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BOSTON – April 25, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Education today announced Boston Public Schools (BPS) as a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee. BPS is one of just 42 schools or districts in America to be selected.
"The challenges posed both by the pandemic and by climate change have driven home the importance of modernizing school facilities, embracing sustainability, prioritizing health and wellness, and improving learning conditions for students, especially in underserved communities," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "Our 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools have raised the bar for sustainable practices, energy efficiency, health and wellness, and hands-on learning experiences that enhance students' problem-solving skills and foster a sense of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility. I want to congratulate the educators, school leaders, students, families, and advocates engaged in this work for showing the nation that any school in any community can strive to be a green school, and in doing so, empower the next generation to build a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable nation."
BPS was nominated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The award acknowledges the district's commitment to and leadership in drinking water quality, indoor air quality, outdoor teaching and learning, zero waste, STEM and climate change education, and sustainable transportation.
"Boston Public Schools is honored to be recognized for our achievements and work towards building a green future," said  Superintendent Mary Skipper. "Being named a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee is a testament to the fantastic work that folks at BPS, the City of Boston, and the Commonwealth have done to ensure our young people have clean, healthy environments to learn and grow in."
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is a public engagement initiative for school sustainability that is structured as a federal recognition award. By highlighting schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and early learning centers’ cost-saving, health-promoting, and performance-enhancing sustainability practices, ED-GRS celebrates these institutions and uses their example to inspire other schools.
"We're proud to celebrate Boston Public Schools as a national leader in sustainability," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "As part of the Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools, we as a city are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to deliver urgent improvements to our school buildings as safe, healthy, green spaces for our young people to thrive." 
Across the country, 26 schools, 11 districts, and four postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 18 states. 
The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 41 honorees can be found here
"Today's announcement is a special recognition of all of the great work that has gone into modernizing and improving Boston Public Schools," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Jeri Robinson. "The School Committee looks forward to working in partnership with students, families, teachers, and the entire BPS community to keep working to improve and to continue to make BPS greener, work towards climate justice, and build a better future for our young people." 
Boston Public Schools was selected for this recognition based on its progress in the three pillars of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. The pillars are: 
  • Reduced Environmental Impact and Costs
  • Improved Health and Wellness
  • Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education
"We are so grateful and honored to be recognized for our years of sustainability work by such a prestigious and inspiring U.S. Department of Education initiative," said BPS Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Program Director Katherine Walsh. "Our commitment to climate justice and sustainability is not about 'the what' but rather 'the who' -- we must continue our collective efforts to make BPS schools healthier, greener, and more equitable for all students, staff, and families. We must support students as climate action leaders and back them with education, funding, and green jobs. Our work is not done."
The U.S. Department of Education plans to celebrate Boston Public Schools' accomplishments in August in Washington, D.C. during a recognition ceremony.
For more information about Boston Public Schools' commitment to improving school buildings and facilities, read about the Green New Deal for BPS at