Redwood High School in Redwood City, California, has been recognized as a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School for its commitment to sustainability and wellness.
The California Department of Education nominated the school as part of the Sequoia Union High School District.
Bellarmine College Preparatory, a private Jesuit school in San Jose, also received the honor along with elementary schools in San Diego County and Orange County.
Redwood High School stands out for its energy-efficient structures, solar power, efficient appliances, and eco-friendly landscapes, including bioswales and a large organic garden. These features contribute to an educational environment centered on sustainability.
Redwood High School also emphasizes equity and emotional resilience, providing restorative approaches and counseling services to support students. The curriculum highlights environmental education through various programs, such as the Redwood Environmental Academy of Leadership, Career Technical Education classes, and hands-on projects focused on sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Principal Stephanie Ogden expressed gratitude for the recognition. She thanked Superintendent Crystal Leach, the Sequoia Union High School District Board, and the San Mateo County Office of Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiatives (ELSI) for their support. She also acknowledged the community members who volunteered their time to help create a sustainable outdoor educational space.
Leach highlighted the district's pride in integrating education and sustainability and praised the passion of students and staff for the environment. She also recognized the community partnerships that have facilitated using energy-efficient standards to enhance the learning experience for students.
Redwood High School is among 26 schools, 11 districts, and four postsecondary institutions nationwide, receiving the Green Ribbon School award for their efforts to reduce environmental impact, improve health and wellness, and provide effective sustainability education.
The award recipients, who will be invited to a ceremony in Washington, D.C., to celebrate, were also lauded by California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who said they "exemplify leading-edge models for improved indoor air quality, outdoor classrooms, and whole-school environmental education."