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PWC Schools tapped for US Dept. of Education “Green Ribbon” environmental award

James Lane, Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced on Earth Day, April 22, that Prince William County Public Schools will receive the U.S. Department of Education’s 2021 Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Award—one of only five U.S.school districts to earn the award in 2021.

The federal Green Ribbon School program recognizes environmentally friendly schools and districts that promote environmental awareness, energy efficiency, community engagement and student wellness. The Virginia Department of Education nominated Prince William County for the honor earlier this year in recognition of the division’s sustainability initiative.

The Prince William County School Board approved the initiative in June 2020 and identified the following objectives:

• Establishing standards for net-zero buildings;
• Establishing standards for procurement, installation, and operation of solar power systems;
• Recommending a standard for high performance building design specifications;
• Determining the feasibility of replacing all fossil fuel buses with electric;
• Establishing a sustainability advisory committee;
• Participating with Prince William County in the creation of a countywide sustainability task force;
• Creating measurable standards for environmental literacy; and
• Increasing site-based participation in waste reduction.

In a news release Lane congratulated “Prince William County for its vision and commitment to embedding green practices and sustainability in all aspects of division operations.

He added, “An especially noteworthy aspect of the initiative is the promotion of environmental literacy by creating opportunities for students to acquire the attributes and skills known as the Five C’s: critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship.”

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