Promoting Green and Sustainable Schools in Pennsylvania!


Pathways to Green Schools...
Every school in Pennsylvania can start on the path towards a more green and sustainable future.
Whether a school district is considering a renovation or construction project, reviewing operations and maintenance practices, planting a school garden, or updating curriculum-there is an opportunity to make our schools more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and healthier places of learning.

2014-15 Green Ribbon Schools Program

The Green Ribbon Schools Program was launched by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) to recognize schools and school districts that have achieved or have made considerable progress towards three pillars:  1) reduced environmental impact and energy efficiency; 2) positive impact on health and performance of students and staff; and 3) effective environmental and sustainability education.  For more information on the Green Ribbon Schools Program, visit the USDE’s website at:

Similar to last year, all public and private schools in Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for the Green Ribbon Schools Building Award.  This includes charter schools, career and technical centers, and those educational schools operated by intermediate units.  School districts in Pennsylvania with multiple buildings are eligible to apply for the Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award.

For an application to be considered, it must be downloaded, completed, and then submitted to PDE by 6:00PM on Monday, December 8, 2014.  Submittals to PDE must be made electronically to:  Submittals to PDE via other methods will not be accepted.

As the chief state school officer, Acting Secretary Dumaresq is permitted to nominate as many as five Pre-K-12 schools or district to the USDE. If more than two schools are nominated, one must be a public school with a 40 percent disadvantaged population. If there are five nominations, one must be a Private School. All schools and school districts must meet college-and-career-ready standards, be in compliance with federal civil rights laws, and comply with all federal, state, and local health and safety standards and regulations.  PDE will submit nominations to the USDE by January 31, 2015.  From those nominated by each state, the USDE will announce all awardees on April 22, 2015.

If there are any questions, please contact PDE’s Division of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction at 717.783.2642 or

I am interested in the School Building Application...

I am interested in the School District Application...

I am interested in the Colleges and Universities Application...

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IMGAbout us

This Pathways to Green Schools site is designed to provide school districts with helpful information in one location. It includes the latest information on state programs and grants available for your school, as well as best practices from districts around the state--where schools and communities are making investments that help conserve natural resources and reduce energy costs.

We believe that the entire educational experience should include green and sustainable practices. This includes the transportation to and from school, the buildings where our students learn, the energy being used in our schools, the food being served in our cafeterias, and the curriculum that is taught in the classrooms.

There are many ways that schools can become more green and sustainable, and each step forward is a step in the right direction.
We hope you will get started on the Path, and we look forward to hearing about your success.