Healthy Schools Recognition Program


While we realize that making our schools healthier is its own reward, we also know that it’s important to recognize and celebrate all of the schools and school districts that take positive — and frequently difficult actions — toward improving the well-being of students and teachers. That’s why we created the annual Healthy School Recognition Program.

Our Goal

To recognize and celebrate public and private schools across Pennsylvania that have taken strides to create a Green and Healthy Learning environment for their school community. This program will help schools begin the process of achieving recognition in the PA Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools 


Open to all public and private K-12 schools and school districts in western and central Pennsylvania.


Open to all public and private K-12 schools and school districts in western and central Pennsylvania.

Everyone partaking in one or more of the activities listed on the Healthy Schools PA Report Card will be distinguished as a participant. Download and print the Report Card, or contact us to request a printed copyA student version of the Report Card is now available. Completion of the student workbook will add 10 additional points to an applicant’s submission.

There are also three levels of honors recognition beyond participation:

  • Emerging School
    Schools who have begun to take steps towards becoming a Healthy School by participating in the checklist.
  • Honor Roll
    Completion of at least 15 activities listed on the report card
  • High Honor Roll
    Completion of at least 30 activities listed on report card
  • Highest Honor Roll
    Completion of at least 75 activities listed on report card

Areas of Focus

The Healthy Schools Recognition Program uses the ‘Whole-School Sustainability Framework’, an approach that highlights the three essential aspects of school sustainability: Physical Place, Educational Program, and Organizational Culture. We’ve further broken down that framework to be reflected in these 6 areas:

  • School Sustainability (containing six subcategories of Air, Water, Energy, Waste, Transportation, and Health and Wellness)
  • School Grounds
  • Community Engagement
  • Curriculum Integration
  • Administration (containing four subcategories)

Healthy Schools Checklist ( Will Add Graphics of Check list here)

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“The checklist gave us benchmarks to reach, which was really helpful!”
Dr. Rick Walsh, Principal, Wexford ElementaryMay 2017
“The checklist has given us ideas of other initiatives we can start, like a rain garden. That’s on our list for next year!”
Alison Bresnahan, Science Teacher/Environmental Club, Kiski Area High SchoolMay 2017

Schools must be ready to show that the activity has been completed prior to the deadline.

Every school will receive a Healthy School Recognition Program certificate of participation and decal to display in their school. Healthy Schools PA will keep a record of every school’s report card, so that each year the school may work toward completion of additional activities and perhaps reach a higher designation.

The application needs to include a cover sheet signed by the principal, the completed report card, a summary of the Green and Healthy School activities (not to exceed four pages) and photo files. These photos will be used for public relations purposes in various media for the Healthy Schools Recognition Program.