on Nov 13, 2014
Today Sustainable Jersey announced the first four schools districts to register for the groundbreaking Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. Just two-weeks after the program’s launch on October 28, four school districts have registered: Allendale School District (Bergen County), Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District (Bergen County), Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District (Monmouth) and Springfield School District (Union County). Each district passed a resolution of participation and initiated the process for beginning the certification program.
Thanks to the urging of a forward-thinking high school student, Ramapo Indian Hill Regional High School District had a resolution ready to go. "Our district is very proud to be one of the first districts in the state of New Jersey to have passed a resolution committing our support to Sustainable Jersey for Schools,” said Beverly MacKay, superintendent of schools for Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District. “One of our 12th grade students, Laura Nugent, should be commended for bringing this initiative to our attention with a presentation at our October 13 Board meeting. The resolution was enthusiastically passed at the October 27 Board Meeting.”
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. 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.
"The Springfield Public School District is excited to be one of the first districts to register for Sustainable Jersey for Schools,” said Matthew Clarke, the school business administrator for Springfield Public Schools. “For many years, the District has recognized and embraced the three pillars of sustainability: people (opportunity for all), prosperity (support local economies and resources), and planet (practice responsible environmental management and conservation). We look forward to the opportunity to be a leader in sustainability for schools for years to come." In Allendale, the push to register the school district came from the existing Allendale municipal green team. This green team achieved the bronze-level of certification in 2014 through the municipal Sustainable Jersey certification program.
Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey said, “We’re thrilled to welcome the first four districts that have registered with Sustainable Jersey for Schools. These districts and their schools should be commended for being proactive in their pursuit of sustainability. 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. ”
Sustainable Jersey for Schools began as a partnership between Sustainable Jersey and the New Jersey School Board Association (NJSBA). “Sustainable practices result in healthier schools. They reduce operating costs and free up money for the classroom. And, in the end, they contribute to student success,” said the NJSBA’s executive director, Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod.”