FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
CONTACT: ANAKAREN URENO
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATIONS LIAISON
(949) 497-7700 EXT. 5317
May 16, 2018
U.S. Secretary of Education names Top of the World Elementary School 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Top of the World Elementary School is among the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.
Top of the World Elementary School was nominated by the California Department of Education (CDE) for its focus on developing environmentally and socially conscious students by providing opportunities for them to make positive impacts locally and globally.
“We have a small window of opportunity to make a lasting impact on our students as they transition from elementary school to middle school,” said Top of the World Elementary School Principal Michael Conlon. “Being recognized as a 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School is a testament to the innovative practices at work on our campus that are effectively preparing our students for higher education and beyond,” he concluded.
Nestled in the hills of Laguna Beach, Top of the World Elementary school has three onsite gardens used as outdoor classroom spaces, an 18-foot geodesic dome greenhouse, and outdoor cooking stations. During the 2016-17 school year, students spent a combined 10,000 hours learning outdoors. The school uses digital devices and assigns many assignments online to save paper; PTA, principal, and district announcements are all sent digitally, reducing paper waste. Students also use the solar power generated from a solar array on the shed roof to power a blender and make smoothies and collect weather data for analysis through a school-wide WeatherBug system on building roofs.
“As educators, we share a responsibility to ensure that our students are prepared to face the challenges of an increasingly competitive and interconnected world,” said Laguna Beach Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jason Viloria. He continued, “Top of the World Elementary’s excellence in environmental and sustainability education is a result of not only our staff’s dedication but also the commitment and involvement of our parents and community members.”
Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six 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 25 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 40 public schools, including two magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-five percent of the 2018 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.
The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here.
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