First Girls Generation Robotics Competition and a sustainable nutrition theme every year
Caitlin Gabel School has made a commitment to becoming sustainable by educating its students to develop the wisdom, vision, and determination to create a sustainable society, modeling sustainable practices throughout the school building, and inspiring others to make the same commitment to sustainability. This school seeks to get the entire school and outside community involved in long-term, sustainable change. Caitlin Gabel was the first organization in its area to make the shift to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for buses, which made this school the first Platinum level participant in the Oregon Clean Diesel Initiative. This school also has established PLACE (Planning and Leadership Across City Environments), which is an urban leadership program open to all students in the area. Through this program, students come to understand how a city operates in areas including equity, infrastructure, disposal, and sustainability planning. It also has extensive robotics teams and hosted the first Girl’s Generation Robotics Competition. Through the Caitlin Gabels Service Corp, volunteerism begins in preschool. The garden is curricular focus of middle school classes in particular and there is a school-wide garden club. Each year, students have a nutrition theme woven into their curriculum. Nutrition services is headed by professional chef and features a daily salad bar, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The school does not sell soda, candy bars or bottled water. Middle school students in modern languages cook all year long according to cultural themes and the 7th grade December food festival is global in nature. The fifth grade sustainability curricular focus is Pitchfork to Plate, where students learn and experience how food works, from production to consumers. Caitlin Gabel students plant trees every year on earth day and the school purchases local paint, contracting services, lamb, produce, fruits, coffee and beef. The school has hosted Fulbright scholars from Japan who paid a visit to learn about sustainable development from an exemplary school.
Radnor Middle School, Wayne, PA
Only LEED Silver certified school with a green roof in the Delaware Valley
Radnor Middle School has earned the slogan, “the school with a heart in the heart of Wayne,” because of its dedication to students, community, and the environment. The only LEED Silver certified school in the Delaware Valley with a green roof, the school stands out as a leader in sustainability. In the community, the students have worked to set up two community-supported agriculture systems, along with a Seed to Snack program, and have helped the community recycle paper. They established a school-wide Big Local Organic Movement and a BLOM blog and tend a year-round vegetable garden, green house and NWF certified schoolyard habitat The Environment and Ecology curriculum is embedded throughout grades and the school’s watershed program has been internationally recognized and a blueprint for environment literacy. The school participates in PA Fish and Wildlife Trout in the Classroom. A “Green Touch Screen” in the lobby provides visitors with information on the school’s green features and no-idling signs outdoors protect student health. Radnor has made a significant reduction in energy use and waste production through green features, a focus on water use, and recycling. The school district supports environmental efforts through participation in a recycling program and transportation run on biodiesel.
Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School, Chambersburg, PA
Super Money Savers
Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School is an example of student leadership and strong community ties. With an emphasis on green space, the school has a garden, blue bird houses, and a community-use soccer field. Through conservation, Thaddeus Stevens has kept the equivalent of 404 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, and earned ENERGY STAR certification three years in a row. As a result of their strong efforts and willingness to accept environmental recommendations, the school has saved over $78,400 in 53 months. To protect student health, the building is monitored actively for air and drinking water quality, and the custodial staff use Green Seal Certified cleaning products. Winner of the Professional Recyclers Award of Pennsylvania in 2008, and with more than half of students walking to school, it is clear that the student culture has strong ties to environmental sustainability. Food service staff participates in choosemyplace.gov to provide nutrition and exercise information to students. The school is situated close to neighborhoods, and more than half of the students walk to school.
A.W. Beattie Career Center, Allison Park, PA
First LEED Gold Career and Technology Center in PA
The A.W. Beattie Career Center reduced energy usage by 7.6 percent, water consumption by 11.1 percent, and solid waste by 21 percent, even as it increased the size of its facilities. Additionally, 87 percent of the 43-acre campus is designated as open space, and includes a storm water control system. As a career center offering 16 different career fields, the school continually updates curriculum to provide students with skills that are applicable in the green economy. The definition and awareness of green jobs has been promoted actively. Each career path is paired with projects and curricula in environmental stewardship, health, and sustainability. Science students grow herbs and vegetable seedlings, supplying the culinary program and faculty members. Construction Technologies programs incorporate developed a green tour and a multimedia presentation available to community members.
The Beattie Restaurant serves homemade food three days a week. In Cosmetology, students study chemical usage and disposal; in Automotive, they study environmental impacts and regulations in Automotive. The Carpentry program designed a pavillion to be constructed at a local elementary school, the various bird and bat houses installed on campus and designed, constructed and donated an energy efficient model home to the Pennsylvania gaming commission. School-wide competencies include job readiness and green technology, and students must spend a minimum of 10 hours working on school LEED features each year in every program. The first LEED Gold certified career and technology center in Pennsylvania, the building is incorporated into academics, especially through the school’s Green Technology team.