In June 2016, the Board of School Commissioners approved a Sustainability Policy. The policy and its associated administrative regulations and below and will also be posted to BoardDocs.
- FY16 Update to the Operations Committee of the School Board.
City Schools has started to implement green and sustainable practices in operations and in the classroom. For the past three years City Schools’ Green Schools Coordinator and Energy Specialist have been focused on supporting a Green Schools Network of advocates and partners, saving energy, expanding recycling, promoting the Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards, building awareness, and complying with city and state laws. This work will lead to operational savings, reduced impact on the environment, and more students who are knowledgeable about sustainability.
The sustainability policy came from several places:
- The Green Schools Coordinator is based in the Operations Office and is a partnership between City Schools and the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF). The position was created in 2013, is fully supported by BCF, and provides a part-time staff person focused on sustainability issues.
- The Energy Specialist position was created in 2013, is based in the Operations Office. The position tracks utility consumption and cost, approves all utility bills, and promotes utility conservation.
- There are a growing number of laws (green cleaning, recycling, environmental literacy) and goals (renewable energy) related to sustainability in Maryland. City Schools does not have a formal policy in place to address them, though individual departments are collaborating.
- The Operations Committee of the School Board had asked for a sustainability policy, recognizing that this is a broad topic that can help further School Board goals, including student achievement, engagement and leadership; high-quality physical learning environments; and fiscal responsibility, among others.
- A policy helps to move the work from a fairly informal status to a more formal one that focuses on complying with state laws and embedding sustainability throughout the organization. City Schools will need to create an inter-departmental Sustainability Steering Committee to define and track goals and metrics, as well provide an annual report to the School Board. Without goals and metrics, it is difficult to identify successes and challenges and difficult to build and maintain momentum.
Staff and Partner Review
Staff reviewed policies and regulations from other school districts both near and far. Staff solicited input from the following departments: Procurement, Facilities Maintenance and Inspections, Facilities Maintenance and Operations, the Office of Teaching and Learning, and Food and Nutrition Services.
The documents were presented to the Parent and Community Advisory Board (PCAB), the Green Schools Network, the Student Environmental Leadership Action Team (SELAT), the City’s Offices of Sustainability and Energy, and the New and Charter School Advisory Board.If you have comments or suggestions about greening at City Schools, please contact Joanna Pi-Sunyer, green schools coordinator.