Calvert school system recognized for national green ribbon award

Washington, DC – Calvert County Public Schools is one of 14 school districts recognized for the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Award.

To qualify for the award, schools, districts, and higher education institutions need to meet three criteria – reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

CCPS is the only school district in Maryland with every school (preK-12) certified as Maryland Green Schools. The district’s Superintendent, Dr. Daniel D. Curry, stated that the award is “an amazing accomplishment that recognizes our district efforts in both the classroom and in managing our energy conversation,” in the CCPS press release. Dr. Curry went on to thank the county’s Science, Construction, and Maintenance Departments.

According to the program’s website, the award was started in 2011. The Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award came to fruition after “several score non-profits” gathered their influence and petitioned the government to “honor schools for their sustainable facilities, health practices, and effective environmental education.”

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsey DeVos, made the announcement on May 22 after Calvert’s application was looked over by state and national agencies, state and regional environmental organizations, and private businesses.

Dr. Karen Salmon, the State Superintendent of Schools, praised CCPS along with fellow award recipient from the state, Captain James E. Daly Elementary School, in the state’s press release. “The critical work of Captain James E. Daly Elementary School and the Calvert County Schools serves as a reminder that each of us can make an important difference in the future of our nation and our world.”

According to the CCPS press release, the school district began its environmental education “over 25 years ago.” Initially manifesting as a “single-grade-level program” that worked alongside the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) but has evolved since, partnering with CHESPAX and engaging “10,000 students annually.”

For more information on the award and recipients, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

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