All four of Highland Park’s schools have met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. These schools join a group of 83 schools that achieved the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2016. A total of 538 schools and 218 school districts are participating in the program overall. Sustainable Jersey for Schools is voluntary, but achieving certification is not easy. Schools collaborate with their school district to complete actions, upload documentation and achieve certification.
“Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement for schools and their school district,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “They are leaders in implementing sustainability measures that save money, improve the learning environment, and prepare today’s students to address the challenges of tomorrow.”
Each school that is certified at the bronze-level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, achieving a minimum of 150 points. Silver-level certification requires that a school attain 350 points or more. Certified schools excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, integrating sustainability into student learning and reducing waste.
Randall Solomon, co-director of the Sustainable Jersey program with Ms. Drewes, congratulated the certified schools. “I commend the schools that have achieved certification for their demonstrated commitment toward the long-term goal of a sustainable New Jersey.”
“We are proud of the leadership provided by the boards of education and their superintendents, as well as the contributions of principals, teachers, education support professionals and parents, that made this important milestone a reality,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, New Jersey School Boards Association executive director. “We congratulate the schools on achieving Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.” The Highland Park School District and the certified schools were honored at a reception during the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) Workshop 2016 Conference on October 25 in Atlantic City.
About Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. A total of 509 schools and 204 school districts are participating in the program overall. Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
The 2016 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA, the Gardinier Environmental Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation is a Silver Sponsor and Jersey Central Power and Light and Spiezle Architectural Group are Bronze Sponsors. Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program partners include: New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ.)