Three Omaha Public Schools Nominated to be National Green Ribbon Schools
We are immensely excited to report that three schools from the Omaha Public Schools were nominated by the Nebraska Department of Education to be Green Ribbon Schools. They are King Science & Technology Magnet Center, Lothrop Science and Technology Magnet Center, and Miller Park Elementary. All three are now eligible to be among the 50 schools that will be named as Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education on April 22.
This is the pilot year for the Green Ribbon Schools program, which rewards schools that meet criteria in three goals:
- The school facility (grounds and building) has a “net zero” environmental impact;
- The school environment has a “net positive” impact on the health and performance of students and staff members; and
- The school’s graduates are environmentally literate.
We have been working with the Omaha Public Schools on their Green Schools Initiative for almost three years now and couldn’t be more impressed with the great progress the district has made. We’re helping the district with initiatives that run the gamut of sustainability programs: energy efficiency and conservation, waste reduction, water, recycling, and engagement at all levels. A few examples of the district’s achievements:
- energy costs in 2011 were $730,000 below what the district paid in 2010
- the district-wide average ENERGY STAR rating has climbed ten points in the last twelve months
- there are now 20 buildings with ENERGY STAR ratings 75 or higher, up from seven just over a year ago
- over 85% of schools have active green teams
- district progress towards achieving many of its other goals can be seen on the OPS Tracker Tool
We are immensely familiar with each of the three OPS schools and are so proud they’ve been nominated. They have been leaders in the the OPS Green Schools Initiative and deserve every bit of recogntion they are receiving. Quick highlights from their Green Ribbon applications:
King has an excellent focus on science and the environmental through its magnet curriculum.
Lothrop has one of the district’s only cafeteria waste composting programs and is a two-time winner of the Green Omaha Coalition‘s Green Schools Award.