Students work on promotional flier.
Sixth-graders at St. Martin of Tours Academy. Photo via St. Martin of Tours Academy

St. Martin of Tours Academy in La Mesa was named Friday a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School in recognition of efforts to reduce its impact on the environment.

Only four California schools made the national list of Green Ribbon Schools, and 27 nationwide. Five school districts and four postsecondary institutions nationally were also recognized.

The honors are presented to schools and institutions that work to reduce their environmental footprint, reduce utility costs and work toward “sustainable education.”

“This year’s U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees have raised the bar for sustainability, healthy and safe school environments, and hands-on learning experiences that connect students of all ages to the world around them,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “As we recover from a pandemic that highlighted the need to modernize school infrastructure, improve ventilation, and create versatile indoor and outdoor learning spaces, we have an opportunity to invest in sustainable practices that enhance student learning, health, and well-being.”

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said in a statement the honorees “maintained sustainable practices and environmental education through the unprecedented challenges created by the global pandemic.”

“Their flexibility and ingenuity helped them produce leading-edge models for improved indoor air quality, well-designed outdoor classrooms, and meaningful environmental education,” he said. “I also want to recognize that more than half of our award-winning sites are within some of the state’s highest-needed communities.”

The other schools honored in the state were Katella High School in Anaheim in Orange County, Altamont Creek Elementary School in Alameda County and Suisun Valley School in Solano County.

–City News Service