The Northwest School has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2019 Green Ribbon School. 

The Northwest School is one of 35 schools, 14 districts, and four postsecondary institutions honored with the recognition, and one of four winners from the state of Washington.
As a school, we have always taken seriously the maxim that ‘all education is environmental education,’” says Head of School Mike McGill.
The aim of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) program is to use a small number of honorees each year to communicate practices and resources that all schools can employ.  Through Green Strides, a webpage housing tools to “green your school”, the DOE strives to connect all schools with the concepts the honorees employ in the three ‘Pillars’ of the award. 
The ED-GRS award recognizes schools that:
  1. reduce environmental impact and costs;
  2. improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  3. provide effective environmental and sustainability education
The DOE also publishes annual Highlights Reports detailing the honorees’ replicable practices and distributes a newsletter to share resources and practices in the areas of school facilities, health, and environment.   To bring further attention to the honorees and their practices, they conduct an annual Green Strides Tour.


The Northwest School website conveys the many ways environmental sustainability is woven through the school’s operational and institutional practices and curriculum, such as the 3,000-square-food and student-built Urban Farm and Garden, their comprehensive Health and Wellness Program, the Outdoor Program, the Dining Hall Program, and the endowment’s transfer to 100 percent environmental-, social-, and governance-screened investments.


We are committed, throughout our program and urban campus, to teaching and modeling sound, ecologically sensitive practices for our students and encouraging their proactive engagement in making the world more just and sustainable.

Mike McGill

Head of School, The Northwest School

Washington K-12 GreenSchools for 2020

Applications & details on Washington K-12 GrrenSchools for 2020 should be initiated through:

Elizabeth Schmitz
Environmental and Sustainability Education Program Supervisor
(360) 725-4976

Are sustainability, environmental leadership, and community health & wellness practices integrated with your school community?  
Write an article for WFIS News about the ways your students and staff are making a difference and send that to
Need more insight on the ED-GRS program before embarking on the process?
Read a thoughtful BLOG on some common myths about the GreenRibbon Schools and the article on Sustainability as a Mechanism for School Engagement.   Also, review the detailed application submissions by the 4 schools honored from WA State in 2019 HERE.  The applications are truly inspirational and educational!