Update: SCHA Wins National Green Ribbon School Award
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy is one of four schools in Pennsylvania nominated for the U.S. Department of Education‘s Green Ribbon Schools award.
Update April 24, 2012:
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy found out Monday that it had been awarded the Green Ribbon School award. The school was honored along with 77 other schools from across the country for being the first-ever U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Green Ribbon Schools.
At a Washington, D.C. celebration, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the 78 schools given the award were chosen based on a spectrum of qualifications, including impact of environment on student achievement, cost reduction, student engagement, benefits to the community.
The selected schools were a "win, win, win, win in every category," Duncan said.
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy has been nominated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to compete for the U.S. Department of Education’s newly established Green Ribbon Schools Award. The school is one of four schools in the state selected from a pool of 47 public and private schools that applied.
SCH Academy is the only school from Philadelphia County and the only private school in the state to be nominated.
“Springside Chestnut Hill Academy has demonstrated remarkable achievements in working to reduce energy consumption, increase cost-saving, and ensure that the students are environmentally literate,” said Ronald J. Tomalis, the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth, in the letter announcing the nomination.
As a nominee, the school was also named a 2012 “Pennsylvania Pathways School.” SCH Academy will receive a $3,000 award to further their work on achieving the goals set forth in the Green Ribbon Schools pillars:
- Reduced environmental impact and working towards net-zero impact
- Positive impact on the health and performance of students and staff; and
- Graduates are environmentally and sustainability literate.
The USDOE’s Green Ribbon Schools Award is a federal initiative recognizing schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
The application to the Commonwealth included an exhaustive list of accomplishments documenting the school’s powerful and long-standing commitment to green initiatives, including daily composting, weekly recycling, paperless communication, solar energy, and environmental education using the adjacent Wissahickon watershed.
“Our nomination for the Green Ribbon Schools Award is a noteworthy affirmation of our powerful green footprints as an institution dedicated to sustainability,” said SCH Academy President Dr. Priscilla Sands. “From our environmental education program that begins with our youngest students, to our fully engaged community of faculty, students, and parents who continually strive to make our school as green as it can be, to our rooftop solar arrays, rainwater recycling, composting system, and more, SCH Academy truly lives ‘green’ every day.”
“I am tremendously indebted to our science faculty for their initiative to undertake the application for this award; it was truly a labor of love to complete the many components required for our submission,” added Sands.
The honor coincides with the completion of a second solar installation at SCH Academy. Five separate solar panel fields are now in place on the roofs of the Upper and Middle Schools on the Cherokee campus, bringing the total size of the SCH Academy solar panel system to 232 Kw! This installation is one and a half times the size of the existing array on the roof of the Vare Field House installed in 2009. It has been accomplished at no cost to SCH Academy due to creative financing with business and educational partners.