Background

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    Students preparing vegetables

    The sustainability plan is the result of several years of work within and beyond City Schools.

    Principles

    The development and implementation of the sustainability pan is based on several principles

    • Promote equity among schools. This includes working to provide equitable access to resources, partnerships, and opportunities, and empower students at every school.
    • Build student and staff leaders. This includes supporting student “green teams” who lead school-based sustainability activities; providing professional development opportunities for teachers and staff; helping schools seeking green school certifications; and building networks to promote peer-to-peer learning.
    • Develop robust partnerships. This includes the coordination and sharing of information with and between partners, aligning partners’ work with City Schools curricula, and identifying needs that partners can help to meet.
    • Provide resources and incentives to staff. This includes items such as on-line toolkits, small grants to schools for student-led greening projects, and recognizing teachers who lead greening programs at their schools.
    • Change internal systems. This includes efforts to reduce City Schools’ impact on the environment, such as using less-toxic cleaning products, procuring energy from renewable sources, and caring for our schools and grounds in ways that promote student and staff well-being.

    Policies

    The sustainability plan is aligned to the following district policies and adminstrative regulations

    It is consistent with several plans adopted by the City, including the sustainability planclimate action plan, and the disaster preparedness plan

    Timeline

    • 2005: The first two schools achieve the Maryland Green Schools award from the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education, with other schools achieving the designation in the coming years.
    • 2009: The City of Baltimore approves a sustainability plan. Two of the goals are to turn every Baltimore City school into a green school and ensure all city youth have access to environmental stewardship programs and information.
    • 2010: The Green Schools Network forms to connect advocates from the school district and the community to coordinate ideas and projects; two volunteers through VISTA and AmeriCorps support the network.
    • 2013: City Schools hires a full-time energy specialist, and a part-time, grant-funded green schools coordinator.
    • 2016: The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners approves a sustainability policy, with broad goals to help City Schools promote and support greening, environmental education, and sustainability.
    • 2017: The number of schools achieving the Maryland Green Schools Awards Program designation steadily grows, reaching 32 in 2017.

     

     

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