Stoddert Elementary

Green Ribbon School

The first geothermal powered school in DC

Stoddert Elementary earned LEED Gold certification and was the first school in Washington to be heated and cooled using geothermal technology exclusively.  The geothermal system installed by the school resulted in a 70 percent reduction in energy use.  Stoddert has a community garden and two green roofs.  Both the school and its garden are used as teaching tools, with students planting, tending, and harvesting under the guidance of a garden science coordinator.  Fifth-grade students give tours of the school’s trees and energy conservation features to their pre-k “eco-buddies,” so that even the youngest students can identify the different elements that make the school green.  Parents report being more aware of their recycling habits because their children expect them to recycle with care.  The school implements a bicycle safety program sponsored by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.  All of the school’s cleaning products are certified green, and the custodial program is certified by ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard.  The school also was one of the first in the District to adopt the D.C. Healthy Schools Act protocols, making it one of the healthiest school sites in the city.  Stoddert regularly plays host to architects, designers, and builder visitors, as well as D.C. Parks and Recreation and U.S. Green Building Council partners, who help to teach students and staff about the green features of their school.

On June 4, 2012, 78 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools were announced during Earth Week and were recognized at a national ceremony in Washington, DC.  Secretary Arne Duncan joined EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and U.S Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin in congratulating the honorees for their exemplary practices.

The winning schools represented 29 states and the District of Columbia, whose recipients were Stoddert Elementary and the Sidwell Friends School. To learn more about this program, click here.