U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees from Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education & Illinois Green Alliance Announced

Award Honors Schools, Districts, and Postsecondary Institutions for Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs, Improving Health and Wellness, Offering Effective Sustainability Education

On May 16th, the U.S. Department of Education released the names of the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Three schools and one university from Illinois are among the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS).

“Congratulations to the three Illinois 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees and one Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee!  The collaboration among teachers, students, and staff to address multiple facets of sustainability makes these schools leaders in creating sustainable and healthy places to learn for current and future generations,” said Liz Kuehn, Program Manager for the Illinois Green Alliance.

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.

Monroe Elementary, part of Community Consolidated School District 181 in Hinsdale, Wolcott School in Chicago, Southside Occupational Academy in Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) were nominated by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Board of Higher Education in collaboration with the Illinois Green Alliance. Learn more about each of the Illinois 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees here.

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. A report with highlights on the 58 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

A Note on the Award Name for Communications

ED’s award is called “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools” and has “District Sustainability Award” and “Postsecondary Sustainability Award” categories, in addition to the original school award. It is abbreviated ED-GRS.  “Green Ribbon Schools” without the “U.S. Department of Education” is not ED’s award, but instead is a separate program overseen by another organization. A selected school is a “2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.” A selected district is a “2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee.” A selected postsecondary institution is a “2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee.  There is no “National,” “Award,” or “Program” in the title.  There is no apostrophe or hyphen after Education.

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About Illinois Green Alliance

The Illinois Green Alliance is a membership directed non-profit organization working to transform the region’s built environment to become ecologically sustainable, profitable, and healthy. To do so, we engage community leaders and utilize member expertise in education and community outreach through targeted programs and initiatives focused around green homes, communities, schools and existing buildings. With hundreds of passionate members and volunteers who lend their time and expertise, Illinois Green provides nearly 75 educational programs, community engagement events, tours, and advocacy initiatives each year. For more information about the Illinois Green Alliance, visit

Media Contact:

Liz Kuehn
Program Manager, Illinois Green Alliance
312-245-8300 x204