Soddy-Daisy's Ivy Academy was one of 64 schools in the nation and among two Tennessee schools to win a Green Ribbon School Award from the U.S. Department of Education this year.
The award honors schools for reducing their environmental impacts and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing education on sustainability and the environment.
The Tennessee Department of Education nominated Ivy for the Green Ribbon School Award.
Ivy is a public charter school that emphasizes the outdoors. Students spend time hiking, studying animal life and tracking plant and tree growth, among other environmental pursuits.
Outdoor gardens provide foods for school lunches and lessons on biology. And a greenhouse made of old plastic bottles provided an opportunity to recycle and bud new plants. Classes take several field trips each year to places like the Smoky Mountains and the Georgia coast.
"An impressive strength of Ivy's application is the fact that students spend 50 percent of their day outdoors ..." the selection committee's report states.
Ivy, opened in 2009, was one of Hamilton County's first charter schools. Ivy leaders will head to Washington, D.C., June 3 to celebrate the award.