U.S. Secretary of Education Names Mackintosh Academy Littleton 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School

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Small school with a big heart and deeply held conviction

children walking through park reflected in pond

Mackintosh Academy Littleton students clean up adopted park

Ours is a small school with a big heart and a deeply-held conviction that children, our next generation of environmentalists, will lead the way to a brighter future. Our students have sounded a clear call to action that the adults in our Mackintosh Academy community are excited to follow.

Mackintosh Academy in Littleton, Colorado is the first independent school in the state to be named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honoree. The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Mackintosh Academy Littleton is among only six nonpublic schools nationally to receive this award.

Mackintosh Academy Littleton was nominated by the Colorado Department of Education. The school’s environmental initiatives kicked into high gear in 2014, when six sixth grade students wrote and won a $96,000 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board to bring solar power to the campus. This made Mackintosh Littleton the first majority solar-powered school in Littleton. Since then, the independent school of 115 students, PreK – 8th grade, has fully embraced the challenges of the 21st century to take seriously the responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.

Mackintosh students of all ages design, participate in and lead environmental initiatives. Highlights include:

  • Building a terraced erosion control project modeled on ancient Incan farming practices
  • Creating “Messh Kits” – reusable plates and utensils to replace paper and plastic at community meals
  • Picking up trash and clearing invasive weeds from an adopted neighborhood park
  • Growing organic crops in a hydroponic greenhouse
  • Analyzing real-time and long-term data on energy generated from solar panels
  • Recycling over four tons of glass since 2017
  • Brainstorming new ways to use repurposed materials, such as creating lanyards from empty juice pouches

More information on the school’s accomplishments leading to this award can be found here.

Mackintosh Academy Head of School Diane Dunne is proud of the community’s achievement. “Ours is a small school with a big heart and a deeply-held conviction that children, our next generation of environmentalists, will lead the way to a brighter future. Our students have sounded a clear call to action that the adults in our Mackintosh Academy community are excited, and, in fact, compelled to follow,” she said.

Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 40 public schools, including two magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-five percent of the 2018 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 58 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

A Note on Our Name for Use in Your Communications
ED's award is called "U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools" and has "District Sustainability Award" and "Postsecondary Sustainability Award" categories, in addition to the original school award. It is abbreviated ED-GRS. "Green Ribbon Schools" without the "U.S. Department of Education" is not ED's award, but instead is a separate program overseen by another organization. A selected school is a "2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School." A selected district is a "2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee." A selected postsecondary institution is a “2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee. There is no "National," “Award,” or "Program" in the title. There is no apostrophe or hyphen after Education.

Colorado Department of Education
Anna Young, Grants Specialist: Young_A(at)cde.state.co.us; 303.866.6250

Mackintosh Academy Littleton
Kristi Espineira, Director of Advancement: kristi(at)mackintoshacademy.com; 303-794-6222 office/303-720-6795 mobile

About Mackintosh Academy Littleton:
Founded in 1977, Mackintosh Academy Littleton is an accredited, independent school serving gifted and creative learners in PreK through 8th grade. An International Baccalaureate World School, Mackintosh nurtures the unique genius in every student. Mackintosh's inquiry-based program embraces diverse learning styles and inspires keen minds to their fullest potential. Mackintosh students become leaders, innovators, change makers, and experts in their chosen field as well as contributing global citizens. Find out more at
http://www.mackintoshacademy.com/littleton. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Kristi Espineira
@MackLittleton
since: 09/2011
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