New Milestone Reached: 500 NJ Schools Pursue Sustainability Certification

on Aug 05, 2016

500 schools, within 204 districts, are participating in Sustainable Jersey for Schools program

Today Sustainable Jersey announced that 500 schools have registered for the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. At the school district level, 204 districts, or one-third of the New Jersey school districts, have passed a resolution to participate in the program. Review the list of the 500 schools participating that are located in all 21 New Jersey counties.  

Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Randall Solomon, said, “Reaching the 500 school mark with one-third of all the school districts participating, is impressive. A special thank you to the New Jersey school boards, principals, staff, teachers, students and parents who have stepped up to make their schools more sustainable.” Participating schools can choose from 87 actions, such as performing energy audits, integrating sustainability into student learning, and boosting recycling efforts, to earn points for certification. Fifty-nine schools achieved certification in 2015, the first year of the program, and to date, 85 schools have submitted final applications for 2016. 

To support the efforts of these pioneering schools, Sustainable Jersey for Schools provides grants and technical support. The Sustainable Jersey for Schools Small Grant Program has committed $886,000 in small grants for school and school district projects. The 2016 funded projects are inspiring; for example, Bergenfield High School is implementing a school food composting program to educate students about food production and waste disposal, Chairville School in Medford is creating an outdoor classroom for K-5 students to learn outside of the traditional classroom and Zane North Elementary School in Camden is constructing a storm water collection area to reduce storm water runoff and flooding. 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program partners include: New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), 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 (TCNJ.) These partners were an integral part of a comprehensive coalition of educational organizations and academic, business and state agency partners that helped develop and vet the certification program actions.

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