‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practices Tour Heads to New England July 29-30th

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

ED Will Visit Schools in Three States on New England Leg of ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practices Tour

Special Advisor to the Secretary Donald Yu and U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken will visit U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts with Regional EPA Administrator Curt Spalding on Monday and Tuesday, July 29 and 30, to see and discuss the ways school facilities can enhance the conditions for learning.  Federal officials will be joined by commissioners of education from these states, local superintendents, and other local, state, and regional stakeholders as they visit several award-honored schools in each state.

The visit will include tours of school buildings and grounds, conversations with students and teachers regarding environmental education, health and sustainability, and discussions with key partners and energy management personnel.  In addition, all state and district facilities personnel from the region are invited to attend the opening panel and listening session on July 29th in Providence, RI. The listening session will allow facilities experts in the region to share best practices on school facilities and provide input to ED.


The Agenda

Come join us on July 29th and 30th for a conversation on school facilities!

Monday, July 29th

Rhode Island

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.         
Registration at Providence Career and Technical Academy41 Fricker St., Providence, RI 02903

9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.      
Panel and Facilities Best Practices Listening Session with Rhode Island Commissioner Deborah Gist, Rhode Island Department of Education and Susan Lusi, Superintendent Providence Public Schools District

10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.       
Tour Providence Career and Technical Academy- 41 Fricker St., Providence, RI 02903

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.     
Tour Nathan Bishop Middle School- 101 Sessions St., Providence, RI 02906

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Tour Common Ground High School358 Springside Ave., New Haven, CT 06515

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tour Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School170 Derby Ave., New Haven, CT 06511

Tuesday, July 30th

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.            
Tour Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker440 Broadview Terrace, Hartford, CT 06106


1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.          
Tour Manchester-Essex Middle/High School with Mitchell D. Chester, MA Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education- 36 Lincoln St., Manchester by the Sea, MA 01944  

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tour Quincy High School with Mark Sylvia, MA Commissioner of the Office of Energy Resources- 100 Coddington St., Quincy, MA 02169


The School Facilities:

Providence Career & Technical Academy, Providence, RI  (Pictured below)

As PCTA was built on a renovated brownfield site, environmental impact and health have become a part of the school’s curriculum. Through each of the school’s five construction-based career and technical education programs, students engage in outdoor experiential learning to complete skills on a job site, focusing on green building technology. Energy data, usage and cost are monitored through EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and data from the National Grid. Recent PCTA renovations included installation of energy recovery HVAC units, state of the art PDC controls with user interface and solar water heating, and waterless urinals. The water used for heating and cooling is tested weekly and chemical treatment is provided to balance pH levels and control germs to comply with Narragansett Watershed requirements. The controls for the dual temperature system operate pumps, chillers and boilers to optimize efficiency and eliminate waste.


Nathan Bishop Middle School, Providence, RI  (Pictured below)

Originally constructed in 1929, and renovated in 2009 according to criteria established by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, the school is a tool for learning at Nathan Bishop.  Nathan Bishop has integrated its energy management efforts into the science curriculum by installing kiosks on campus for displaying live energy data and demonstrating consumption trends in energy and water. Twenty-five percent of the school’s energy use is derived from on-site renewable energy generation. 


Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, New Haven, CT  (Pictured below)

When you enter Barnard’s lobby, you see a powerful environmental studies theme that runs throughout the school: student artwork, brightening and inspiring, decorates the corridors and illustrates the school’s four overarching environmental themes: the studies of fresh water, energy, migration, and the Long Island Sound estuary. The school’s courtyard garden, greenhouses, and its nature center are spaces for the students to explore the natural world as they take on the roles of gardener, naturalist, and environmentalist.  The school’s nature center is adjacent to the West River and these wetlands provide an outdoor classroom for students who go canoeing with the park rangers and actively investigate the habitat of the West River.  The school’s Yale University sponsored, school-based health center educates students through age appropriate workshops.  


Common Ground High School, New Haven, CT (Pictured below)

The school’s campus, a 20-acre demonstration farm at the base of a state park in a city, creates a powerful learning laboratory.  Students collect data on recycling and waste reduction on a weekly basis, and a paid team of students manages recycling and composting programs.  A solar array on the roof demonstrates alternative energy options and provides data for classroom manipulation, and a recent full-school lighting retrofit has cut energy use.  The school has begun construction on a demonstration high-performing building, featuring a solar array that will provide approximately 70 percent of electricity, and a geothermal system will meet all heating and cooling needs.  Rainwater gardens, an educational wetland, and other features will demonstrate low-impact design. The school’s urban farm grew more 7,000 pounds of fresh, sustainable, local produce last year.  Students participate in more than a dozen outdoor adventure trips every year, engaging 100 percent of urban students in hiking, camping, and other outdoor experiences.


Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker, Hartford, CT  (Pictured below)

Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker (ESM) serves students from pre-kindergarten through the 8th grade in a new, $41,000,000 LEED Platinum facility, which includes a planetarium, butterfly vivarium, greenhouse, aquatics lab, and organic community garden.  The school shares its exceptional facility with the community through a joint-use agreement.  ESM practices organic methods of gardening, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and composting; these methods are incorporated into the curriculum at all grade levels and into parent-staff garden workshops.  Students participate in Discovery Camp programs, where they participate in programs focused on team building and outdoor education.  


Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, Manchester By-the-Sea, MA 

Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School, a Collaborative for High Performance Schools building, constructed with recycled materials and energy-efficient design principles, is home to a 650 gallon rainwater collection tank and over 100 donated plants and trees.  The school achieved a 90 percent reduction in waste through the installation of a state of the art Lucidomatic waste sorting system and the implementation of a printing limits program through PaperCut software.  Manchester Essex, which has reduced its heating per square foot by nearly 58 percent over three years, meets 5 percent of its energy needs through on-site solar panels.  The edible schoolyard is a community-building and educational tool that offers students and parents the opportunity to work with the garden during the summer to raise awareness about local food and organic gardening.


Quincy High School, Quincy, MA  (Pictured below)

At Quincy High School, a career and technical school, the building’s design allows for collaboration among AP biology and environmental science students and their peers who are pursuing Nursing or Applied Medical Technology specialties.  Quincy collaborated with the city’s planning department to participate in the USGBC Center for Green Schools Green Apple Day of Service, which provided real-world instruction about the importance of energy reduction and implemented a National Wildlife Federation Cool Schools Energy Audit.  The school’s STEM wing is home to a greenhouse, where students are actively involved in learning how to grow their own food.  Culinary students are responsible for front- and back-of-house service at the wildly popular President’s Café, where student-grown herbs are used in recipes.  The school was certified by the Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performing Schools in 2009 and EPA ENERGY STAR in 2008.  The school has continued its efforts by retro-commissioning the building to ensure that it performs as intended. (Pictured below)