Every fall, the United States Department of Education and state Departments of Education host the Green Schools recognition and awards program, which seeks to inspire schools and districts to strive for 21st-century excellence in sustainability practices. The California Green Ribbon Schools Award Program (CA-GRS) and the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) Award recognizes school communities that achieve progress towards sustainability in three “pillars:”
- Pillar I: Reducing environmental impact and costs
- Pillar II: Improving the health and wellness of students and staff
- Pillar III: Providing effective environmental and sustainability education
In California, nominations for the federal ED-GRS award are made by participating in the CA Green Ribbon Schools Award (CA-GRS) program. To reduce repetition, CA-GRS uses the same application as the federal ED-GRS program but recognizes all schools that can demonstrate achievement of the three pillars in a tiered recognition: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Green Achiever. Applications are due annually in November. Schools, districts, and county offices are welcome to apply.
Support Services for Applying to the California Green Ribbon Schools Program
The San Mateo County Office of Education offers introductory and customized technical assistance for the CA Green Ribbon Program between August to November annually to help school programs in SMC successfully apply.
Fill out this form or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive FREE technical assistance from the San Mateo County Office of Education to apply for the California Green Ribbon Awards Program. Sample technical assistance services include:
- Coaching on project management, stakeholder engagement, and application writing
- Application review and guidance on best practices
- Direct support with project management and stakeholder engagement
Application Support Resources
Local Leaders in the CA-GRS Program
Curious about how other educators felt about the process and benefits of participating in the CA Green Ribbon Schools Award Program? Click on the summaries below or watch interviews from local school leaders whose schools were recognized in the 2020-21 school year.
- San Mateo Union High School District (Bronze Tier Recognition Public School District 2021-22)
- Ravenswood City School District (Bronze Tier Recognition Public School District 2020-21)
- South Hillsborough School (Silver Tier Recognition Public School 2020-21)
- Nueva School Green Achiever (Federal Recognition) Private Independent School
Project Management Resources
Coordinator, Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Phone: (650) 802-5406