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Green Ribbon Schools

Green Ribbon Schools is a U.S Department of Education recognition program for K-12 schools that have made significant progress in:

  • reducing their environmental impact

  • improving student and staff health

  • providing effective environmental education

This recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of 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.

Green Ribbon status has elevated our staff to seek professional development. 


Marjorie Drucker

Instructional Integration Leader 

Barnard Environmental Magnet School, New Haven

How to Become a Green Ribbon School:

Connecticut can nominate up to four Green LEAF schools and one district yearly for the Green Ribbon Schools award.

We are excited to share this information provided by the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School initiative. CT Green LEAF Schools is the designated state education authority for Green Ribbon School nominations. As such, and in order to be nominated for national Green Ribbon recognition, all CT Green LEAF Schools are required to submit their applications to us for review and nomination.

This year, the first draft of your application is due by January 10, 2022. Please send a copy of your application as an attachment to At this time, please also arrange for Green LEAF Advisory Council members to visit your school or schedule a Zoom meeting in January. During this one hour meeting, we would like to meet with representatives of your school’s Green LEAF Team to review your application, share the steps towards improvement that your school has made (using your completed self-assessment as a guiding tool), and identify areas that you may still need to work on. Your final application is due by February 1, 2022. We will notify you in early March if your school has been nominated for national Green Ribbon recognition.

Green Ribbon applications are scored based on demonstration of schoolwide/ school culture impact within each of the three pillars: 

  1. Reduced Environmental Impact and Costs;

  2. Improving Health and Wellness;

  3. Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education.

Please see the Sample Pillar and Element Checklist and Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) Pillars and Elements for a thorough explanation of this.

Connecticut’s nominees to Green Ribbon Schools program will be recognized at the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Conference, typically held in March.

Green Ribbon Awards will be announced by the US Department of Education on Earth Day (April 22). Awardees are invited to attend the ceremony in Washington D.C., typically held in July.


We look forward to working with you during this Green Ribbon nomination process. Please feel free to contact us as you continue to complete your

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