Archive for the ‘Green Schools’ Category

Continue the Quest! A Primer on the 2020-21 Format and Themes

Are you interested in participating in the Green Schools Quest as a school or mentor this year? We hope so!

Regardless of whether you are a past participant, or new to the Green Schools Quest; whether you are currently registered to participate this year, or still debating if you will sign up – this webinar will help you better understand the reimagined format for 2020-21 and provide an introduction to the monthly themes. 

During this webinar, you will:

  • Review the program adaptations for the 2020-21 school year aimed at providing more flexibility for schools.
  • Discuss the primary challenge for 2020-21: To integrate sustainability into students’ learning.
  • Explore the monthly themes which represent principles of the Rainbow of Sustainability, a tool for applying the lens of sustainability to curriculum. 
  • Identify what qualifies as a Green Schools Quest project this year.
  • Ask any lingering questions you may have.

PRESENTERS
Hope Gribble, USGBC-MGC, Green Schools Quest program manager

Kat Golden, Missouri Botanical Garden EarthWays Center, Past Green Schools Quest Mentor, & Member of the GSQ Committee

Traci Jansen, Keysor Elementary School (Kirkwood School District), Past Green Schools Quest Participant, & Member of the GSQ Committee

WHEN
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
5:00 – 6:00 pm

WHERE
Virtually, of course!
You’ll receive the Zoom login details after registering. 

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

THE GREEN SCHOOLS QUEST PROGRAM
Each year, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter challenges public and private schools across the region to devise and implement, with the help of Green Mentors, the most creative, effective and no- or low-cost sustainable practices for their schools. Rather than complete comprehensive six-month projects, as Green Schools Quest participants have done in the past, for the 2020-21 school year, participating schools are invited to integrate sustainability into students’ learning through the lens of a monthly theme. We are currently seeking both School and Mentor participants. Applications are due September 30th.




Missouri Green Schools is hiring support VISTAs!

Missouri Green Schools (MGS) is a program to help schools improve health, reduce environmental impact, and develop a culture of sustainability. Managed by the Missouri Environmental Education Association and the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter, MGS creates a pathway for state and national recognition and provides a variety of one-on-one services to support under-resourced schools in achieving “green” goals and earning recognition.

Four AmeriCorp VISTAs are currently sought to help develop and launch the MGS program during the upcoming school year.

VISTAs will work in St. Louis but have the opportunity to interact with schools throughout the state. VISTA members’ service will revolve around:

  • providing one-on-one support for under-resourced schools to achieve green goals and
  • conducting outreach to schools and partners.

VISTAs will receive training to guide schools in using a systems approach to become a green school–a school that brings an environmental and equity lens to decision-making.

For more information, please contact Lesli Moylan at moylan@meea.org or visit the job posting on the My AmeriCorps website.




Winners of the 2019-20 Green Schools Quest

The Green Schools Quest is an annual project-based challenge to PreK-12 schools to implement creative, effective and low-cost sustainable practices at their schools with the help of a Green Mentor.

68 school and mentor teams participated during the 2019-20 school year, and 44 of these schools submitted materials detailing their work to be reviewed by a panel of impartial judges utilizing this scoring rubric.

While we were not able to join together for our annual culminating event, we’re excited to celebrate participants and projects virtually! New highlights and insights are being posted each day during the week of May 18.

Announcing the 2020-21 Focus of the Year: Health & Wellness

The actions of individuals, organizations, and communities affect not only the planet, but also human health. Green Schools can be powerful promoters of health and well-being. Improving health and wellness addresses physical, emotional, and social issues students and their communities may be facing.

In this video, we’ll introduce you to the 2020-21 focus of Health & Wellness along with project ideas and resources.

Hear from School Leads on Why They Engage

Each school is required to have one adult leader from within their school to sponsor their team – this could be a teacher, administrator, or parent.

School Leads facilitate student engagement, collaborate with the mentor and determine how to best plug him/her into the project, integrate the project into school curriculum and culture, and lead the behind the scenes coordination that supports the project’s success.

In this video, a handful of School Leads share why they feel participating in the Green Schools Quest is valuable for their schools and students . . .

Mentors Share Their Experience

Mentors play an important role in the Green Schools Quest, each contributing guidance and resources that address the unique needs of their school team and project.

In this video, you’ll hear directly from mentors on how they plugged into their schools’ projects and why they feel the mentorship role is such an important piece of the Green Schools Quest.

Student Interviews

In this video, students reflect upon their experience engaging in a Green Schools Quest project this year.

– What did you learn?
– What did you enjoy about your project?
– Who helped you?
– What are you going to do now?

Project Focus & Collective Impact

This video highlights the diverse range of projects that took place and their collective impact. Included are clips from digital presentations the school / mentor teams prepared. 

2019-20 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019-20 Green Schools Quest! View this video to learn more about each of their projects.

Elementary School Category

1st Place:
A Green Wave of Change,
Crestwood Elementary (Lindbergh)

2nd Place:
Transportation Pollution Solution,
St. Margaret of Scotland

3rd Place:
Brown School Waste Warriors,
Brown Elementary (Hazelwood)

Middle School Category

1st Place:
RMS Earthletes Make Long-Lasting Change,
Rogers Middle School (Affton)

2nd Place:
Making a Difference in Our School,
The St. Michael School of Clayton

3rd Place:
Cafeteria Waste Reduction,
Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School

High School Category

1st Place:
Impact Challenge,
Principia Upper School

2nd Place:
‘Not I, but We’ Environmental Justice,
St. Joseph’s Academy

3rd Place:
Reintroducing Recycling: Students Reduce Cafeteria Waste,
Ladue Horton Watkins High School

Spotlight Awards

Rookie of the Year:
KIPP Victory Garden,
KIPP Victory Academy

Sustainability Champion:

Bye, Bye Bags,
W.W. Keysor Elementary (Kirkwood)

Focus of the Year – Environmental Justice:

SLPS Can’t Afford Styrofoam Anymore,
Bryan Hill Elementary & Columbia Elementary (St. Louis Public School District)

Judges’ Choice:

Green Team,
Truman Elementary (Meramec Valley R-III)

Innovation:

Going Beyond,
Sunrise R-IX Elementary

2019-20 Participants & Projects

Kudos to all of the participating schools and mentors. Each and every one has taken significant action towards creating greener, healthier learning environments and positively impacted their communities!

Help us celebrate the accomplishments of participants the week of May 18. Stay tuned for more information and insight to be release each day,  including a summary document highlighting all submissions received and digital messages that will be shared at 10am daily:

  • Project Focuses & Collective Impact – May 18
  • Student Interviews About Their Work – May 19
  • Mentors Share Their GSQ Experiences – May 20
  • Hear from School Leads on Why They Engage – May 21
  • Announcing the 2020-21 Focus of the Year – May 22




Winners of the 2018 -19 Green Schools Quest

We cannot say enough about the accomplishments and impact of our 2018-19 Green Schools Quest schools. According to the numbers reported in participating schools’ final reports, over 3,000 students and 180 faculty and staff were directly involved in this year’s Green Schools Quest projects. And over 33,000 additional individuals were impacted through the projects this year!

We are thrilled to share the winners of the 2018 -19 Green Schools Quest!

Elementary Category
1st – Kirkwood Early Childhood Center
2nd – Highcroft Ridge Elementary (Parkway)
3rd – Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School

Middle School Category
1st – Forsyth School
2nd TIE –Nipher Middle School (Kirkwood)
2nd TIE – North Kirkwood Middle School
3rd – Grand Center Arts Academy (Confluence)

High School Category
1st – Kirkwood High School
2nd – Herculaneum High School
3rd – Jennings Senior High

Rookie of the Year (TIE) – Hazelwood West Middle School & McKinley Classical Leadership Academy (St. Louis Public)

Sustainability Champion – Little Flower Catholic School

Focus of the Year (Energy) – Crossroads Elementary (Wentzville)

Judges Choice – Brown Elementary (Hazelwood)

Innovation – St. Margaret of Scotland

Click here to view final documentation from 2018-19 winning submissions.




2018 Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the names of the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Awardees, including four schools in the state of Missouri:

  • Bellerive Elementary School, Creve Coeur, MO
  • Green Trails Elementary School, Chesterfield, MO
  • W.W. Keysor Elementary School, Kirkwood, MO
  • St. Louis University High School, St. Louis, MO

Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 58 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

Congratulations to the 2018 Honorees!




Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School Wins International “Best of Green Schools” Award

MRH MS GSQ award

MRH MS Students Best of Green Schools

MRH MS Best of Green Schools Award

Congratulations to Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School – Winner of the “Best of Green Schools” class of 2018 – an award presented by the Center for Green Schools and the Green Schools National Network.

Recipients are chosen by a jury of green school leaders and advocates from around the country, and selected based on their demonstration of real change in our schools.

In the words of Jennifer Seydel, head of the Green Schools National Network, “Every movement needs leaders, and this year’s Best of Green Schools honorees reflect the transformative leadership that is needed to move the green schools movement from niche to mainstream.”

MRHMS believes that sustainable schools provide all community members with the greatest opportunities for success. It has integrated sustainability and green practices into its curriculum, including lessons in gardening, aquaponics, urban chickens, beehives, composting and rain gardens.

Maplewood Richmond Heights was also recognized as 2nd Place Winner in the 2017-18 Green Schools Quest Middle School Category!  This is the third time that MRH middle school has been acknowledged as a winner during the five years of the Green Schools Quest – clearly demonstrating leadership and creativity in response to the challenge to imagine and implement a new sustainability project for their school.

USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Education and Green Schools Manager Hope Gribble attended a MRH Middle School Town Hall on Tuesday, May 8th to present students with both awards. At the ceremony, she stated “It’s not only what you learn, but also where you learn that matters! You have contributed to making where you learn an institution that represents the best environmental efforts in schools across the country. You truly are national leaders and innovators in school sustainability!”

Learn more on Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Website.




10th Annual Green Schools Event

47 schools are participating in the 2016-17 Green Schools Quest. At each school, Green Teams are hard at work devising and implementing – with the help of a USGBC-MGC Green Mentor – creative, effective and no or low cost sustainable practices for their school.

Join us at the 10th Annual Green Schools Event, taking place as our April program, when we’ll announce the winners and celebrate participants of the 2016-17 Green Schools Quest!

Several winning schools will take the stage to tell the fun and inspiring stories of their experiences. Additionally, attendees will find out how they can participate in the 2017-18 Green Schools Quest, as schools or mentors.

WHEN
Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
5:30-6:15 pm – Networking, Poster Displays & School Tours
6:15-7:30 pm – Formal Presentation

WHERE
Parkway North High School
12860 Fee Fee Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63146 map

Click here to view a PDF detailing parking and entrance. Park and enter on the north side of the building. This entrance does NOT have a traffic light.

FEE
Free event for all attendees

REGISTER
Click here to register online!

THANKS TO OUR GREEN SCHOOLS CHAMPIONS!

Ameren Missouri
St. Louis County Department of Public Health
St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership

 

THANKS TO OUR GREEN SCHOOLS SUPPORTERS!

Madison County Planning & Development
Innovative Technology Education Fund

 

THANKS TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS!

Automatic Controls Equipment Systems, Inc.
Entegrity Partners
Hellmuth + Bicknese Architects

 

This program is supported in part by the

St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District

and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources




Resourceful Schools Project: We Are One Ocean

By Margaret Lilly, Environmental Representative, St. Louis County Department of Public Healthstl-county-health-blog-post

 

The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health Resourceful Schools Project (RSP) is a free resource to schools located in St. Louis County seeking to contribute to a more sustainable world.   Our current favorite program is helping schools make the St. Louis connection to ocean pollution.

The RSP unit “Plastic Pollution” helps students learn about the Mississippi watershed and the journey of plastic washed into our rivers that ends up in the North Atlantic Ocean.  As the plastic breaks into tiny pieces called microplastics, the particles are eaten by zooplankton enter our food chain at the most basic level.

Hands-On Learning

Through a lab experiment, students in 6th -12th grade identify tiny pieces of plastic by their resin number and compare the results with containers they found at home.  Schools combine this lesson with a related service project in their neighborhood by:

  • Being a part of a stream cleanup.
  • Conducting a litter patrol.
  • Constructing a sculpture using the recyclables found and displaying it at school to boost the recycling program.
  • Participating in the MSD stormwater art education project and painting a stormwater inlet near the school. RSP can provide the paint and supplies for schools in St. Louis County.

Using refillable bottles and installing water bottle filling stations may seem like a small way to “Green a School”.  By providing related education on the problem of microplastic pollution, using a refillable water bottle demonstrates that sometimes even the smallest choices we make matter, and that is a big deal!

To learn more about the free recycling and waste reduction programs and support we can provide for your school (including grants for water bottle filling stations!) please contact Margaret Lilly at mlilly@stlouisco.com or visit www.resourcefulschools.org

St Louis County Department of Public Health

 




Check out our 2015 Annual Report!

2015-AnnualReport-FINAL

We are excited to share our 2015 Annual Report with you! Each year, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter makes progress towards our goal of transforming the built environment. 2015 was no exception, as we continued to provide high quality educational events, celebrated another successful Green Schools Quest, expanded our community offerings, and much more!

2015 Highlights

  • We provide opportunities for people who care about green building to connect and learn! In 2015, over 30 unique educational events, representing 100 hours of continuing education, reached over 1500 individuals.
  • WHERE WE LEARN MATTERS! Over 25% of Americans attend school every day. We are helping to make their spaces greener and healthier for learning and teaching through the Green Schools Quest. 4,000 Green Schools Quest participants in 38 School / Mentor teams impacted over 30,000 individuals with their sustainability projects during the 2014-15 school year!
  • We are ADVANCING green building through community projects like the Plan Builder Workshop held in partnership with Missouri Interfaith Power and Light. 15 multi-faith congregations attended and began creating a sustainable operations plan for their buildings. This work was featured nationally in USGBC+ Magazine! We also worked with Better Family Life on a neighborhood Plan Builder Workshop and provided an intern to the City of Creve Coeur to complete a phase 2 Greenhouse Gas inventory and Climate Action Plan.
  • The 25 x 20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign saw an increase in participation and we hosted a “Benchmarking Jam” in October to celebrate ENERGY STAR Day.
  • Our Emerging Professionals gave back to the community in 2015 with two Community Service Projects. Volunteers built “Little Free Libraries” and held a book drive for Ford Elementary School, and participated in a home weatherization project with EnergyCare.
  • We love to celebrate green building success and do this with case studies, project profiles, Green Building Experts and especially our annual awards. In 2015, we looked back at 6 years of 40 awardees with the Growing Green Spotlight!
  • 2015 educational programming placed a special emphasis on building materials and specifically how that credit category is changing with LEEDv4. In September, we welcomed building material experts from around the country for a full day continuing education blitz on Braving the New World of Building Material Selection.
  • Throughout the year, our 150 Volunteers contributed 5,000 Hours to strategic planning and development, outreach to community partners, committees and projects like the Green Schools Quest.

Many thanks to the leaders, committees, volunteers, members, sponsors and donors for making 2015 a success!

You can view the report as an online magazine below, or download a pdf.




USGBC’s Annual School District Scholarship Applications Open Through August 19

USGBC’s Center for Green Schools has opened the call for applicants for the 2016-2017 School District Scholarship.

The annual School District Scholarship provides support to a school district staff member who is currently undertaking sustainability work across the district’s schools. These staff receive targeted education and technical support from the Center and its partners for the entire school year, including

  • Travel, lodging and attendance at the Green Schools Conference and the pre-conference summit for School Sustainability Leaders.
  • Travel, lodging and attendance at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.
  • $3,000 grant to assist in implementing a high-impact sustainability project.
  • Ongoing training through personal and small group coaching.
  • Limited complimentary year-long access to several school resources from USGBC, including Learning Lab, the Green Classroom Professional Certificate, and LEED Coach for school projects.

Applications are due August 19th. Click here to learn more and apply!