SCUSD Wins Bid for Green Schools Fellow
The district is one of the first in the country selected for award
Sacramento City Unified School District has been chosen by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for participation in its Center for Green Schools Fellowship program – one of only two K-12 districts in the nation selected for the honor so far.
An official announcement of the district’s selection will be made on Tuesday afternoon at Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Greenwise meeting at the Guild Theater in Oak Park (1:30 p.m.).
“We are thrilled that our student-centered proposal for ‘greening’ Sacramento schools was chosen by the USGBC and look forward to welcoming a green fellow to our community,” said Superintendent Jonathan Raymond. “We are proud to have worked collaboratively with Mayor Johnson on this tremendous opportunity.”
With financial support from United Technologies Corp., the fellowship program will provide SCUSD with a fully-funded, dedicated sustainability expert who will collaborate with district leadership on green initiatives over three years. According to the USGBC, the program was launched in 2008 in New Orleans, as the Recovery School District began rebuilding it the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The USGBC provided a dedicated coordinator for the effort who worked with the district on green building practices.
SCUSD’s winning application proposed that the fellow’s work in Sacramento center on hands-on, green learning projects aimed at teaching children to think critically, solve problems and become eco-leaders. Under this plan, students would have a role in creating healthy environments conducive to learning that save energy and resources. Short-term initiatives of the proposal include:
- Forming “Green Teams” at all schools consisting of faculty, parents, students, staff and community members.
- Training Green Teams to perform “green audits” at sites, examinations of energy consumption, waste stream reduction, water use, chemicals use and the recycling and reuse of materials.
- Aiding teams in developing Green School Plans – proposals for improving green audit results. Plans will be exhibited at a “science fair”-type event of all schools.
- Raising the environmental awareness of students and employees has been an SCUSD focus since Superintendent Raymond came on board in August.
Last spring, he launched the Healthy Foods Task Force to overhaul the meals served to children in school cafeterias. SCUSD serves 30,000 lunches a day. As a result, more schools have salad bars stocked with locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
The district’s efforts parallel Mayor Johnson and the city’s work to transform Sacramento into an “Emerald Valley” renowned for its clean energy research and green-minded business climate.
“Just as no city rises to greatness without great public schools, Sacramento won’t become the Emerald Valley without a greening of its educational institutions,” said Raymond. “The schools in the city once ruled by gold are now on a quest for green.”