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Certify Your School

Since 2005, the Red Ribbon Certified Schools initiative has celebrated effective efforts in the prevention of substance use among students. It serves as an assessment and recognition tool that highlights the efforts of schools who work in collaboration with youth, parents, educators, and the community.

All K-12 schools nationwide are eligible for Red Ribbon certification.  New applications are accepted from September, 1st to December, 31st each year.    All schools, except for those located within the state of Florida, pay a $150.00 application fee.   A grant from the Florida Department of Children and Families supports a pilot effort in that state.   Applications must be submitted by April, 15th. An application form is available for interested schools to download so that they may view the certification categories and questions. The first step in applying is to attend the introductory webinar, which is held on the first Thursday of each month from September to December. We encourage you to check back on this site often as we highlight events and schools related to Red Ribbon.


Why Red Ribbon Certification is important to a school:

  • Certification separates your school from others in your area.
  • It emphasizes parent engagement and the importance of families involved in the education and healthy development of their children.
  • It emphasizes the importance of reducing social problems to increase student resilience and academic achievement.
  • It sustains pride and growing commitment through the ownership of good results.
  • It assists in teacher retention because teachers want to work in a school and in a community dedicated to improving the lives of everyone.


The Certification Process:

The Red Ribbon schools application process encourages schools to work as a team.  Schools must put together a team that consists of the Principal, a teacher, a student, a parent and a counselor/liaison to complete the application.   The certification application assesses schools in four areas that promote healthy schools and the development of children:

  1. Healthy school environment
  2. Use of best practices in education
  3. Parent Involvement
  4. Year-round Red Ribbon activities

The process is usually led by the school’s prevention or guidance counselor.  However, community based organizations and coalitions can also lead the process for a partner school.  New applicants are accepted from September, 1st  to December 31st each year.  Applications must be submitted by April, 15th. Here’s the process to get started:

  • Attend the monthly introductory webinar
  • Request a login ID (and pay application fee if applicable)
  • Assemble an application team
  • Submit the application
  • Applications are reviewed for certification

If you are interested in getting your school Red Ribbon Certified, attend our monthly introductory webinar. Click Here to register.

View the Red Ribbon Certified Schools Application.