San Jacinto Unified’s Mountain View High honored as CA Green Ribbon School

Students work in the raised garden beds at Mountain View High School in San Jacinto. The school was named as a California Green Ribbon School on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22. Valley News/San Jacinto Unified School District photo

SAN JACINTO – On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction, announced that 25 schools and eight districts earned 2020 California Green Ribbon Schools awards, including San Jacinto Unified School District’s Mountain View High School.

The California Green Ribbon Schools Award uses the applications submitted for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program that reviews environmental excellence and demonstrated achievement under three categories known as pillars: Pillar I, reduce environmental impact and costs; Pillar II, improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff; and Pillar III, provide effective environmental education, which teaches many disciplines and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.

San Jacinto Unified School District’s Mountain View High School is now a California Green Ribbon School after being recognized by California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Earth Day. Valley News/San Jacinto Unified School District photo

Mountain View High School earned “silver level” achievement, which is an overall score of 65% to 74.9% of the three pillars from concrete achievement using quantitative measures, wherever possible.

“We are honored that the state of California is recognizing our school and San Jacinto USD for the commitment we all have to providing our students opportunities to live a more sustainable life,” Principal Ken Swanson said. “Our programs, policies and projects are in place to educate and involve our students and our community members so we can all make this world a better place.”

The campus’ flourishing aquaponics program began in 2014, with five classroom systems and the installation of a weather station, In 2016, the sustainable living science center came to life with the addition of two large outdoor aquaponics systems; solar, wind and bicycle power; raised-bed farming; a drought tolerant demonstration garden; and composting and worm farming.

Mountain View High School students show the weather station which was installed on the campus in 2014. Valley News/San Jacinto Unified School District photo

Riverside County Office of Education selected Mountain View High’s Aquaponics & Sustainable Living program as a 2017 Model of Academic Excellence and Innovation. California Department of Education awarded the campus as a 2018 Model Continuation High School.

For more information about the Green Ribbon Schools Award program, visit

Submitted by San Jacinto Unified School District.