California Casualty Sponsors Washington Green Ribbon Schools

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California Casualty gives $5,000 to the Washington State schools and districts named among the 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Learn more about the Washington Green Ribbon Schools program at http://www.k12.wa.us/EducationAwards/GreenRibbon/default.aspx.

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WA Green Ribbon Schools Plaque

How these Washington Green Ribbon Schools have addressed sustainability and other environmental issues is impressive.

California Casualty congratulates the Washington schools and school districts that have been recognized as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools this year. Recipients were selected for their successes in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness, and offering effective sustainability education.

As the Washington Green Ribbon Schools Sponsor, California Casualty is providing $1,000 to each designee to continue sustainability efforts or to help with travel expenses to the national honors ceremony this August in Washington, D.C.

Receiving this honor for their commitment to healthy, safe, and sustainable learning environments, the 2020 Washington Green Ribbon Schools Program recipients are:

  • Carl Sandburg Elementary/Discovery Community School (CSE/DCS), Kirkland, WA
  • Montessori Children’s House (MCH), Redmond, WA
  • Pullman Public Schools (PPS), Pullman, WA
  • Seattle Public Schools (SPS), Seattle, WA
  • Wahluke School District (WSD), Mattawa, WA

They are among 39 schools, 11 districts and five postsecondary institutions across the nation that achieved the honor.

Elizabeth Schmitz, Environmental and Sustainability Education Program Supervisor at the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, is also being recognized for her efforts to advance school sustainability.

To reach Green Ribbon School status, the districts and schools had to meet three key pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Reduce environmental impacts and costs
  • Pillar 2: Improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff
  • Pillar 3: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); civic skills and green career pathways

The comprehensive list of 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is available online at https://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/awards.html

The Carl Sandburg Elementary and Discovery Community School (CSE/DCS) cares about protecting the planet. Together they are one community where environmental stewardship has become a valued cultural norm for teachers, students, and the community.

The nomination package for Sandburg/DCS outlining all that they have done and continue to do to earn this honor is available at https://www.greenstrides.org/sites/default/files/webform/nomination-package-256.pdf

Montessori Children's House (MCH) provides a holistic educational experience. The
School’s mission is, “Nurture AND Nature: developing your child's individual passions and strengths because today's child is tomorrow's future.” The student green team was founded ten years ago and has worked to help the school community think about how seemingly small everyday choices have a broader impact.

The MCH nomination package with details surrounding their efforts is available at https://www.greenstrides.org/sites/default/files/webform/nomination-package-263.pdf

Pullman Public Schools (PPS) established a sustainability committee to support overall district operations and individual building goals to reduce environmental impacts, improve health and wellness, and enhance environmental and sustainability education. The foundation of this work involves partnering with community organizations with like-minded sustainability missions, to increase the breadth and depth of sustainability education for all 2,815 students in PPS. The committee consists of teachers from each of the district’s six schools, several administrators, and a high school student that is passionate about environmental conservation.

The nomination package with the information about the comprehensive plan PPS made to reduce energy consumption, improve performance, and implement sustainability efforts in the district is online at https://www.greenstrides.org/sites/default/files/webform/nomination-package-265.pdf

All schools at Seattle Public Schools (SPS) are encouraged to create green teams and become certified with Washington Green Schools. SPS has certified five schools per year on average for the last 10 years. Underpinning its work are the district’s resource conservation policies and guidelines, which are both aspirational and providing specific guidance in shaping resource conservation at SPS.

SPS prioritizes the advancement of student wellness and safety in order to pursue positive student outcomes and accomplishes Green goals through a comprehensive effort across interdisciplinary teams that have unique skill sets. The Green goals and mission of SPS are accomplished by district staff, students, parents, and volunteers, and through numerous partnerships with community organizations.

View the details surrounding their efforts at https://www.greenstrides.org/sites/default/files/webform/nomination-package-259.pdf

Many people across the Wahluke School District (WSD) are involved in helping achieve the district’s green goals. WSD goals are to provide fun, hands on, learning experiences for students; support teachers with professional development and access to cross-curricular learning activities for their classes; and become visible in, and communicate with, the larger community. WSD will continue to build partnerships with supporting organizations, apply for grants to support our projects, and reduce operating costs in the district.

The WSD nomination narrative is available at https://www.greenstrides.org/sites/default/files/webform/RevisedNominationPackage_WSD_3-23-2020.pdf

California Casualty Assistant Vice President, Brian Goodman, who attended the virtual presentations, said, “Our world is a fragile place. The sustainability efforts of Washington schools are impressive. We are honored to support this valuable program and congratulate all who have achieved this commendable status.”

About U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and Green Strides
Created in 2011, the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award encourages state education, health, and environment authorities, stakeholders, and school communities to consider matters of facilities, health and environment comprehensively, strengthening the critical collaborations that ensure all of our nation's schools are healthier, safer, and more sustainable.

In early 2013, the Green Strides website was added to connect all school communities with free, publicly-available resources such as webinars, case studies, promising practices and collaboration so that all schools can make progress across every Pillar of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award.

In 2015, to offer a more dynamic and user-friendly web portal, Green Strides was moved off of ed.gov through the generous assistance of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.

About California Casualty
Founded in 1914, California Casualty has been providing educators trusted auto and home insurance since 1951. As the endorsed benefit partner for NEA Member Benefits in Washington since 2001, California Casualty offers members exceptional rates, waived deductibles for vandalism or collisions to your vehicle parked at school, holiday or summer skip payment options and free Identity Defense protection. Learn how to save by getting a quote at http://www.calcas.com, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.

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Robin Freese
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