Thursday, July 25, 2013

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

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 Academy- 41 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 School- 358 Springside Ave., New Haven, CT 06515
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tour Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School- 170 Derby Ave., New Haven, CT 06511
Tuesday, July 30th
8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.           
Tour Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker- 440 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 CafĂ©, 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)

Environmental Education Grant to the University of Arkansas for Medical Services

EPA Awards $215,295 Environmental Education Grant to the University of Arkansas for Medical Services

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding a $215,295 Environmental Education Grant to the University of Arkansas for Medical Services. The grant will provide education to teachers, middle school students and parents on Pesticide Management Practices and Chemical Use Reduction in Homes to promote healthier homes.
“Projects like this increase awareness about environmental issues and protect our children where they live, learn and play,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Partnering with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) centers and aiming our efforts in local communities will also help promote career development.”
A new model will be applied in this project to engage target groups through environmental education opportunities by partnering with STEM centers, throughout the nation. The project will focus on teacher training to implement curriculum for the classroom, mentoring for students, parent workshops and the development of an interactive website to reach community members. Approximately 160 science middle school teachers, 400 middle school students and 350 parents will take part in this project. All materials will be translated into Spanish to facilitate further replication of this project. For information on environmental education visit:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July School IPM 2015 eNewsletter

The July School IPM 2015 eNewsletter features the following articles: Help for School IPM Planning, Managing Deer on School Grounds, and IPM Training Tools for Teachers.

If you have not done so already, please consider signing up for the monthly School IPM 2015 newsletter mailing list to:
·         Learn how you  can reduce pesticide use and pest complaints by more than 70%!
·         Create a successful IPM program with no long-term increase in pest management costs.
·         Learn strategies for managing  pests all year:
o   Fall – stinging insects
o   Spring – ants
o   New pests – bed bugs
·         Improve your ability to educate and gain cooperation from key staff  including maintenance, custodial and food service.

Signing up is easy.  Email your name and contact information to:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Indoor Air Qulaity Tools for School Webinar

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image: Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program

Learn simple steps to make sure students and staff in your school are protected against the dangerous health effects of mold.
The presence of mold in schools can be a serious health risk to students and staff because molds are a major source of indoor allergens and can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive individuals. Prompt and effective remediation of moisture problems is essential in order to minimize potential mold exposures and health effects, and is an important part of a comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) management program.
Learn more about preventing moisture intrusion and controlling and cleaning up mold by attending U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) webinar, Mold and Moisture Control in Schools: Potential Health Effects and Safe Clean-Up Practices.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013, from 1 - 2:15 p.m. EDT.
Register Now for the Mold and Moisture Contol in
Schools webinar
Attend this webinar to:
·         Learn technical tips to help control moisture intrusion and identify and prevent mold growth in your school or district.
·         Discover effective strategies for quickly responding to moisture problems and learn about proper mold remediation and clean-up practices in schools.
·         Understand the connection between effective mold and moisture control, healthy IAQ management, reduced absenteeism, and improved student performance in students and staff.
·         Gain access to tools and resources within U.S. EPA's Framework for Effective School IAQ Management and Action Kit that can help your school or district effectively manage mold and moisture problems.
·         Hear from and have your questions about mold in schools answered by a leading mold expert.
·         Steven Caulfield, Senior Vice President, Turner Building Science and Design, and President of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council, Harrison, Maine.
·         Jennifer Lemon, U.S. EPA, Indoor Environments Division.
Don't miss your chance to have your questions answered during the webinar. Send your questions to by August 6, 2013.
Please note: This webinar will last approximately 75 minutes. You will need a high-speed Internet connection and a telephone line to interact with speakers and other participants. Call-in information will be provided upon registration.
Upcoming Webinar:
School Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Protecting Kids from Pests and Pesticides
July 23, 2013, from 3 – 4 p.m. EDT (12 – 1 p.m. PDT)
Pests and pesticides pose risks to the nearly 60 million children and staff who spend considerable periods of time in our nation's schools. EPA recommends that schools use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to reduce pesticide exposure in schools. Implementing IPM can help address the economic and health related issues caused by pests and pesticides. Please join this free webinar to:
·         Gain knowledge about the basics of school IPM; the potential health, environmental and economic benefits; and what it takes to put IPM into practice.
·         Discover why IPM is an important component of clean, green and healthy schools and how it promotes healthy learning environments and academic achievement.
·         Learn about cost-effective steps you can take to manage pests, reduce pesticide use and enhance environmental health in and around your schools.
·         Hear examples of how schools/school districts have successfully implemented and institutionalized comprehensive IPM programs and practices in their districts.
Featured Presenters:
·         Brad Miller, US EPA/Office of Pesticide Programs.
·         Mark R Hardin, IPM Specialist, Howard County Public School System in Howard County, Maryland.
·         Seth Miller, Director of Operations, Westville School District in Westville, Illinois.

If you have any questions about the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance, please contact the IAQ Tools for Schools Connector Coordinator at

The IAQ Tools for Schools guidance is a comprehensive resource designed to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting and preventing IAQ problems. Learn more about the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance at