J.C. Parks Elementary School was named one of only two Maryland schools selected for the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) Award. The honors were announced April 22 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In announcing the national award recipients, Duncan said the selected schools demonstrate strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement.
“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and engagement.”
Parks was chosen by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) as a national nominee. MSDE also nominated Northwest High School in Montgomery County for a school-based award and Howard County Public Schools for the district-level award. Both Northwest and Howard County Public Schools received the national award. A total of 81 schools, school districts, colleges and universities received a 2015 national award.
To be considered for the award, Parks staff had to complete and submit a lengthy application that documented how the school performed in three award areas of consideration: reducing environmental impacts and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, civic skills and green career pathways.
Parks’ science teacher, Deanna Wheeler, coordinated the application for the school. Applications for U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools were evaluated by a committee comprised of staff from state and national government agencies, state and regional environmental agencies, and private businesses.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the U.S. Department of Education has coordinated the GRS program, and Maryland schools have received national honors annually. A complete listing of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School award recipients is posted at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/awards.html.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.