The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Mt. Lebanon High School is among the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.The high school is among only two schools in the state recognized with this award.
Mt. Lebanon High School was nominated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The nomination recognized Mt. Lebanon High School for a variety of green initiatives and accomplishments including:
• Developing a comprehensive recycling and composting program
• Establishing a locally sourced, healthy food program
• Supporting a student-led environmental club
• Implementing a school-energy savings program
• Prohibition of the use of pesticides on school grounds
In addition, the nomination highlighted the following programs and initiatives:
- Mt. Lebanon High School went through a thorough design/construction process starting in 2007 that led to a LEED focused design on school sustainability with elements of daylight views, increased levels of thermal and lighting control, reduced pollution, and increased outdoor air ventilation.
- The Mt. Lebanon School District takes energy consumption and conservation very seriously. For the five year period of 2011 - 2016, Mt. Lebanon High School saw a dramatic decrease in energy usage, both gas and electric. The science department has a student-led energy saving campaign in place to continue this focus campus wide.
- The high school implemented a composting program in the cafeteria. The food service department uses biodegradable plates, bowls and cups in place of styrofoam and plastic products to enable composting. The cafeteria also provides reusable trays, plates and bowls to reduce waste.
- At Mt. Lebanon High School, it is a graduation requirement that students take a full year of Environmental Geoscience or AP level Environmental Geoscience. Environmental education is integrated into all of the science curricula in multiple ways.
"We are very honored and excited to receive this prestigious recognition. It really is a tribute to the entire Mt. Lebanon community recognizing our commitment and investment to environmentally friendly educational programs within a newly renovated school that incorporates many "green" features, said Mt. Lebanon High School Principal Brian McFeeley. "We appreciate the PA and US Departments of Education's validation of the wonderful programs and features at Mt. Lebanon High School."
"The Healthy Schools PA Recognition Program was designed to assist schools in taking the preliminary steps to becoming a Green Ribbon School. As a result of Mt. Lebanon High School's participation in our program they achieved not only our highest level of achievement of High Honor Roll with Distinction, but truly showed their dedication to creating a green and healthy environment for their staff and students by receiving this honor from the US Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School," said Michele Buford, Women for a Healthy Environment. "We are proud to be a part of their journey in becoming a Green Ribbon School and congratulate their accomplishment."
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. 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.