FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and
Board President Gary Lym (510) 337-7187
School honored for recycling, gardening, sustainability,
and curriculum achievements
Alameda, Calif. — March 3, 2017 — The Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), a public magnet and early college high school in Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), received a prestigious Green Ribbon Award from the California Department of Education today.
The Green Ribbon Schools program honors schools, school districts, and institutes of higher education for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education. ASTI won a “silver award” from the program this year.
The awards were given out at a news conference at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach this morning. Representatives of the other winning programs also attended the ceremony and spoke of their work. “These schools and districts serve as role models for their students in two important ways,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a press release. “First, they manage their own facilities wisely by saving energy, conserving water, and reducing their impact on the environment. Next, they provide innovative education programs that teach students about nature, the importance of clean air and water, and how to make good choices to preserve the environment for future generations.”
ASTI science and PE teacher Todd Higashi accepted the award on behalf of his school.
The State's Green Ribbon Program
Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate exemplary achievement in three categories or "pillars": reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and providing effective environmental education that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), civic skills, and green career pathways.
ASTI's Green Ribbon Achievements
ASTI’s 50-page application for the award detailed numerous achievements in these areas, including:
- Creating and maintaining a drip-irrigated organic school garden that serves as both a hands-on outdoor learning center and student retreat
- Replacing large swaths of blacktop with planter boxes
- Developing a fruit orchard and drought-tolerant living willow fedge
- Planning to develop a butterfly garden later this spring
- Integrating environmental topics such as climate change and social justice into classes such as English, History, Biology, and Spanish
- Opportunities to take environmentally themed elective classes at College of Alameda, such as Environmental Control Technology, The Financial Case for Clean Energy, Indoor Air Quality & Building Envelope, Native Plant ID & Culture, Global Climate Change, Sustainable Urban & Regional Planning, and Lighting Efficiency Technology
- Supporting an active Green Club that maintains the garden and volunteers with Ploughshares Nursery, the Golden Gate Audubon Society, and Community Action for Sustainable Alameda
- Maintaining a successful recycling and compost system
- Participating in energy efficiency and conservation efforts through both AUSD and the College of Alameda
- Encouraging a “no-bullying” culture that relies on restorative justice rather than punishment to help students learn non-confrontational ways of interacting
“I am honored and excited to see ASTI win this award,” said Principal Tracy Corbally. “This is the result of years of hard work, visionary thinking, and environmental commitment on the part of our students, staff, and families.” Principal Corbally especially expressed gratitude to Chantal Currid, an ASTI parent and member of the Alameda Green Schools Challenge steering committee, who prepared the lengthy and very detailed application for submission last fall.
The award is the third major recognition of green programs received by AUSD and its school sites in the last several years. In 2014, the district-wide Green Schools Challenge won a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association for its work on waste sorting, and Bay Farm School won a Green Ribbon award last year.
“ASTI’s emphasis on sustainability, school climate, and social justice is nothing short of awesome,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “I am so grateful to the work of the ASTI community and our partnership with the Peralta Community College District, which has allowed the school to make available courses and volunteer opportunities that help ASTI students grow as both learners and stewards of our environment.”
The California Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Award Program web page includes more details on the award program.
Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.