The EB2L Facilities Tour Rolls on to New York and New Jersey

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

ED Officials Continue Facilities Tour in New England

Last week, federal, state, and local officials wrapped up the second leg of the Education Built to Last Facilities Best Practices Tour in New England. Like the kick-off visit in Alabama, the tour involved schools that exhibit best practices in school building and grounds design, construction, operations and management to support health, equity, educational outcomes, energy efficiency and cost savings. “I am pleased that we in New England have been able to offer some ideas and examples of how to improve the quality of schools – and school buildings – all while conserving natural resources and taxpayer dollars,” said Deborah A. Gist, R.I. Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. Check out press coverage and blog from the event.

The Tour Rolls on to Empire and Garden States…

The next stop on the tour will be on Aug 13, with Senior Advisor for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Kenneth Bedell, ED-Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken and Director of the EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection, Jacqueline Mosby, visiting four ED-Green Ribbon Schools from New York and New Jersey.  As with every tour leg, this one will include a Best Practices Listening Session open to schools, districts and facilities officials and stakeholders from across the region.  All are welcome to see and learn these schools’ best practices!

The Agenda

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.        Hubert H. Humphrey PS 57, 140 Palma Drive, Staten Island, NY

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.      Bedwell Elementary School, 141 Seney Drive, Bernardsville, NJ 

1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.          Bernards High School, 25 Olcott Avenue, Bernardsville, NJ

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.          Best Practices Listening Session at Bernards High School   

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m           The Willow School, 1150 Pottersville Road, Gladstone, NJ

After New York and New Jersey, the Department will visit Milwaukee, WI area schools on August 22nd and 23rd. 

The School Sites


Hubert H. Humphrey PS 057, Staten Island, NY (Pictured left)

This school partners with MillionTreesNYC to care for trees, conduct summer pond clean-ups, and collect water quality data for the EPA.  Students lead conservation initiatives to save 28 percent on energy usage since 2008.  Approximately 30 percent of the school’s solid waste has been diverted from landfills due to high-quality composting and recycling programs.  GrowNYC, Grow to Learn, and Green Thumb work with PS 57 students in their 7,350 square foot outdoor garden to plant and grow produce for the school cafeteria.  In 2011, PS57 obtained a Home Depot grant that allowed a student-built greenhouse to be built from 1,500 recycled plastic bottles in the garden.  

Bedwell Elementary School, Bernardsville, NJ  (Pictured below) 

Bedwell has achieved savings through lighting upgrades, building temperature controls, as well as an energy education program.  Custodial, maintenance, and cafeteria workers have been trained in energy-saving techniques, as well as energy-efficient operations and maintenance.  Data on the school’s energy use is tracked monthly and communicated to staff and students through reports, newsletters, and announcements.  The school will soon have solar panels on its roof that generate 20 percent of its power.  To promote healthy eating among students and staff, the school food service company donated seeds for an edible garden, and the food is served in the cafeteria.  The garden will expand thanks to grants from Lowe’s Corporation, and an Eagle Scouting project will improve the facilities and infrastructure during 2013.  


Bernards High School, Bernardsville, NJ (Pictured below)  

Bernards High achieved a 16 percent energy use reduction in three years through behavioral changes and low cost retrofits, including adjustments to lighting, controls, ice storage, vending, and the kitchen hood exhaust.  Located in a district with an energy savings contract and pay for performance agreement, the school reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12 percent.  It calculates its annual savings in water and sewer utility at $28,150.  An active Green Team spearheads gardening, composting, and local restoration projects.  The school purchases local produce through the Jersey Fresh program, and obtained a $300,000 Safe Routes to School Grant to build a sidewalk connecting the high school with feeder schools.  


The Willow School, Gladstone, NJ (Pictured below)

The National Geographic’s “Green Guide” ranked Willow as the nation’s second greenest school for its progressive integration of sustainable design initiatives into the campus and the curriculum. The school building’s site orientation and layout plan, along with upper insulated walls and ceilings, high-performance windows, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and innovative daylighting strategies that include automatic photocell-based daylight dimming controls for interior light systems, all provide maximum energy performance. The Barn, a multi-use building, is certified LEED Platinum and consumes 70 percent less energy compared to an identical building constructed to building code. Photovoltaic on-site renewable energy generation provides 37 percent of the building’s electricity requirements.   


Date for States’ Participation in 2014 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Award: 

State education agencies are encouraged to indicate their intent to nominate schools in 2014 by September 1, 2013 by emailing  States pictured in green have indicated their intent to nominate in 2014. Public and private K-12 schools and public school districts must be nominated by state departments of education.  Applications for states’ nominations are devised and disseminated by participating states.  Schools cannot apply directly to the US Department of Education. State education agencies' participation is voluntary. You may locate contact information for state education agency selection committee contacts, who nominate schools to the U.S. Department of Education here. If a contact is not listed on the ED-GRS site, you may locate the main number to a state department of education hereSchool and district nominations from state education agencies are due to ED-GRS by February 1, 2014.  Agencies can obtain more information by emailing


Kudos for ED-Green Ribbon Schools from the Nation’s Top Doctor

Last week the EPA published a blog post from former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin on the power of prevention in our communities and the National Prevention Strategy. Within the blog, Dr. Benjamin highlighted the work of ED-Green Ribbon Schools and their role in prevention. 


Expanding Connectivity for All Schools

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiated a thorough review and modernization of the E-Rate program built around three goals: increased broadband capacity, cost-effective purchasing, and streamlined program administration.  Over the past 15 years, support provided by the E-Rate has helped revolutionize schools’ and libraries’ access to modern communications networks, but the needs of both schools and libraries are changing.  There is consensus that the E-Rate needs to be updated and revitalized with a clear focus on ensuring that all schools and libraries have affordable access to quality broadband.  Secretary Duncan’s statement on the FCC action is available online.  Also, leaders from across the country have expressed support for the FCC’s action.


Events and Opportunities

ED’s Green Strides Webinar Series continues with the tools to reduce schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental literacy, including STEM, green careers, and civic engagement. Find more sessions for educators, facilities managers, and advocates weekly. 

Aug. 7, 2013, 1-2 p.m.  Mold and Moisture Control in Schools (EPA)

Aug. 14, 2013, 2-3 p.m. Training Tools for Healthy Schools (CDC)

Aug. 20, 2013, 3-4 p.m. Current Issues in Chemical Management for Schools (EPA)

Aug. 21, 2013, 2-3 p.m. Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CDC)

Aug. 22, 2013, 2-3 p.m. Recycle-Bowl Competition and Educational Resources (KAB)

Aug. 27, 2013, 2-3 p.m. A Teacher's Role in Successful Green Cleaning (HSC)

Aug. 28, 2013, 3-4 p.m. Outdoor Activities in Nature for Health (NEEF)

Sept. 4, 2013, 4-5 p.m.  Food Day in Schools: How to Get Involved (CSPI)

Sept. 11, 2013, 2 p.m.   Green Purchasing for Schools (GSI)

Also find more resources on the Green Strides Resources Page!


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