Categorized | Environment

Hawaii schools honored in inaugural ‘Green Ribbon’ program


Six Hawaii schools have been recognized by the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) for their energy conservation and environmental efforts in the inaugural Green Ribbon Schools program.

They include five public schools (Kalani High, Kahuku High & Intermediate, Pahoa High & Intermediate, Ewa Makai Middle, and Waikiki Elementary) and Hawaii Preparatory Academy, a private school.

They were selected from nine schools – eight public and one private – that applied to the Green Ribbon Schools program.

Modeled after the national Blue Ribbon Schools initiative, which recognizes schools for exceptional academic results, the Green Ribbon Schools program honors schools that have significantly reduced their environmental impact and achieved energy efficiency, positively impacted the health of their students and staff, and produced students with high levels of environmental and sustainability literacy.

Four of Hawaii’s Green Ribbon schools – Pahoa High & Intermediate, Ewa Makai Middle, Waikiki Elementary, and Hawaii Preparatory Academy – will be nominated by the DOE to the U.S. Department of Education for national recognition.

The U.S. DOE will announce national winners on April 23.

The DOE was assisted in evaluating the applications and nominating the top schools by representatives of Hawaii Energy, the Hawaii Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.

The Green Ribbon Schools national award was established this school year to set a high bar for schools, provide incentives to schools already on the road to achieving high standards, and propel others to move toward providing a healthy, sustainable education and learning space.

Hawaii is one of about 35 states that participated in the first year of the program.

“The national application form was daunting for school-level participants to complete,” said DOE Assistant Superintendent Randy Moore. “There was a short time frame to understand and complete the application, and a number of questions required detailed information on energy usage and environmental curriculum. Schools reported that completing the application was itself a learning experience and will heighten student and adult environmental awareness.”

“We are grateful to the public and private schools that participated and look forward to more schools celebrating ‘green’ initiatives next year,” Moore said.

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