New York State Green Ribbon Schools
GUIDE FOR COMPLETING 2011-2012 NEW YORK STATE GREEN
RIBBON SCHOOLS APPLICATION
The US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program is a comprehensive recognition program that celebrates schools that have made significant achievements towards:
; Increasing environmental and sustainability literacy
; Reducing the school’s environmental footprint
; Creating a healthy community for students and staff
This is a two-step process. The first step is to complete and submit an online application to the New York State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning to be selected as a state finalist. If your school is selected as a state finalist, you
will be asked to provide additional information for the nominee package that will be forwarded to the US Department of Education (ED). This may include providing documentation to verify your answers.
Schools will be evaluated based on their progress towards these concepts and a wide variety of green benchmarks including zero greenhouse gas emissions, food that is locally sourced and sustainable, and curriculum that ensures all students are environmentally and sustainability literate.
We encourage you to draft your responses before you begin the online application using the Word version of the
application at the end of this document as your guide. You will be able to cut and paste your responses from the Word version of the application into the online application fields. Once you begin your online application, you may save and
return to it at any time until you hit the “submit” button.
1. Download the List of Statutory and Regulatory Requirements and Key Potential Violations of Federal EPA
Regulations at K-12 Schools below to self-screen for potential violations that might prevent your school from
qualifying for this award.
2. Use the Word version of the NYS Green Ribbon Application included in this document as your guide to
completing the online application.
3. Submit the Intent to Submit Form on or before February 3, 2012.
4. The application MUST BE COMPLETED ONLINE, and is due no later than 5:00 PM EST on FRIDAY,
FEBRUARY 24, 2012.
5. If your school is chosen as a state finalist, you may be asked to provide additional information for the nominee
package that will be forwarded to the US Department of Education. This may include providing documentation
to verify your answers.
Application Guide – Page 1 of 28
To complete the application, schools are asked to provide basic information and complete a series of questions, including some short narratives. You will need to collect extensive data about your school’s facility, health and safety policies, food service, and environmental and sustainability curriculum and assessment. Some of the questions will require you to reach out to a variety of school and district personnel to gather quantifiable data.
We hope you will assemble a team to work together to complete the application. This team should probably include: physical plant director, physical education director, food services director, curriculum director, finance department representative (for access to purchase orders, etc.), school nurse, and teachers. A class or a group of students could also work with this team to complete the application.
Because the application questions represent a comprehensive approach to greening a school, they may seem daunting. Remember that you are competing with other schools to see who has made the most progress. You are not competing against a static benchmark, meaning that there is no minimum threshold for winning the award (beyond compliance with applicable laws and regulations). You may not be able to answer “yes” to all the questions or provide answers in all cases, and we hope you will consider the following before you begin your application:
; These are ambitious goals and few if any schools are expected to have achieved all three, or perhaps even 100% of
any one of the pillars.
; Schools demonstrating exemplary achievement in all three Pillars will receive the highest ranking. However, given
the ambitious goals of the program, schools making exemplary efforts in one pillar or a variety of elements are
strongly encouraged to apply.
; It is important to demonstrate concrete achievement, using quantified measures, wherever possible.
We hope the application will also serve as a self-assessment tool for your school and community. Green schools must be prepared to measure with precision their impact on both the environment and students. These measurements take time and effort and can become part of your standard practice regardless of whether or not you apply for a Green Ribbon award. If this self-assessment is not already part of your school culture, then working on this application will be very informative for everyone in your school.
SUPPORT DOCUMENTS FOR DOWNLOAD:
1. List of Statutory and Regulatory Requirements
2. Key Potential Violations of Federal EPA Regulations at K-12 Schools
1. USED Green Ribbon Schools Main Page
2. USED Resources, Standards and Programs
3. USED Award Criteria
Application Guide – Page 2 of 28
ACTIVITY DATE Call for Applications January 20, 2012 Applications Received from New York State Schools Due -
February 24, 2012 NYS Team Assembled to Review Applications February 27 - (NYSED, NYSDOH, NYSDEC, BOCES Capital Region, NYSERDA) March 15, 2012 Submit NYS Green Ribbon Schools Nominees to U.S. Department of Education Due -
March 22, 2012 Announce NYS Green Ribbon School Nominees Approx.
March 30, 2012 U.S. Department of Education Announces Green Ribbon Schools Winners April 22, 2012
Earth Day 2012
U.S. Department of Education Award Ceremony for Green Ribbon Schools Winners Approx.
May 2012 NYS Award Ceremony for Green Ribbon Schools Winners TBD
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL OR E-MAIL:
General Application Information – Rosanne T. Groff (518) 473-8486 or email@example.com
Application Guide – Page 3 of 28
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Facilities Planning, Room 1060 Education Building Annex
Tel. (518) 474-3906 Fax (518) 486-5918
New York State Green Ribbon Schools
Thank you for your interest in completing the 2011-2012 New York State Green Ribbon Schools application. In order to complete this application, you will need to collect extensive data about your school facility, including its health and safety policies, food service practices, and environmental and sustainability curriculum and assessment.
Introduction: The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award is intended to recognize those schools taking a comprehensive approach to greening their school. A comprehensive approach incorporates and integrates environmental learning, while maximizing positive environmental and health impacts. The award criteria are intended to focus on measurable outcomes wherever possible.
The ED-GRS award process involves two distinct steps. The first step is to complete and submit this form to be considered as a New York State nominee. If the school is subsequently selected by New York State, the second step of the process is to provide additional information for the nominee package that will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for their review. Each state may submit up to four nominees to the ED. Upon review, ED will then award approximately 100 Green Ribbons from these state nominees.
Background: Application reviews will be based on the applicant's demonstrated progress towards the goals of each of the three ED-Green Ribbon Schools Pillars:
Pillar I goal: The school has a net zero environmental impact
Pillar II goal: The school has a positive impact on the health and performance of students and staff
Pillar III goal: 100% of the school's graduates are environmentally and sustainability literate
The following items are important to keep in mind as you consider applying to become a New York State nominee:
1. The goals outlined in each of the three Pillars are ambitious. Few if any schools are expected to have achieved all
three, or even 100% of any one of the Pillars.
2. Schools demonstrating exemplary achievement in all three Pillars will receive the highest ranking. 3. It is important to demonstrate concrete achievement, using quantified measures, whenever possible. 4. If your school is being actively considered by New York State for submission to the ED, additional documentation
supporting your answers may be requested.
Please note in the application form below, the New York State Education Department has broken down each Pillar into "Elements" in order to provide a more detailed explanation for what is meant by each Pillar. Each Element then has a series of questions which will demonstrate the progress made in achieving these goals. Some questions have been grouped together into categories for the sake of clarity and organization.
Once you begin your application, you may save and return to it at any time.
You must submit your application no later than 5:00 PM EST on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012.
Application Guide – Page 4 of 28
By submitting this electronic application, the school principal and district superintendent (or equivalent) on the next page certify, for public schools, that each of the statements below concerning the school’s eligibility and compliance with the following requirements are true and correct. For private schools, the signatures of the school principal and district superintendent (or equivalent) on the next page certify that statements 1 through 8 and statement 13 are true. In no case,
is a private school required to make any certification with regard to the public school district in which it is located.
1. This application must be submitted for a specific school building.
2. The school must have some configuration that includes one or more of grades K-12. (School buildings on the
same campus with one principal, including a K-12 school, must apply as an entire school.)
3. The school achieves or comes close to achieving the goals of all three Green Ribbon Pillars: 1) environmental and
sustainability education; 2) healthy school environments; and 3) environmental impact and energy efficiency.
4. The school is in compliance with all applicable occupational safety and health standards and has no outstanding
citations for violation of federal, state, or local occupational safety and health regulations and standards, nor has
resolved such a case within the past year.
5. The school is in compliance with all applicable federal food and drug standards, including the Federal Food, Drug,
and Cosmetic Act and has no outstanding violations, nor has resolved such a case within the past year.
6. The school is in compliance with all applicable state and local codes and has no outstanding citations for state or
local education, environmental, health, existing building, fire, plumbing, mechanical, or property maintenance
codes, laws, or regulations, nor has resolved such a case within the past year.
7. The school has not been cited within the past three years for failure to meet federal, state or local potable water
8. The school has not been cited within the last three years for improper management of hazardous waste according
to federal and state regulations.
9. Neither the applicant nor its public school district is refusing the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil
Rights (OCR) access to information necessary to investigate a civil rights complaint or to conduct a district-wide
10. OCR has not issued a violation letter of findings to the public school district concluding that applicant or the
public school district as a whole has violated one or more of the civil rights statutes. A violation letter of findings
will not be considered outstanding if OCR has accepted a corrective plan to remedy the violation.
11. The U.S. Department of Justice does not have a pending suit alleging that the public school or the public school
district as a whole has violated one or more of the civil rights statutes or the Constitution's equal protection clause.
12. There are no findings of violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in a U.S. Department of
Education monitoring report that apply to the public school or public school district in question; or if there are
such findings, the state or public school district has corrected, or agreed to correct, the findings.
13. The school and the district (if the school is a public school) meet applicable federal, state, tribal, and local health,
environmental and safety requirements in law, regulations, and policy, and is willing to undergo U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on-site verification.
Application Guide – Page 5 of 28
School Contact Information
School District Name: ____________________________________________
School Building Name: ____________________________________________
Street Address: ____________________________________________
School Website: ____________________________________________
School Superintendent or Chief School Officer First Name: ____________________________________________
School Superintendent or Chief School Officer Last Name: ____________________________________________
Principal First Name: ____________________________________________
Principal Last Name: ____________________________________________
Principal Email Address: __________________________________________
Principal Phone Number: ____________________________________________
Lead Applicant First Name (if different from principal): ____________________________________________
Lead Applicant Last Name (if different from principal): ____________________________________________
Lead Applicant Email: ____________________________________________
Lead Applicant Phone Number: ____________________________________________
Level (check one)
[ ] Elementary (PK - 5 or 6)
[ ] K - 8
[ ] K - 12
[ ] Middle (6 - 8 or 9)
[ ] High (9 or 10 - 12)
[ ] Other _____________
School Type (check one)
( ) Public
( ) Private/Independent
( ) Charter
Application Guide – Page 6 of 28
How would you describe your school? (check one)
( ) Urban
( ) Suburban
( ) Rural
School Building BEDS Code
If the New York State Education Department nominates more than one public school to the US ED, at least one must be a school with at least 40% of their students from a disadvantaged background. For purposes of the NYS Green Ribbon program, disadvantaged background will be defined as those students eligible for the federal school free and reduced price lunch program. Does your school have 40% or greater of its students eligible for the federal school free and reduced price lunch program?
( ) Yes
( ) No
Application Guide – Page 7 of 28
Green Ribbon Pillars and Elements Points
Cross-Cutting Questions 5%: Participation in Green School Programs and/or Awards for 5 points
Environmental and Sustainability Efforts
PILLAR ONE: Net zero environmental impact: 35%
Element 1A: Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 15 points
10 points Element 1B: Improved water quality, efficiency, and conservation
5 points Element 1C: Reduced waste production
5 points Element 1D: Use of alternative transportation to, during, and from school
PILLAR TWO: Positive impact on student and staff health: 35%
20 points Element 2A: An integrated school environmental health program
Integrated Pest Management
Contaminant controls and Ventilation
Indoor air quality
15 points Element 2B: High standards of nutrition, fitness, and quantity of quality outdoor time
Fitness and outdoor time
Food and Nutrition
Ultra Violet (UV) safety
PILLAR THREE: 100% of the school's graduates are environmentally and sustainability
15 points Element 3A: Interdisciplinary learning about the key
relationships between dynamic environmental, energy and human systems
5 points Element 3B: Use of the environment and sustainability to develop STEM content,
knowledge, and thinking skills
5 points Element 3C: Development and application of civic engagement knowledge and skills
TOTAL 100 points
Application Guide – Page 8 of 28
Q CC1: Is your school participating in a local, state, or nationally recognized green school program which asks
you to benchmark progress in some fashion (for example, National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA,
Green Schools Alliance, Collaborative for High Performance Schools, or Project Learning Tree's Green
( ) Yes
( ) No
Which program(s) are you participating in and what level(s) have you achieved?
Q CC2: Has your school, staff or student body received any awards for environmental or sustainability
( ) Yes
( ) No
Please list the awards you have received and the years you received them.
RESOURCES for CC1 and CC2:
US Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools
Earth Day Network’s Green Schools Program
Green School Alliance
National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA
New York-Collaborative for High Performance Schools NY-CHPS Guidelines
Project Learning Tree's Green Schools
Application Guide – Page 9 of 28
Pillar 1: Environmental Impact and Energy Efficiency
Buildings, grounds and operations goal: The school has made significant progress toward "net zero" environmental impact
(zero carbon, solid waste, and hazardous waste footprints).
Pillar 1 includes four main elements:
A) Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, using an energy audit or emissions inventory and reduction plan, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements and on-site renewable energy and/or purchase of green power.
B) Improved water quality, efficiency, and conservation. (for example: storm water gardens, green infrastructure projects, permeable pavement, etc.)
C) Reduced solid waste production, through increased recycling, reduced consumption, and improved management, reduction, or elimination of hazardous waste stream.
D) Expanded use of alternative transportation to, during and from school, through active promotion of locally-available options and implementation of enabling projects and policies.
Each question in this section is designed to measure your school's progress towards Pillar 1 and its associated 4 elements.
Q 1A1: Can your school demonstrate a reduction in its facility-related Greenhouse Gas emissions?
( ) Yes
( ) No
Please provide the following information:
Initial GHG emissions rate (MT eCO2/person): _________________________
Final GHG emissions rate (MT eCO2/person): _________________________
Percentage reduction: _________________________
Time period measured (mm/yyyy - mm/yyyy): _________________________
How did you document this reduction (for example: the inventory module from Clean Air Cool Planet's
Campus Carbon Calculator, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager)? _________________________
RESOURCES for Q1A1:
Clean Air Cool Planet's Campus Carbon Calculator
EPA’s Portfolio Manager
Q 1A2: Has your school received the EPA ENERGY STAR Building Label within the last 5 years?
( ) Yes
( ) No
If your school received the ENERGY STAR Building Label, please note the year(s) it was achieved and the
score received: _____________________
RESOURCES for Q1A2:
DOE and EPA's ENERGY STAR for K-12 Districts
Application Guide – Page 10 of 28