Highland ES Named Green Ribbon School

Highland ES Named Green Ribbon School by U.S. Department of Education
Posted on 04/22/2020
Student Garden

In time for Earth Day, Highland Elementary School has been named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. The award acknowledges Highland’s commitment to sustainable practices and its leadership in facilities, health, and environmental education. 

“Your school is representative of promising practices to improve achievement and equity, not only for aspiring green schools but for all schools,” according to the announcement by the DOE.

“As a school community, our mission is to be a united front in tackling our climate change - which in turn, as a school family truly supports our school motto of "Highland has Heart".  Our heart is to be a positive influence and show kindness in all that we do for each other and for our planet,” said Highland principal Elena Villani.

Among its green efforts, Highland Elementary opened two hydration stations to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles and instead encourages students to use refillable water bottles. The filling stations keep track of the thousands of bottles saved and have been such a hit on campus that children are opting for a water refill instead of juice.

The school also implemented a milk carton recycling program that allows students to dump extra milk from lunch, recycle the carton, and reduce waste. Environmental lessons have also been integrated into the classroom.

Highland Elementary is the third school in the School District of Palm Beach County to earn this prestigious award. Pine Jog Elementary and Gove Elementary have also earned the distinction.

Earlier this year, Highland was named a Green School of Excellence by FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, a longtime School District partner.

“The School District's Environmental & Conservation Services Department supports schools in going green, whether it be through maintaining healthy learning environments via indoor air quality or reducing our overall impact on the environment by conserving natural resources”, according to Lisa Toy, Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator for the School District.

Highland Elementary School will be presented its award at a ceremony in Washington D.C., tentatively set for August 2020.

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