Teachers from throughout the 5-County Region will conduct a comprehensive analysis of their school’s sustainability work and complete a comprehensive application for the CA Green Ribbon School Award. Teachers will meet as a cohort to learn about the pillars (see below) and how to conduct a comprehensive analysis, as well as plan, to meet each element in each pillar (as required by the Green Ribbon School Award application).

Primary Learning Outcomes and/or Course Requirements:

  1. Teachers will become familiar with the CA Green Ribbon School Pillars and consider ways to change the school culture of their current site. Resources can be found here.
    • Pillar I: Reduce environmental impact and costs
      • Element 1A: Energy
      • Element 1B: Water and Grounds
      • Element 1C: Waste
      • Element 1D: Alternative Transportation
    • Pillar II: Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff
      • Element 2A: Environmental Health
      • Element 2B: Nutrition and Fitness
    • Pillar III: Provide effective environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways
      • Element 3A: Interdisciplinary Learning
      • Element 3B: STEM Content, Knowledge, and Skills
      • Element 3C: Civic Knowledge and Skills
  2. Teachers will research and consider ways that their school may operate in a more sustainable way.
  3. Teachers will research and consider ways to provide student access to curriculum at their school site that explores the environmental challenges that we face locally, state-wide, nationally, and globally.
  4. Teachers will explore ways to provide students at their school site with authentic environmental literacy experiences.

Evaluation Criteria for Credit

In order to receive credit for the course, teachers must attend all 4 workshops, complete, and submit a CA Green Ribbon School Award application to CDE in November 2021. The full award application will include a comprehensive summary of achievements for the school with regards to sustainability and a comprehensive analysis of how their school meets each pillar and element within each pillar. Participants must provide the instructor with their copy of their fully completed application in order to earn units. Here is a sample application from 2019.


1 PD Unit
Course Dates:
Feb 10, 2021, Network Meeting
Mar 3, 2021, 3-4:30pm
Apr 20, 2021, 3-4:30pm
May 11, 2021, 3-4:30pm
Aug 24, 2021, 3-4:30pm
In addition, teachers will be meeting with their school site team and completing independent work.
End Date:
November 2021
Workshop Contact:
Dean Reese
SJCOE: STEM Programs
We recommend that participants seek approval for salary advancement from appropriate district officials before purchasing professional development units.