Green Ribbon School
The School of Engineering and Arts (SEA) was named a 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School award honoree, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Schools who earn this recognition demonstrate significant achievement in the three Pillars of the Green Ribbon Schools Award: reducing environmental impact, improving health and wellness, and providing effective environmental education.
Across the country, 39 schools, 11 districts, and five post secondary institutions were honored for innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. Since 2012, Minnesota awardees have included 22 schools, two school districts, and four colleges.
SEA was nominated for the award by the Minnesota Department of Education. “Now more than ever, I am inspired by the innovation and creativity of our school communities,” said Mary Cathryn Ricker, Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner. “Congratulations to Robbinsdale School of Engineering and Arts on this prestigious recognition. Thank you for your important efforts toward a better, more sustainable future for Minnesota and the world,” she continued.
Staff have worked to reestablish native plants, orchards and gardens and does not use irrigation. Seventy-five percent of the property is devoted to ecologically beneficial use. Additionally, SEA and District 281 staff have worked collaboratively to reduce water consumption and solid waste, with a diversion rate of 56%. Teachers are frequently found outdoors, teaching required core content in math, language arts, music, art, physical education and science combined with outdoor experiences. The students tend to chickens, butterfly gardens, a pumpkin patch, a fruit orchard, a vegetable garden and the school forest.
“We are honored to receive the distinction as a National Green Ribbon School. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication from our teachers, staff, students, parents and community volunteers,” said Heather Hanson, Ed.D., Principal of SEA.