Learning Green

Sustainability & Greening

What does it mean to be green? It means integrating environmental education across the curriculum, using school grounds as extended classrooms, operating our facilities in ways to conserve resources and minimize their environmental impact, and building partnerships with green-minded community organizations. Ultimately, it means raising our students to take care of the earth and their environment—and to be at the forefront of the global push to build a sustainable, green world.

Across City Schools, green projects and programs take place daily. Thirty-one schools have earned the Green School award from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education - see their wonderful on-line applications here.  Many more schools are conducting green programs and activities in their classrooms. And over 100 schools have received grants from the Baltimore Office of Sustainability for student-led greening projects.

These pages aim to foster environmental awareness and practices among staff, students and schools - and to make Baltimore a cleaner, greener place to learn, work and live. You can read stories about green projects in our schools, find resources to help you start a green program, get tools for ongoing efforts like recycling, and see examples of successful green-school applications.
Please also explore the Sustainability pages on the main district website, and contact Joanna Pi-Sunyer, Green Schools Coordinator, with questions or comments. 
Current Efforts 
  • Partners - see this overview of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Environmental Literacy Model - NGSS and ELM that includes links to on-line workshops. 
  • Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, each school must designate a School Sustainability Ambassador who will coordinate sustainability, greening, and environmental activities as each school.  
  • Use these Toolkits to help you green your school:
    • Cleaning for Health Toolkit about environmentally-friendly products and practices to improve the health of students, staff and the environment. 
    • Recycling Toolkit includes a How-To Guide, signs, videos, ways to integrate recycling into the classroom and other resources. Start recycling your paper, cardboard, milk and juice cartons, glass, plastic and metal.  
    • Energy toolkit helps schools save energy and reduce pollution; see how much energy your school is using, learn about school competitions, and find out ways you can participate.
    • Gardening Toolkit helps beginner and experienced gardeners be successful in their efforts to get kids connected to plants, fruits and vegetables. 
  • Under the Green Leader AU program, teachers can earn between 1 and 4 Achievement Units for being the point person on greening and sustainability at their school, and by leading greening efforts; apply by Sept 30, 2016. 
  • Environmental education is happening in classrooms and on outdoor learning labs, via professional development opportunities for teachers, and in partnership with multiple public and private entities throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
  • Thirty-one schools have earned the Green Schools Award from the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education.  Look through their impressive electronic applications demonstrating all their hard work. 
  • The 21st Century Buildings Plan integrates sustainability into the design and construction of schools being renovated or built new. See this booklet (designed to be printed on 11x17 paper) for ideas.  Please find ideas on forming a Green School Workgroup at your school to engage students, teachers, staff, parents and community members. 
Green School Network e-blasts