Two GUSD Schools Earn Federal and State Green Ribbon Awards

Clark Magnet High School has been selected as a 2020 U.S. Dept. of Education Green Ribbon School for its innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. Clark Magnet is one of only 39 schools in the country and four in the state of California to receive this recognition.
Additionally, Clark Magnet High School and Benjamin Franklin Magnet Elementary School have been named 2020 California Green Ribbon Schools by the California Dept. of Education. Franklin Magnet was awarded at the silver level and Clark Magnet was named a “Green Achiever,” the highest honor in the California Green Ribbon Schools Program. All California Green Achievers are submitted as candidates for the U.S. Dept. of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award. Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate exemplary achievement in three “pillars.” Pillar I: reduce environmental impact and costs; Pillar II: improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and Pillar III: provide effective environmental education that teaches many disciplines and is especially good at effectively incorporating science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, civic skills and green career pathways.
“Our Clark and Franklin Magnet students, teachers, families and community supporters have collaboratively developed a culture of sustainability and environmental stewardship on their campuses that inspires students and prepares them for 21st century careers,” said Glendale Unified Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian. “We are incredibly proud of both schools for their much-deserved recognitions.”
Clark Magnet High School focuses on STEM education. Teachers encourage students to solve real-world problems through a hands-on, project-based learning approach. Clark Magnet is a leader in teaching environmental science research and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), with an emphasis on connecting students to careers in green technology. Students have access to a number of Career and Technical Education courses, including Marine Science Research, Environmental GIS, and Geology of Disasters.
Benjamin Franklin Magnet Elementary School has a strong culture of environmental sustainability. Students and families have collaborated with school and district staff to implement multiple initiatives to reduce the school’s environmental footprint, including installing refillable water stations, creating share tables in the cafeteria, and maintaining drought tolerant landscape. In 2017, the parent-led Benjamin Franklin Elementary Foundation received a one-million dollar Urban Greening Grant from the California Natural Resources Agency to install drought tolerant landscaping on the campus. This year, Glendale Unified is piloting a program at Franklin to replace disposable plates and utensils with reusable cafeteria trays. This program was initiated by the Franklin PTA Green Lunchroom Committee and supported by a generous donation of a commercial dishwasher from Hobart.