School District 65 was recently awarded the Green School Award, a state recognition that made it eligible for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School awards program. The Green Schools award program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect student and staff health and wellness, and offer environmental education.

The District was recognized for its physical education program and its efforts to conserve energy. Students enjoy at least 120 minutes of physical education per week, including both formal PE classes and free-play recess time. At least 50 percent of the District’s PE classes are conducted outdoors whenever temperatures are above 40 degrees. Solar panels in three schools not only conserve energy but are also used for educational purposes. Students can go online and compare the energy generated by the solar panels at various times of the day.

The U.S. Department of Education will announce winners in April.