We did it! A 99-page application and a year and a half of sustainability practices, curricular infusion, and meaningful change to improve our community and our world later, Discovery Elementary School is a National Wildlife Federation Eco-Schools USA “Green Flag” recipient. A ceremony will be held at Discovery in the near future (details to follow) to accept the Green Flag from representatives of the educational program at the National Wildlife Federation.
The “Green Flag” is Eco-Schools USA’s top award. Seven Steps are evaluated each year, and points are accumulated to reach the award goal. A school is considered a permanent “Eco-School” once it has gained its fourth Green Flag, so earning our first Green Flag is both an achievement for Discovery, as a new school, and another way to mark the beginning of our journey. Every year, our Eco-Action team will work with various stakeholders to ensure we are making progress toward our goals, and every two years, the Green Flag must be reevaluated.
There are 17 audits that evaluate the sustainability of a school. An Eco-School must complete three of these (one of which must be along the Energy pathway within the Eco-Schools program) in order to be considered for a Green Flag. Discovery completed 16 of the 17 audits, which included students, teachers, parents, volunteers, community members, local partner organizations, and administrators both at Discovery and throughout Arlington Public Schools.
According to the NWF website, “NWF’s Eco-Schools USA combines effective “green” management of the school grounds, the facilities and the curriculum; truly providing students with a unique, research and application based learning experience. Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum.”
Our school has striven to serve as a model that combines powerful individualized pedagogy so that every single child can thrive, and ensuring our thriving children are also conscientious and positive environmental stewards of our school, our community, and our world.
You can visit our Eco-Action page here.
You can view the Discovery Energy Dashboard here.
You can view the Discovery Eco-Schools USA Dashboard here.