The Academy of International Studies was named today as a 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School for its commitment to sustainable practices.
“We commend your school for its leadership in facilities, health, and environmental education,” the U.S. DOE stated in its letter to AIS principal Christopher Roche. “Your school is representative of promising practices to improve achievement and equity, not only for aspiring green schools but for all schools.”
AIS was one of two magnets schools chosen nationwide; selected schools included 40 public schools including two magnet and two charter schools, and six nonpublic schools. Each state is permitted to nominate five pre-K-12 school or district nominations and one college or university.
“We are so proud of the efforts being made at AIS to be a ‘green’ school and teach our students about sustainability,” said Superintendent Dr. Sal Pascarella. “Since the school opened more than a decade ago, sustainability has been one of its top priorities, with the past and present leadership incorporating recycling efforts, gardening and other environmental commitments into the curriculum.”
AIS is a kindergarten through fifth-grade magnet school located on Danbury’s Westside and is open to all Danbury students as well as students from area towns through a lottery system. Opening its doors 12 years ago, the school has a theme of International and Global Studies with the school’s 400-plus students taught a foreign language beginning in kindergarten.
In 2014, AIS was selected by the Connecticut Association of Schools as “Elementary School of the Year.” The school has a mission of developing socially responsible global citizens who use technology to access the world. The school’s international studies theme centers on the concept of peace and the role of peacekeepers in the world. Students start the day reciting AIS Peace Pledge in both English and Spanish.
An award ceremony for all honorees will be held Sept. 19 at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.