Conference Presentations

Every year Sustainable Jersey for Schools holds or participates in conferences to share new and exciting sustainability initiatives and program activities.  Each conference below contains a description of the event.  In addition to Sustainable Jersey for Schools staff, outside experts are brought in to speak on a variety of topics. Use the links below to navigate to the different conference presentations.

2019 New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop

The following Sustainable Jersey for Schools related sessions were presented.

Declaring War on Waste: (presentation coming soonThis program provides an overview of the newly released NJDEP School Food Waste Guidelines and provides creative strategies for reducing cafeteria waste.

Learning from Energy ExemplarsThis session features case studies of schools utilizing Energy Tracking and Management to inform decision making about energy use and efficiency upgrades. Learn how to save money in school operations by focusing on energy. Programs that engage students, such as the PowerSave program, can not only promote energy conservation in the school, but students can bring their learning home to help community residents understand their energy use and take action to reduce their energy bills. Updates on NJCEP programs will be provided in this session.

Sustainability Champions: Learn from schools and districts in the forefront of sustainability.  This session highlights best practices and case studies from this year’s award winning districts and schools (Long Branch School District, Jackson Township School District, and Camden City Public Schools) participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program.

The Grass is Greener with GrantsSustainable Jersey for Schools has provided over $1.8 million in grants to participating schools for over 450 projects. Learn about the exciting projects being undertaken by schools and school districts and how your district can obtain funding for sustainability projects.

2019 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 14, 2019, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held at Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ. Our 10th Anniversary celebration drew over 650 change-makers from across New Jersey  who came together to advance sustainability strategies for New Jersey and local communities.  Breakout sessions related to schools are highlighted below.  A full listing of the Sustainability Sessions and speakers can be found here.

Cleaning the (Recycling) Stream: With the volatility in the recycling markets, it is more important than ever to clean the recycling stream. Education is a key element to a successful recycling program, and a major component of Sustainable Jersey’s Recycling and Waste Reduction Education and Compliance action. This session  provides information about some of the challenges currently faced in the recycling market, and resources available to help you analyze your waste and recycling data, such as through the Recycle Coach App. A case study of Burlington County’s Tip N Tag project will provide insight into how compliance and educational strategies can complement one another to clean the municipal recycling stream.

Improve Your Odds: A Grant Writing Workshop: Have you applied for a Sustainable Jersey grant but not yet received funding? Do you have a grant project in mind, but aren't sure how to craft a proposal that will be successful? This workshop provides guidance and insight into what makes a good proposal and how to leverage other sources of funding to maximize your project budget and resources.

Spotlight NJDEP: The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's reach is far and wide when it comes to sustainability issues. From natural resource protection, to sustainable business practices, to resiliency strategies, to food waste, NJDEP is leading the way. Learn about the agency's various programs and how they connect with the work you are doing on the ground.

Stop, Collaborate & Listen: Lessons in Capacity Building: Gone are the days when green teams were on their own to figure out how to navigate the great big sustainability world. With 80% of towns and 55% of public school districts participating in the Sustainable Jersey program, you have mentors and collaborators within reach. Those who have been successful within our program are eager to support their neighbors with strategies to navigate community politics, building support for your efforts, policy making, the Sustainable Jersey certification process, and more. This session highlights mentoring and collaborative examples from across the state.

The Kid's are Alright: Sustainable Practices in SchoolsOver half of NJ school districts are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program, proving every day that schools can serve as the breeding ground and example for the next generation of environmentalists. This session will highlight some of the innovative ways New Jersey schools are saving money, empowering students, and teaching for the future.

2018 New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop

The following Sustainable Jersey for Schools related sessions were presented.

Building Student Leaders in SustainabilityIt was Mahatma Gandhi who said "Be the change you wish to see in the world." The program directors of Eco-Schools USA and Sustainable Jersey for Schools highlight examples of students across New Jersey who are taking that saying to heart and leading sustainability efforts in their schools. Learn how your school district can provide structure and support to empower students to "be the change."  

Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency: It is well known that energy efficiency upgrades save energy and money; this session focused on the multiple benefits of energy-saving programs. Find out how planning for an Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) to finance efficiency upgrades can be leveraged to enable other related projects for improvements at the school. Learn how Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the PowerSave program promotes learning and energy savings behaviors for students, and hear how teachers and administrators are leading the way in achieving energy savings and improving schools through innovative efficiency efforts.

The Grass is Greener with GrantsSustainable Jersey for Schools has provided more than $1 million in small grants to participating schools. Learn about the exciting projects being undertaken by schools and school districts and how your district can obtain funding for sustainability projects in 17 category areas related to people, the planet and prosperity in your school.

Sustainability ChampionsLearn from schools and districts in the forefront of sustainability.  This session highlights best practices and case studies from this year’s award winning districts and schools participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program.

2017 New Jersey School Board Association Workshop

The following Sustainable Jersey for Schools related sessions were presented.

Behavioral Changes or Building Upgrades? Two Paths to Energy Efficiency in Your District: This session will focus on two different but often complementary approaches to saving energy and money in your schools. Come hear about the impressive results achieved through the PowerSave Schools program that demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral changes on energy savings in schools. Sustainable Jersey is working to turn the results of this program into a new action for schools. The session will also highlight the multitude of opportunities and financial incentives available for districts to make facilities upgrades that will reduce energy use over the long-term.

Speakers:

  • Tony O’Donnell, Economist, Sustainable Jersey
  • Ann Degnan, Facilities Manager – Long Branch Public Schools
  • Gary E. Finger, Ombudsman, Board of Public Utilities
  • Mike Thulen, ESIP Manager, Board of Public Utilities
  • Tracey Woods, Green Team member, Maplewood

Building a Culture to Help Students Succeed in School and Life: To succeed in school and life, students need to be given opportunities for developing strong social and emotional skills.   Research shows that students in schools with a positive culture and climate and that are focused on social and emotional learning, have fewer behavior problems and higher levels of academic achievement. Learn best practices for assessing your school environment and implementing strategies to help your students thrive – emotionally, socially, physically and academically – and develop the skills needed to be employable, successful and happy adults.  

 Speakers:

  • Renee Haider, Associate Director, Sustainable Jersey
  • Elizabeth Hansen Warner, United Way of Northern New Jersey

Dig In!  How Waste Audits Can Improve your Recycling RateIn order for a school facility to proceed with a waste reduction and recycling plan it must first identify materials that need to be reduced, recycled, re-purposed, or disposed of. A comprehensive waste audit establishes a baseline for all other waste management actions at both individual schools and school districts. Learn about the process of conducting a waste audit and how the results can be used to improve your school or school district’s recycling rate.

Speaker:

  • Samantha McGraw, Program Manager, Sustainable Jersey
  • Gary Conover, ACUA Solid Waste Director, Atlantic County Utilities Authority
  • Gina Oh, Biology and Environmental Studies Teacher, Cherry Hill High School East

Free Resources & Simple Steps Toward Safer Routes to School for Your Students: Walking and bicycling to school is a healthy start to the day when students arrive ready to learn.  Hear from schools that have made walking and bicycling to school a priority and received grant funding to make routes to school safer for their community.  Schools will share their secrets to success and inspire your school to hold walk to school days and bike rodeos, create policies and plans, and apply for grant funding.  Get the low down on free resources and technical assistance available to help you take simple steps toward safer routes for everyone.

Speakers:

  • Renee Haider, Associate Director, Sustainable Jersey
  • Trish Sanchez, Project Coordinator, NJ Safe Routes to School Resource Center 
  • Mark Krieger, Highland Park School Board Member

Funding Your Sustainability Initiatives: Sustainable Jersey for Schools has provided over one million dollars in Small Grants to participating schools.  Learn about the exciting projects being undertaken by schools & districts and how your district can obtain funding for sustainability projects.

Speakers:

  • Samantha McGraw, Program Manager, Sustainable Jersey
  • Amy Hogan, Lead School Health Specialist, AtlantiCare Healthy Schools, Healthy Children
  • Sean Spiller, Vice-President, New Jersey Education Association,
  • Maria Spina, Education Program Officer, PSEG Foundation, Corporate Responsibility Stakeholder & Engagement Specialist

Sustainability Champions: Leaders from the Long Branch School District shared stories, videos and best practices from their three champion schools.  Sustainable Jersey for Schools Sustainability Champions are certified schools that have earned the most points in their category for that certification year. 

  • Heather McCall, Schools Program Director, Sustainable Jersey
  • Elementary School Sustainability Champion- George L. Catrambone Elementary
  • Middle School Sustainability Champion- Long Branch Middle School
  • High School Sustainability Champion- Long Branch High School

 

2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 21, 2017, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held in which the 2017 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report was released.  Breakout sessions related to schools are highlighted below.  For a list of other breakout session presentations, click HERE. 

 

2016 New Jersey School Boards Association Workshop

During the 2016 NJSBA Workshop, sessions were held about energy, procuring local foods, green purchasing, funding opportunities, building strong partnerships, and more.

Best Practices for Sustainable Facilities:  Facilities Directors who were instrumental in their schools obtaining Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification share best practices and provide an overview of the Operations & Management suite of actions.

Case Studies in School Energy Improvement:  This session will highlight Sustainable Jersey for Schools districts and schools that have participated in the “Powersave Schools” program. District experiences with hosting Environmental Defense Fund fellows to implement energy efficiency measures will also be highlighted.

Energy 101:  Understanding the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Portfolio of Energy Actions and the free resources available to schools.

Funding Your Sustainability Initiatives:  Last year SJS provided over $500,000 in Small Grants to participating schools.  Learn about the exciting projects being undertaken by schools & districts and how your district can obtain funding for sustainability projects. 

Green Purchasing: Learn how to implement policies and practices in your district to purchase environmentally friendly, healthy, and cost effective materials.

  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools Presentation, Heather McCall, Schools Program Director

Procuring Local Foods for School Cafeterias:  Across the country, an increasing number of schools are sourcing local foods and providing complementary educational activities that emphasize food, agriculture, and nutrition. Why not in the Garden State?  Topics covered in this session include procurement basics, defining local, where to find local products, the variety of ways schools can purchase locally in accordance with regulations, and the resources available to guide district efforts.

Sustainability Champions:  Learn from schools and districts in the forefront of sustainability.  This session will highlight best practices and case studies from award winning districts and schools participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program.

Combined Presentation

Presenters:

  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools Presentation, Heather McCall, Schools Program Director
  • Alder Avenue Middle School, Dr. Joseph Marinelli, Principal, and John Jones, Educator
  • Egg Harbor High School, Terry Charlton, Principal, and James House, Science Educator
  • Reeds Road Elementary School, Dr. William Zapparo, Principal, and Donna McAvoy, Educator
  • Three Bridges Elementary School, Kristen Higgins, Principal, and Tiffany Barca, Educator

Strong Partnerships for Sustainable Schools:   Learn how schools utilize the resources and expertise of partners to enhance their sustainability efforts.

  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools Presentation, Heather McCall, Schools Program Director

 

2016 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 15, 2016, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held in which the 2016 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report was released along with the Sustainable State 2016 Update and the new Gold standard.  Breakout sessions related to schools are highlighted below.  For a list of other breakout session presentations, click HERE. 

 

2015 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 10, 2015, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held in which the 2015 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report was released.  Breakout sessions related to schools are highlighted below.  For a list of other breakout session presentations, click HERE.