Federal Education Officials to visit Minnesota as part of Annual Green Strides Best Practices Tour – 'Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students'

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U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken, Sue Swenson, deputy assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, and Joseph Walsh, deputy assistant secretary for state and local engagement, accompanied by state and local officials, will visit schools in Apple Valley, West St. Paul, and in the Prior Lake area in Minnesota Sept. 23-24 as part of the second annual Green Strides Best Practices Tour of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students is the theme of this year’s tour.

ducation Secretary Arne Duncan announced this year’s tour legs at an annual ceremony honoring 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School and District Sustainability Awardees. “Healthy, safe and sustainable facilities combined with wellness practices like outdoor physical activity, nutritious food, and hands-on environmental learning form a strong foundation for a quality education,” Secretary Duncan said, adding that U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are leading the way in incorporating best practices.

The tours will include visits to school buildings and grounds and conversations with students and teachers regarding environmental education and project-based learning, and discussions with key facilities and health personnel. The listening sessions in each state will allow practitioners and experts to share best practices. After beginning in West Virginia and Kentucky from Aug. 18 to Aug. 22, the tour then went to south Florida Sept. 4-5, Colorado Sept. 16-17 and will conclude on Oct. 8 in Maryland.

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees are recognized for reducing their environmental impact, including energy use, waste and water; creating healthy learning environments and fostering wellness practices; and providing effective environmental education that prepares students to succeed in the 21st century. View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 57 honorees. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.

An agenda of tour sites and participants follows: