Radnor Middle School has been named a 2012 Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. It is one of 78 schools nationwide to receive the first-ever award. The distinction recognizes Radnor Middle School as one of America’s most successful schools in performance related to environmental impact, health and education.
“This honor is a testament to the commitment of the entire Radnor community to environmentally conscious living,” said Radnor Township School District superintendent Dr. Linda Grobman. “Without the community’s support and the dedicated work of teachers, students, parents and administrators, this incredible accomplishment would have not have been possible.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the winners at an April 23 news conference. He was joined by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.
“Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future,” Duncan said. “Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”
"Schools that take a green approach cut costs on their utility bills, foster healthy and productive classrooms, and prepare students to thrive in the 21st century economy," Sutley said. "These Green Ribbon School award winners are taking outstanding steps to educate tomorrow's environmental leaders, and demonstrating how sustainability and environmental awareness make sense for the health of our students and our country."
Representatives from Radnor Middle School will join officials from the other winning schools at a June ceremony in Washington, D.C. Among the list of winners are 66 public schools (including 8 charters) and 12 private schools in urban and rural communities. The other three schools nominated from Pennsylvania – A.W. Beattie Career Center, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School – were also named winners.
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is a federal recognition program that opened in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy.
Radnor Middle School was nominated for the award by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis and has already been named a 2012 Pennsylvania Pathways School as well as received a $3,000 award to further its work on achieving the goals set forth in the Green Ribbon Schools pillars.
More on Radnor Middle School
Radnor Middle School was built in 2007 with the latest technologies for lowering energy and operating costs, while improving air quality. The school was certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver building by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2011. As the school was built, more than 80% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled. Recycled materials were used in the carpets, ceiling tiles, counters and tack boards. The floor in the lobby also contains recycled glass aggregate.
Currently, waterless urinals and low flow faucets save thousands of gallons of water during the school year. Plants on the green roof produce oxygen, reduce water runoff and lower the building’s temperature. Sustainability is woven into the school’s curriculum as well. A “virtual classroom” allows global collaboration and students to go on field trips without fuel. This year alone, students have participated in community stream bank restoration projects, taken part in the Rose Tree Media Hawk Watch count, and hatched native brook trout through Pennsylvania Fish and Wildlife’s Trout in the Classroom program. The school’s 7th-grade Watershed Program has been studying a local watershed through a combination of classroom activities and site visits. Students gather, retain, interrelate, apply and communicate first-hand information about watersheds with special emphasis on what it means to lead a sustainable life.
For more on Radnor Township School District, visit www.rtsd.org. For more on the Green Ribbon Schools program, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.