elementary schools earn the award for sustainability, given out to just a few dozen schools countrywide

Two Eatonville schools are among the four Washington schools named 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Weyerhauser and Eatonville elementary schools were both honored for their excellence.

This is the seventh year the U.S. Dept. of Education has run the Green Ribbon Schools awards program. The aim of the department is to inspire schools, districts, and higher education institutions to strive for 21st century excellence with sustainability.

Washington is among states with the most Green Ribbon awardees, surpassed only by Georgia and California, which have five recognized schools.

As the Green Ribbon Schools local sponsor, California Casualty will provide $1,250 to each Washington awardee to continue sustainability efforts in their schools or help with expenses traveling to the national honors ceremony in Washington, D.C. in September.

Weyerhaeuser Elementary School was chosen because it has a strong tie to the land, and students learn in their school’s Wildcat Woods as well as the district’s new farm. Food service is beginning to outline a process to serve local farm produce in the cafeteria.

Eatonville Elementary School has a strong focus on STEM learning, as well as other content areas such as ELA and the Arts, all engaged through a lens of environmental learning. Extensive community partnerships support this work.

Broad View Elementary and Carnation Elementary were the other Washington schools to earn the award.

These schools are among 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions across the nation who have achieved this honor.

“You have accomplished a great feat in the service of your environment,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “Thank you for leading the way in this important mission that impacts everyone. With your positive example, Washington students can practice the values of sustainability, conservation, and they can engage in green industries statewide.”

To reach the Green Ribbon Schools status, districts and schools were required to meet three key pillars:

Reducing environmental impacts and costs.

Improving the health and wellness of students and staff.

Providing education on the environment and sustainability while incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); civic skills; and green career pathways.

California Casualty Assistant Vice President, Brian Goodman, who will visit each winning school to present a special plaque, said, “We’ve been impressed how Washington students and schools have addressed sustainability and other environmental issues. We are thrilled to support this valuable program and congratulate the four schools who have achieved this prestigious honor.” Mr. Goodman added, “California Casualty has partnered with NEA Member Benefits in Washington since 2001 to serve and support dedicated teachers and educational support professionals who engage and educate students.”

OSPI is also honoring Pullman High School (Pullman School District) as state Green Leader for significant achievements in Green Ribbon Pillar 1.

Nathan Olson is OSPI's communications director


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