Press Releases

For Immediate Release: October 22, 2012

Contact: Keith Hovis, 651-582-8275 (o) 651-308-2252 (c) or

Minnesota Department of Education Accepting Applications for National Green Ribbon Schools Recognition

Throughout Minnesota, schools are making a conscious effort to promote energy efficiency – both in the classroom and in practice. For the second year, the Minnesota Department of Education is partnering with the U.S. Department of Education to recognize these schools with the Green Ribbon Schools program.

The program seeks to highlight schools across the nation who are working every day to set a great example by saving energy and reducing operating costs, creating environmentally friendly learning spaces, promoting student health and providing environmental education to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum.

To be considered for the program, a school will have achieved or made considerable progress toward the three pillars established in the program: 1) energy efficient buildings; 2) healthy students and school environment; and 3) environmental literacy of all graduates. The combined achievement in these three areas will be the basis for the Green Ribbon Schools award.

To apply, public and private schools in Minnesota submit their application to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). After reviewing all applicants, Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will nominate up to four schools and one district for the honor. If four schools are nominated, one must be a public school with a 40 percent disadvantaged population and one must be a private school. Schools must also meet high college- and career-ready standards, be in compliance with federal civil rights laws, and all federal, state and local health and safety standards and regulations.

Download the application for the Green Ribbon Schools program. Applications must be submitted to MDE by December 19, 2012. The U.S. Department of Education expects to make decisions on final awards in April on Earth Day and will host a national recognition award ceremony in Washington D.C. in early June.

Educators that would like to learn more about green schools are invited to three regional workshops at Minnesota’s inaugural Green Ribbon Schools during late October and November. Information on the workshops can be found at Or visit the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools web page.

For more information on Green Ribbon Schools, please visit For questions about MDE’s application process or program, please contact Jeff Ledermann, MDE’s Environmental and Outdoor Education Coordinator, at 651-582-8602 or .