Waconia Public Schools learned last week that it has been named a Green Ribbon School. The school district ranks among 48 schools and nine school districts from across the nation to be named a Green Ribbon School, an award that recognizes and honors exemplary schools for their environmentally friendly efforts to cut utility costs, implement smart conservation strategies and cultivate healthy and productive classrooms.
This prestigious award, presented by the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program, acknowledges Waconia Schools’ achievements in taking a comprehensive approach to being a green school.
The award honors the district’s efforts to save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
The Green Ribbon Schools award recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools doing exemplary work in three key areas:
• Goal I: Reduce environmental impact and costs.
• Goal II: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff.
• Goal III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.
“This award is a wonderful recognition of the environmental stewardship that is displayed throughout the Waconia community,” said Superintendent Dr. Nancy Rajanen.
“Our public schools have taken the responsibility to respect and protect our natural resources very seriously,” Rajanen continued. “Our collective efforts have impacted the entire school community, and daily teach our students about the importance of conservation. I am exceptionally proud of this national award given to the Waconia Public School district, and thank the staff and community for their partnership in this effort.”
Green Ribbon Schools are nominated by their state education agencies and must be high achieving in all three areas. For more information, visit www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.
To learn more about some of the ways Waconia Schools are reducing their environmental footprint and providing students and staff a green place to live, work and learn, check out a special edition of the CommuniCAT that will be coming out soon.