ED Officials Continue Best Practices Facilities Tour in New York and New Jersey

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

ED Officials Continue Best Practices Facilities Tour in New York and New Jersey

The ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practices Tour continued last week in the Empire and Garden states. As with the tours in Alabama and New England, the visits included 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. Read more about New Jersey and New York, New England and Alabama tour legs on our blog.  Also view press clips from New England and the most recent tour leg in New Jersey.

Remember to connect with EDGreenRibbonSchools on Facebook and @EDGreen Ribbon on Twitter to follow the tour!

Next week the Facilities Best Practices Team heads to southeastern Wisconsin schools.  Past tour participants have included federal, state and local elected and agency officials, such as mayors, governors, members of state and national congress, stakeholders including non-profits, designers, architects, builders, food service and maintenance personnel.  All are welcome to join the tour and Facilities Best Practices Listening Session on each tour leg.

The Wisconsin Tour Leg Agenda

Thursday, August 22

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Purdy Elementary School– 719 South Main St., Fort Atkinson, Wis.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Fort Atkinson School District – 201 Park St., Fort Atkinson, Wis.

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Facilities Best Practices Listening Session – Rockwell Elementary, 821 Monroe St., Fort Atkinson, Wis.

Friday, August 23

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Visit Dimensions of Learning Academy – 6218 25th Ave., Kenosha, Wis.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Visit Westlawn Elementary, – W64, N319 Madison Ave., Cedarburg, Wis.


Mark your calendars!  Following Wisconsin, the Facilities Best Practices Tour Team will head to the West Coast from September 16th to 20th.

The Wisconsin School Sites

Purdy Elementary School, Fort Atkinson, WI

In 2010, Purdy Elementary School earned the ENERGY STAR award with an energy performance score of 97.  Behavioral changes to promote energy efficiency are encouraged by the Green Team, which recognizes classrooms exhibiting the behaviors leading to greatest reductions in environmental impact. Purdy Elementary School derives five percent of its energy from on-site renewable sources, including geothermal heating and cooling, as well as solar panel installation, all of which are used for instructional purposes.  Purdy Elementary uses water-efficient or regionally appropriate plant species for 100 percent of its landscaping and all bathroom faucets are equipped with automatic sensors in order to prevent water waste.

School District of Fort Atkinson, WI (Photo below)

All Fort Atkinson schools participate in the green schools effort. The district’s energy efficiency plan includes sustainability, conservation, education, retro-commissioning, and building material upgrades.  As of 2012, all six Fort Atkinson schools have achieved EPA ENERGY STAR certification, with scores ranging from 75 to 96.  In the 2011-2012 year alone, schools across the district reduced their energy use by six percent. The district purchases materials containing post-consumer content, has a medication disposal policy to protect local water quality, implements smart irrigation and native landscaping, and provides outdoor classrooms and learning spaces for students.  Fort Atkinson boasts a 66 percent recycling rate thanks to efficient waste disposal and robust recycling programs.  


Dimensions of Learning Academy, Kenosha, WI (Photo below)

The Dimensions of Learning Academy, constructed in 1911, is committed to improving student health and energy efficiency.  With a 50 percent recycling rate, a grey water system, lighting retrofits, and a garden, Dimensions of Learning is progressing toward a complete green design and lifestyle. The school has undergone efficiency upgrades, such as the replacement of a boiler purchased in 1952 with an energy-efficient boiler in 2007, and the replacement of all T-12 lighting fixtures with T-8 lighting. Low-flow water faucets prevent the waste of water, and meters are in place to monitor the water usage of boiler units in order to detect and prevent leaks. The Academy has reported a reduction of more than six percent in annual greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2010, the same year the school earned the ENERGY STAR award. 


Westlawn Elementary School, Cedarburg, WI (Photo below)

Westlawn Elementary School has reduced its total energy and water consumption with upgrades such as 85 percent efficient boilers, occupancy light sensors, water barrels, and energy efficient lighting.  Westlawn students conduct audits and collect data such as temperatures in classrooms, number/types of light bulbs and windows throughout the school, appliances used in classrooms, and evaluate the school’s heating and cooling costs.  Westlawn implements a robust recycling program and includes recycling bins in every classroom.  The school grounds, including a wildlife habitat, amphitheater-style learning space, and an adjacent wooded area for outdoor learning and exploration, were recognized through the Mayor’s Beautification Award.  Westlawn actively employs practices to ensure healthy air quality in order to reduce asthma triggers and eliminate mold, dust, and pet dander.  


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

State education agencies are encouraged to indicate intent to nominate schools in 2014 by September 1, 2013 by emailing green.ribbon.schools@ed.govStates 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 nominations from state education agencies are due to ED-GRS by February 1, 2014.  State education agencies can obtain more information by emailing green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov.




In the News

U.S. Department of Education Concludes Let’s Read! Let’s Move! Summer Series with HGTV’s “Property Brothers” at the National Building Museum

ED’s summer enrichment series, part of the Corporation for National and Community Service's United We Serve: Let's Read! Let's Move! initiative, engages youth in summer reading, physical activity, and healthy, affordable eating. The goal of the series of summer events, featuring guests such as NBA star Jeremy Lin, Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, and astronaut George Zamka, was to highlight the importance of access to high-quality early learning programs and to keep students reading, moving, and active over the summer months  The fifth and final event held on August 6th featured Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV’s hit show “Property Brothers.”  


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. 

August 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 a 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)

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

Sept. 25, 2013, 3-4 p.m.   Cleaning and Maintenance for Healthier Schools (EPA)

Also find more resources on the Green Strides Resources Page!