• Sustainable Jersey for Schools Launches on October 28

     By Donna Drewes, Co-Director, Sustainable Jersey and Heather McCall, Program Director, Sustainable Jersey for Schools

    On October 28, Sustainable Jersey and eight educational partners will launch a groundbreaking certification Sustainable Jersey program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time. The program, “Sustainable Jersey for Schools,” provides tools, training and resources to support and reward schools as they pursue sustainability initiatives.

    The Sustainable Jersey for Schools program partners include: New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey.

    The official launch of the program will take place at the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) Workshop 2014 Conference on October 28, 2014. Workshop 2014 will feature several sessions on the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. The training offered at Workshop will introduce participants to the certification process by role, and will include separate sessions for board leadership, business administrators, facilities and grounds management and superintendents and supervisors.

    Based on the highly successful Sustainable Jersey certification program for municipalities (74% of New Jersey municipalities are participating), Sustainable Jersey for Schools promotes a comprehensive and results oriented approach to sustainability for schools. The certification application is based on a selection of 87 actions in 17 categories. Participating schools will earn points for certain actions, such as performing energy audits, integrating sustainability into learning and boosting recycling efforts. The program will help schools improve efficiency, cut waste and contribute to students’ education in the key areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, often referred to as STEM education.

    Forward thinking schools in New Jersey have already begun to move in this direction.  For example, since 2007, when the Galloway Township Public School District started tracking and implementing energy management programs, it has had energy savings of over $4.5 million. The energy reduction impact is equivalent to over 1,800 passenger cars not driving for one year. These savings are significant for a school district and can free up much needed money for the classroom.

    Sustainable Jersey for Schools will have booths in two locations at Workshop 2014 where staff will be available to answer questions.  Look for program staff in the NJSBA Services Area as well as in the iSTEM & Green Command Center. If you have questions about the program, please contact schools@sustainablejersey.com.


    Sustainable Jersey for Schools Getting Started Sessions at Workshop 2014

    ·         Sustainable Jersey: Board Leadership’s Role in Achieving Certification

    Tuesday 10/28/14, 11:00-12:00 p.m., Room 410

    Thursday 10/30/14, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Room 410

    • Sustainable Jersey: Superintendent’s and Principal’s Role in Achieving Certification

    Wednesday 10/29/14, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Room 410

    ·         Sustainable Jersey: Facilities & Grounds Management’s Role in Achieving Certification

    Wednesday, October 29, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m., Room 410

    ·         Sustainable Jersey for Schools: Account Set-Up

    Wednesday, October 29, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m., iSTEM & Green Command Center

    ·         Sustainable Jersey: Business Administrator’s in Achieving Certification

    Wednesday October 29, 3:00 - 4:00p.m., Room 420