The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced April 22 that Scarsdale Middle School (SMS) has earned the prestigious Green Ribbon Schools designation.
The Green Ribbon award recognizes schools and districts that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff, and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.
“The great thing about Scarsdale Middle School is that our focus on sustainability and innovative practices are part of everything that we do,” Scarsdale Middle School Principal Meghan Troy said in a press release. “We’re proud to say sustainability is an intrinsic part of the culture here.” She thanked SMS teachers Elyse Tenzer and Cara Forray for spearheading and documenting the district’s focus on environmental education.
In March, the New York State Department of Education awarded the Middle School a Green Ribbon designation, which automatically qualified it for federal recognition.
The school was recognized for allowing its students and teachers to lead in developing innovative practices in energy production, conservation, lifestyle modification, food production and building technology.
Teachers at the school have been encouraged to use fewer resources and consider the use of those resources in curriculum. Students have also been growing their own food in both conventional and unconventional ways and have created an active composting program.
Besides developing space for seasonal growing and harvesting, students have also learned to prepare ingredients for cooking and donate unused food.
“At the Scarsdale schools, our mission is to develop a generation of young people who are self-reliant, lifelong learners who can reach beyond themselves. We endeavor to sponsor each student’s development as effective and independent contributors to society and who recognize their rights and responsibilities as global citizens,” said Scarsdale Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hagerman. “All of our faculty, particularly at the middle school, take great pride in educating students who care deeply about sustainability and the environment and who understand the impact their actions have on the world around them.”
SMS is among 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts and five postsecondary institutions across the country designated by the U.S. DOE as Green Ribbon Schools for their efforts in reducing their environmental impact and ensuring effective sustainability education.
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 20 states.
“As a school community we have reduced the amount of waste we generate and the energy we consume,” said Scarsdale Board of Education President Pamela Fuehrer. “We take great pride in the Green Ribbon designation and recognize this is only the beginning of our journey towards even greater sustainability and environmental stewardship.”