U.S. Department of Education & EPA Officials to Visit Schools in New York, New Jersey on Next Leg of ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practices Tour

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Senior officials from the U.S. Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will visit four ED-Green Ribbon Schools in New York and New Jersey on Tuesday, Aug. 13 to see and discuss ways that school facilities can enhance the conditions of learning.

ED-Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken, Senior Advisor for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Kenneth Bedell, and EPA Director of the Office of Children’s Health Protection Jacqueline Mosby will tour Hubert H. Humphrey PS 57 in New York and Bedwell Elementary School, Bernards High School, and The Willow School, in New Jersey. The visit to Bernards High School will also include a Best Practices Listening Session.

As they visit the schools, Falken, Bedell, and Mosby will be joined by state and local officials from both states. New Jersey officials confirmed to attend include: U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance; Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula; Assistant Commissioner of Education David F. Corso; Superintendent of Somerset Hills Schools Dr. Frances Wood; and Somerset Hills Executive Trustee Anthony Sblendorio.

The visits will include tours of school buildings and grounds, conversations with students and teachers regarding environmental education, health and sustainability, and discussions with key partners and energy management personnel. In addition, all state and district facilities personnel from the region are invited to attend the opening panel and listening session at Bernards High School. The listening session will allow facilities experts in the region to share best practices on school facilities and provide input to the Department.

This third leg of the Department’s Education Built to Last Facilities Best Practices Tour includes schools that exhibit best practices in school building and grounds design, construction, operations and management to support health, equity, educational outcomes, energy efficiency and cost savings in our nation’s public schools. The Department will also visit ED-Green Ribbon Schools in the Milwaukee, Wis., area Aug. 22-23 and on the West Coast the week of Sept. 16.

The tour began in mid-July with visits to several schools in rural Alabama. At the end of July, the tour team wound its way through the New England area, stopping at schools in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The ED-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, including STEM, green careers, and civics. A report with highlights on the 78 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here.