All nine of Charlottesville City Schools received state recognition for exemplary efforts to increase the environmental awareness and stewardship of their students.  

CCS schools were among 72 state schools awarded this year by the Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program, the official environmental education school recognition program of Virginia. This award follows the school division’s 2016 federal Green Ribbon School designation.

“In Charlottesville, we are uniquely equipped to teach about the environment. Just outside our school doors are trails, outdoor classrooms, streams, and school gardens that allow out students to get authentic environmental learning experiences,” said Susan Ramsey, science coordinator for Charlottesville City Schools.

Charlottesville schools feature a number of outdoor and eco-friendly resources. This includes an outdoor classroom that borders a stream at Walker Upper Elementary, solar arrays at Charlottesville High School, and over 26,000 square feet of bountiful schoolyard gardens in partnership with City Schoolyard Garden. These and other resources allow teachers to cultivate environmental awareness among their students.

Administered by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries with support from the Department of Education, and Department of Environmental Quality, the tiered recognition program encourages schools to continue their efforts annually by offering awards, recognitions, and workshops.

To be selected, schools must satisfy four criteria in the areas of administrative support, staff development/curriculum integration, resource conservation, and meaningful field experiences.