As far back as 2009, when Jefferson Elementary School students formed a “SAVE THE PLANET” message on the beach, the Carlsbad school has focused on environmental issues. Photo via

Jefferson Elementary School in Carlsbad was among the honorees named Wednesday by the California Department of Education as a state Green Ribbon School for its efforts to reduce environmental impact and boost sustainability.

The campus, part of the Carlsbad Unified School District, was among 19 schools, eight districts and six private institutions across the state included in California’s Green Ribbon Schools accolade list.

Other San Diego county campuses and districts included in the California Green Ribbon School Awardees list were:

  • Francis Parker School of San Diego, private school (Gold).
  • St. Martin of Tours Academy of La Mesa, private school (Gold).
  • And the San Diego Unified School District (Silver).

In order to receive the distinction, campuses or districts must display “innovative efforts” toward addressing the U.S. Department of Education’s three pillars: reducing environmental impact and utility costs, improving health and wellness and ensuring effective sustainability education.

Jefferson won the gold award, the only public school in the county honored on Earth Day 2020.

“Congratulations to the honorees,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “California Green Ribbon Schools expertly use local approached to tackle global issues such as sustainability and environmental literacy. Students are not only learning and practicing environmental stewardship, but also sharing those sustainable practices with their families and in their communities.”

— City News Service

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