Missouri Green Schools


Student Learning

2018 USED Green Ribbon Schools

Deadlines | About | Nominee Presentation Form | Nomination Form | Tips | Directions

Rubric | Submission | Ease of Accomplishment Matrix


2017/18 Deadlines (new as of 11/20*)

Intent to Nominate - November 30, 2017 - Send an email to weaverjc@missouri.edu with your school name, names of members of your green team (at least one in charge of each pillar) and your goals for the coming year. Intention to nominate is not required in order to submit a nomination, but it will be extremely challenging for you to submit a nomination December 31 if you have not already met these conditions.

Nominations due to Missouri Green Schools - December 31, 2017 - Send the completed Nominee Presentation Form (with District Superintendent and Principal Signatures) and the completed Nomination Form (including photos or video) as a DOCUMENT, not a pdf.

Nominations reviewed and scored - January 23, 2018 - Nominations will be sent to reviewers on or before January 2 along with score sheets. They will have three weeks to review and score the nominations.

Decision - January 31, 2018 - After scores are received, they will be collated, averaged and summed, and nominations will be ranked based on scores. For nominations with the same or very similar similar scores, the nominating committee will review the written summaries in order to make a decision about rank. The top schools and/or districts will be selected for nomination to the US ED GRS Program.

Submission to US ED - on or before February 28, 2018 - Between January 31 and the submission date, MEEA will work with the selected schools to ensure that all items are adequately detailed in the nomination and that the summaries reflect the most significant hilights of the school or district's effort.

* The US Department of Education extended its acceptance deadline which allows us to extend ours.



The U.S. Department of Education recognizes schools taking a comprehensive approach to greening their school. A comprehensive approach incorporates sustainability, health and learning.

Becoming a U.S. Department of Education (US ED) Green Ribbon School is a two-step process. The first step is to complete a nomination form to be selected as a nominee by the eligible nominating authority in your state, in this case the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MO-DESE).

If your school has addressed any of the following environmentally conscious actions, then your school may be a candidate for Missouri’s Green Ribbon Schools program!

  • improved its energy efficiency
  • reduced its water use
  • increased recycling
  • set up a Safe Routes to School program
  • serves healthy food in the cafeteria
  • provides health education in the curriculum
  • incorporates outdoor recreation in PE
  • teaches lessons about nature and sustainability
  • encourages teachers to get environmentally oriented professional development
  • partners with its community on sustainability issues

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be accepting nominations for this prestigious award from any public, private or charter Missouri school, pre K through 12th grade up to December 15, 2017

Once selected as a nominee by MO-DESE, the nomination form is sent to US ED which selects honorees from those presented by eligible nominating authorities nationwide.  Selection will be based on documentation of the applicant's high achievement in all three of the ED-GRS Pillars:

  • Pillar I: Reduce environmental impact and costs (Sustainability).
  • Pillar II: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff (Health).
  • Pillar III: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways (Learning).

Schools demonstrating progress in all three Pillars will receive highest rankings and stand the best chance of being nominated for national recognition. However, all schools that submit will be recognized at the state level.

Up to five schools can be nominated from a state.

Public, charter and private preK-12 schools can submit nominations.

Schools that have previously received recognition are not eligible.


Nominee Presentation Form

To submit a nomination, a school needs to fill out this document and obtain signatures from the school principal and their district superintendent. It should be saved as a document and returned by email to Jan Weaver at weaverjc@missouri.edu. This needs to be submitted at the same time as the Nomination Form

2015-2018 Nominee Presentation Form


Nomination Form
(this is different from the Nominee Presentation Form)

The 2018 Nomination Form is a word document with boxes where you can fill in the required information. We recommend that you save it in google docs or a similar format where members of your team (you will need a team!) can fill it in.

When it is completed, save it as a document with the name GRS2018-your school name, and return it by email to Jan Weaver at weaverjc@missouri.edu

2018 Nomination Form


Useful Tips

  • Do not be intimidated. The form is very comprehensive. Few if any schools will be able to answer every question. However, almost all schools will be able to answer 1/4 to 1/3 of the questions easily. If that is all your school can do at this time, set some goals for next year (which is one of the questions!). See the Ease of Accomplishment matrix for ideas of where to start.
  • Get buy-in. Make sure your principal and your superintendent are on board with your goal of submitting a nomination. If you are the principal, make sure your staff and superintendent are on board. Check out this article on the benefits of green schools for ways to make your case.
  • Enlist help. This is a long and complex document. You need a team of folks with different kinds of expertise to get it filled out. As soon as it is practical, contact your facilities management person, your landscaping person, your health services person, your custodial services person and your food services person, and your teaching staff and ask if they will fill in the parts of the form relating to their area of expertise while you are working on other parts.
  • Consider using Google Docs so everyone can work on the section in which they have expertise in a shared document
  • Try to work on something every week. There are nearly 60 questions/sections, so don't wait until the last minute to work on the form.
  • Engage your students. Perhaps they can interview other teachers about their "green" teaching, map the ecological areas in the school yard, or keep track of how many students per car are dropped off.
  • Register your intent to submit by November 30. To register, you need to send the name of your school, names of the people on your team and some goals you hope to accomplish in the coming year in an email to Jan Weaver weaverjc@missouri.edu This helps us determine how many reviewers to recruit.
  • Use the Directions! The directions have more detailed descriptions of what is expected for each question/section plus links to useful resources. (Currently, these are set up for the 2017 Nomination form, but the 2018 form is very similar so the directions will still be very helpful)
  • Contact Me (Jan Weaver). If you are stumped about what is expected, or how to get the information, send me an email at weaverjc@missouri.edu. I'll do my best to help you out.

(Please note, that because the form is a word document, some context specific terms are not recognized and underlined in red as misspellings, and other expressions are treated as ungrammatical and underlined in green. You can ignore these underlinings.)




The directions include some key advice, a list of the kinds of information you will need and step by step directions for each section.

Note these directions are for the 2017 nomination form, so there will be a few discrepancies between the items listed. However, they are still very, very, very useful.



Scoring Guide

There are four sections, a summary & cross-cutting questions, Pillar 1, Pillar 2 and Pillar 3. The summary and cross-cutting questions are worth 10%, and the other three sections are worth 30% each. Note: The only changes from the guide used in 2017 and the one that will be used in 2018 concern the summary statements at the end of each pillar. The new guidelines only score the top three accomplishements or practices you include from each pillar.





Send completed form as a document to Jan Weaver at weaverjc@missouri.edu by the December 15 deadline. Please do not send it as a pdf. There may be some post-submission editing required to meet the 20 page USED GRS requirements.



Ease of Accomplishment Matrix*

Yellow - probably already happening because of state or federal regulations, recommendations or obvious benefit

Blue - fairly easy to accomplish with minimal effort as perceptions of benefit tilt towards green practices

Green - stretch goals, but still doable over the long term

GRS Ease of Accomplishment Matrix

* some of these will be easier in rural districts than in urban districts and vice versa


Missouri Green Schools is a program of the Missouri Environmental Education Association

The Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is a national program recognizing schools that achieve in three areas, Sustainability, Health and Learning.

US ED Green Ribbon Schools

Missouri Green Schools