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WASHINGTON Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Director Keith Moore announced Wednesday that the Circle of Nations/Wahpeton Indian Boarding School in Wahpeton, North Dakota and the Baca/Dlo' Ay Azhi Community School in Prewitt, New Mexico have been nominated to receive the US Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools award.
Green Ribbon Schools Award
“I am pleased to see the Bureau of Indian Education's schools meeting the challenging and competitive standards of the Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools pilot program, ”
“To be considered candidates for the Green Ribbon Schools award is an honor in itself and allows us to showcase how Bureau of Indian Education schools are creating healthier learning environments for our students. ”
The Green Ribbon Schools program was recently launched by the US Department of Education to recognize schools that save energy and reduce operating costs, create environmentally friendly learning spaces, promote student health, and provide environmental education to incorporate sustainability into their curricula. The recognition award is part of a larger US Department of Education and Bureau of Indian Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security. To date, 35 state agencies, which include the Bureau of Indian Education, have announced their participation. Each participating agency has its own unique application meeting the US Department of Education's program requirements.
The BIE worked with the Environmental Protection Agency regional offices to review and evaluate the applicants from its schools using a rubric and scoring method assessing the schools' activities in each of the Green Ribbon Schools pillar areas. From here, US Department of Education will be assessing all nominations and making a final selection for the awards. Winning schools will be invited by Secretary Duncan to visit Washintong, DC for the Green Ribbon Schools award ceremony in May 2012.
According to US Department of Education guidance, Green Ribbon Schools receiving the national award will have achieved or made considerable progress toward the three pillars established in the program:
The combined achievement in these three areas will be the basis for the Green Ribbon Schools award. All schools must 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.
The Circle of Nations school is one of the select few schools nationwide to achieve the Gold Award for the Let's Move! cornerstone component known as the Healthier US School Challenge.
The Challenge establishes rigorous criteria for schools' food quality, participation in meal programs, physical activity opportunities and nutrition education-the key components that make for healthy and active kids. Bureau of Indian Education Director Moore sent a memorandum out encouraging all BIE funded schools to apply for this challenge. The Gold level is a tremendous achievement. Also noteworthy of great achievement is the Baca/Dlo' Ay Azhi Community School, which has won a number of awards for its environmental and energy efficient buildings and overall approach to the environment within the school and community. The school was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified building in the entire State of New Mexico.
posted March 28, 2012 6:00 am edt
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