Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification ReportDownload PDF Version
This is the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification Report of Bragg Elementary School (Morris), a Sustainable Jersey for Schools bronze certified applicant.
Bragg Elementary School (Morris) was certified on August 15, 2018 with 195 points. Listed below is information regarding Bragg Elementary School (Morris)’s Sustainable Jersey for Schools efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.
The designated Sustainable Jersey for Schools contact for Bragg Elementary School (Morris) is:
|Title/Position:||Principal / Bragg Intermediate School|
|Address:||50 North Rd.|
Chester, NJ 07930
Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Bragg Elementary School (Morris) was approved for in 2018 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.
Board Leadership & Planning
Professional Development for Sustainability15 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority School District
Program Summary: The Chester School District provides staff with the opportunities to attend professional development that will aid in making the district more sustainable. These professional development workshops that were attended range from creating iSTEM content to green purchasing to developing Physical Education lessons. A total of 13 staff has participated in, or lead, at least 2 hours professional development surrounding sustainability topics.
District Sustainability Policy10 PointsDistrict
Program Summary: The Chester School District’s Sustainability Policy was adopted by the Board of Education on January 23, 2017. This policy states that the school district will work to minimize environmental impacts while protecting current and future human health and well-being. The policy’s objectives are to protect students, staff, and the community from environmental harm by eliminating the use of potentially toxic and harmful substances, prepare students for the future by provide a high quality education that supports concepts and practices of environmental, social, and economic responsibility and sustainability, and preserve current and future resources by adopting practices in operations that balance environmental, social, and fiscal responsibility to protect and enhance the future quality of life. The policy states that the Board will incorporate sustainable goals into future strategic plans and will develop additional policies, practices and procedures that create a legacy of leadership in sustainability across all district schools. The policy is posted on our district website, was presented at staff meetings, shared with the union, shared with the town council and educational foundation, and a School Messenger blast email was sent to all parents/guardians when the policy was adopted so that all are informed about the efforts to make Chester a more sustainable school district. Thus far, the district has been able to establish a Green Team, other sustainable policies, purchase green cleaning supplies and equipment, and be a role model to our community as to how to make efforts in leading more sustainable lifestyles.
School District Foundation10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: The Educational Foundation of the Chesters (EFC) is a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation. Its mission is to enhance the quality and breadth of education in the schools by obtaining funds from a variety of sources to provide opportunities to develop and maintain innovative programs that will enrich the learning experiences of all Chester students. EFC has provided a number of programs for the district as listed at the following web link: http://chesteredf.weebly.com/grants.html This year, the EFC funded a variety of projects, many of which are sustainability related. One of the projects that it funded was Yoga Cards at Dickerson Elementary School which promotes physical activity and mindfulness. Another project was the funding of the aeroponic garden at Bragg Elementary School which was built by the Environmental Club. Two Gaga Ball Pits were also funded at Bragg, these will be used to promote teamwork, sportsmanship, and physical activity. At Black River Middle School, the EFC sponsored exhibits for the annual Science Fair as well as funded a visit by Franny Briggs from Blink Now. These projects, along with others, enhanced the learning experience of the children of Chester.
Climate Mitigation & Renewable Energy
Buy Renewable Energy10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: Our school district participates in the renewal energy product offered by ACES plus. The contract is valid from May 2015 to May 2017 and I have continued the program for May 2017 to May 2019. See attached program applications.
Onsite Renewable Generation System - Solar20 PointsSchool
Program Summary: Bragg Intermediate School has been using solar electricity produced by its ground mounted, 242.44 kilowatt solar generating facility since the installation project was completed in 2013. The solar generation system accounts for 74.48% of the electricity Bragg used for the 2015-2016 school year, August 2015 through July 2016. This percentage qualifies Bragg to receive 30 points for this action. This percentage was calculated from the kilowatt hours produced by the solar system, as provided by SunLight General Morris Solar, LLC, and the monthly invoiced from Jersey Central Power and Lighting which included the kilowatt hours the school had used form the company. Our solar generating facility aids the Chester School District in it’s quest to become a more sustainable district by using renewable energy to not only off put monies spent on electricity, but to also use a greener alternative to the traditional electricity. Having the school district use solar electricity, we are acting as a role-model for the remainder of the community, encouraging and teaching members about solar electricity and renewable options available to them to use in their own home. Students also engage in learning about the solar panels in their classrooms each year, especially on Earth Day. These solar generation systems not only aid the Chester School District’s sustainability, but allows us to inform community, members about renewable electricity to create a more sustainable community.
Diversity & Equity
Accessible Communications10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: The Chester School District provides accessible communications to all of the students and parents to ensure greater parent and student involvement in the Chester School District. The accessible communications are provided in many ways; through educational classes, website, mobile applications, interpreters, collaborating with community organizations and more. The Chester School District website and app give viewers the option to translate the page to one of 104 language options through a tab powered by Google Translate. PowerSchool operates in a similar manner, adjusting the language to fit the need of the viewer. All forms provided from the district are translated into the language that parents and guardians need. For conferences and meetings, Interpretalk is used. Interpretalk is a telephone translation service which pairs the caller with an interpreter of any language. Workshops are provided on using the website and app, as well as online registration. Project Literacy is hosted as an afterschool program by the Chester School District for all English Language Learners (ELL). ELL students are encouraged to participate in the annual science fair. Volunteers work with ELL students to ensure they are getting the best experience possible. Through partnership with a local Spanish Ministry, the Chester School District offers English classes to the Spanish speaking population of our community. The Chester Library collaborates with the school district, offering a mentoring program for students in the Chester School District and highly encouraging the ELL students to participate. This program pairs a Chester students with a mentor from either West Morris Central or West Morris Mendham, the local regional high schools in both a social and academic partnership, with many of the Chester School District teachers volunteering time to work with this program.
Food & Nutrition
School Gardens10 PointsSchool
Program Summary: Thanks to the generosity of Chester’s Educational Foundation, Bragg Intermediate School of Chester New Jersey has the privilege of housing its very first aeroponic “Tower Garden” by Juice Plus. It is the Environmental Club’s hope that the garden will offer “green” experiences all year round for the students at Bragg. The Tower Garden supports a “hands-on” approach to learning. The maintenance, planting, and harvesting stages of any aeroponic operation are all wonderful learning opportunities that facilitate active learning strategies. Gardening with limited space encourages our students to take a closer look at plants and the the miracle of germination. They will learn valuable lessons such as: the stages of the Scientific Method, balancing pH values, harvesting techniques, vegetable growth cycles, etc. The students at Bragg will learn what is involved in keeping plants alive and happy, and most of all, encouraging healthy habits in our school and world. The Environmental Club’s aeroponic garden is also a positive addition to the district’s shift to a greener school environment. The incorporation of an aeroponic garden at Bragg does not only begin and end with our school environment. The students plan to grow food with the possibility of stocking the school cafeteria, donating to the Chester community, and most importantly, eating healthier in their homes! The students in the Environmental Club plan to track the progress of the garden every step of the way using a “green” Google Classroom approach. Stages of the Scientific Method, vegetable growth, and harvesting techniques will all be presented at Chester School District’s annual Science Fair in March of 2018. The aeroponic garden was incorporated into all of the science classes at Bragg through a school wide lesson, which can be seen below. In addition to this lesson, teachers of all different subjects utilized the garden in their lessons. The Environmental Club advisors, administration, teachers, staff, students, and community members are all committed to making this aeroponic gardening experience our best one yet and are grateful for the opportunity we have been given this year to grow plants and minds!
Green Cleaning Policy & Plan10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: The Chester Board of Education encourages the use of environmentally preferable products and services. By including environmental considerations in purchasing decisions, the district can reduce its environmental footprint and promote practices that improve human health, conserve natural resources, and reward environmentally conscious manufacturers. School district personnel are encouraged to actively seek out environmentally preferable products and services for use in day-to-day operations when quality, performance, price, and functionality are comparable to their non-environmentally preferable counterparts A copy of the Green Cleaning Policy and Plan for the District as well as the Green & Healthy Cleaning Policy are provided which were all adopted 1/2017.
Green Cleaning Supplies10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: In compliance with Sustainable Jersey, the Chester Township Board of Education implemented the "Green School Initiative" which shows the districts commitments and efforts in establishing a safe working and learning environment for all personal and students. The green cleaning supplies allow us to avoid toxic fumes in the air as we head on our way to becoming an asthma friendly school. In the long run this will help benefit the overall air quality of the school and the health of the children. A list of the products is included in the attachment.
Green Cleaning Equipment10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: The Chester School District has been purchasing Certified green Cleaning Equipment whenever possible in the last 36 months. The district has purchased upright vacuums, backpack vacuums, a carpet extractor, and motorized floor scrubbers, all of which have been Green Certified. Making these green purchases will allow for the Chester School District to improve the cleanliness of the buildings, as well as use equipment that will aid in our quest to be a more sustainable school district. These Green purchases will make for a healthier, greener environment for our students and staff to learn and work in everyday.
Green Cleaning Training & Education Programs10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: The District provides training to all custodial personnel through the EnvironSolutions and ATRA Janatorial Supply Company. All three schools within the District achieved recognition for its efforts for using UL Ecologo Certified products which are rated for their reduced human and aquatic toxicity and reduced smog potential. The custodial staff received training and certificates for proper restroom cleaning and disinfection protocol using the products as presented in the school certificates. A total of 16 custodial staff was in attendance for the 2 hour course.
Green Purchasing Policy10 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority District
Program Summary: The Chester School District has adopted a green purchasing policy that is in line with efforts to continue the sustainability practices already in place throughout the district. The school Business Administrator has also had training as the purchasing agent to advance these efforts. The board policy, adopted on January 23, 3017, ensures that all of the products purchased by the Chester School District are environmentally friendly. This policy helps to reduce the district's environmental footprint and promote practices that improve human health, and conserve natural resources. Personnel are encouraged to use environmentally friendly products for their daily operations, especially when their quality, performance, price, and functionality are comparable to their non-eco friendly counterparts.
Student Participation in the Arts10 PointsDistrict
Program Summary: All students participate in the arts through the school day and have the opportunity to participate again in before and after school offerings through both school run clubs and our enrichment partner, Morris County Arts Workshop. All students in the Chester School District are given the opportunities to participate in both visual and performing arts classes, attending each once a week during the school year. Music and visual arts classes are taught by teachers certified in the subject area. Students are encouraged to become creative and use those spaces to learn to new skills and to learn about different elements of the arts. By having these classes for students, we are enabling them to find new hobbies, develop new skills, and learn about the arts. These classes have had a positive impact on the community. Music classes offer the community time to come together for concerts throughout the school year, and art classes offer the same impact with gallery nights. These classes enable the community to come together and impacts students positively with the skills and creativity they find in these classes. Additionally, students in grade 2 participate in a dance residency program and classes attend theater programming at our schools in addition to class trips.
Student & Community Outreach
Green Team10 PointsBronze Required Silver Required School District
Program Summary: The Chester School District was established on December 18, 2016. Over the course of this school year, the green team has met a total of 5 times, has completed projects, and set goals both for the past school year and upcoming school year, as described in the Annual Report. This team is made of up individuals from all three schools, the Chester Board of Education, the Board of Education Office, and the Chester Community. This past year, the Green Team worked to build gardens in each of the three district schools. These gardens will be used to aid lessons across curriculum as well as teach students about how to grow their own food and make healthy eating choices. The Team has also expanded its Staff Wellness Program to include the beginning works of establishing a gym in Black River Middle School for staff to use. This is being completed through donations from staff and community memebers. As always, the district is working to provide more opportunities for both students and staff to learn about sustainability. Plans for the upcoming year include creating more sustainable professional development and creating a mindfullnes program for students and staff. The Team will continue to work on developing projects and creating workshops on sustainabilty for our annual science fair.
Community Education & Outreach10 PointsBronze Priority Silver Priority School
Program Summary: The Chester School District hosts one of the largest science fairs in New Jersey. This year’s fair was held on March 3, 2018. The science fair is open to students in grades 1-8 in the Chester school district and allow them to create a project that encourages them to dig deeper into a specific area of science; including sustainability, energy, life science, and more. There were more than 2,000 participants and spectators who visited the fair this year. Local community and NJ corporations are given the opportunity to participate as fair sponsors. The fair holds exhibits each year that feature all areas of science, many involving the environment and sustainability. Local newspapers and the Chester Science Fair website publicize the event. Hosting the science fair allows for students to learn hands-on about sustainable living and gives the Chester community the ability to be educated on sustainability. http://www.chestersciencefair.org/?l1=3&l2=0&l3=0&l4=0&l5=0 Prior to Earth Day, all of the Chester students are participating in a fabulous, community-wide Earth Awareness Campaign. Shoprite of Chester will partner with the entire district in this endeavor for the third year in a row. All participants continue to be very enthusiastic. We "borrow" brown paper, recycled grocery bags from the grocery store. After learning about environmental issues, conservation programs and efforts, and other Healthy-Earth- related and Earth Day topics, students decorate these grocery bags with their own Earth-friendly, (anonymous) messages and artwork that they want to share with adults in our community. These "pre-re-used" bags will then be returned to the grocery store and used for bagging customers' groceries on Earth Day. Our hope is that when the adults in our community see that our community's children care so much about the well-being of our planet, they too will be motivated and inspired to make more of an effort to care for our Earth. The project ran from April 3 and culminate on Earth Day, April 22. The grocery store has graciously offered to run additional activities in the store on that day, including giving out free, indigenous tree-saplings. The Secret Lab newsletter and photos of bags and of the event will be uploaded as well as the activity being supported in the Shop Rite newsletters and social media postings (including facebook, twitter etc.) as was done last year.
Education for Sustainability 3rd Grade10 PointsSchool
Program Summary: The third graders at Bragg Elementary School participated in Sustainability lessons during their STEM class. The lesson dealt with ecological systems and water, and allowed them understand that we are all in this together and are all responsible. The inquiry and experiential lesson focused on the impact of oil spills and that way by which environmental engineers clean oil spills and attempt to rectify environmental harm caused by these spills. Students learn about how every organism in an ecosystem is connect and a change in one population can lead to detrimental changes in others. Student learning was assessed using a problem based experimental project. This project had students clean a modern oil spill and explain how the oil spill could affect the ecosystem it happened in. Students had to assess what worked to clean up the oil and how the remaining oil in the water would affect the ecosystem it remained in. In addition to being a lesson in sustainability, this lesson addresses many New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Technology and Next Generation Science Standards.
Student and Staff Wellness
Staff Wellness Program10 PointsSchool District
Program Summary: For the 2017-2018 school year, the Chester School District Staff Wellness Program is working to expand and create more opportunities to promote wellness to the Chester employees. One of the ways in which the program is expanding is through the creation of an Employee Fitness Center at Black River Middle School. This center will be open to all Chester School District Employees who wish to use it. It will be constructed with the use of donated gym equipment. This also help to recycle the equipment that may have been thrown out or otherwise left unused. The new center will help to promote wellness to not only the staff that uses the center, but to other staff as well. Currently, the Employee Fitness Center is still under construction but the hope is to have it completed come next school year. Once again, the Staff Wellness Program is hosting demos for interested employees throughout the year. One of the programs that was offered in this school year is”Healthy Choices During the Holidays” which was presented by Brittany Peterson, MS, RDN. Mrs. Peterson is the registered dietician at the local ShopRite. This program demonstrated how to prepare two healthier holiday treats that the employees would be able to make themselves; butternut squash bruschetta and ginger-molasses cookies. The program was offered twice, once at Black River and once at Bragg/Dickerson to allow for more employees to take advantage of the opportunity. The Staff Wellness Program is offering access to locally grown produce. In September, Riamede Farms donated apples for our employees. These apples were available throughout the day and served as a reminder to make healthy choices. In October, there were a variety of squashes available for employees, compliments of Stony Hill Farms. Over the Summer, staff had the opportunity to participate in the Crop Sharing Agreement (CSA) Program through Stony Hill Farms. Both Riamede and Stony Hill Farms are local, Chester farms. Having these opportunities allows for staff to make healthy eating choices as well as promotes Chester’s Farms.
Waste Management & Recycling
Recycling Non-Mandated Materials10 PointsSchool
Program Summary: Bragg School in Chester, NJ participated in the Crayola ColorCycle program during the 2017-2018 school year. The implementation of this program involved providing containers for teachers and students to collect dried up markers rather than throwing them in the garbage. Containers were placed near the garbage cans in many classrooms so that students would place the used markers in the marker receptacles rather than in the garbage can. Teachers were asked to collect any dried up classroom markers to be recycled. Custodians were asked to participate by placing used markers into the containers rather than throwing them away if any used markers were found on the floor during classroom cleanup. At the end of the school year, the markers were collected and shipped to the Crayola ColorCycle program for recycling.