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Green DC Agenda - Schools


Environmental sustainability in facilities and curriculum. All District schools will be constructed following green building practices to provide students with a high quality environment for learning. Daylight, fresh air, and green schoolyards will enhance learning. The District will reduce operating costs through water and energy efficiency and by providing a healthy working environment. Green school facilities will be laboratories for learning and community-based environmental education to prepare youth and adult learners to participate in an increasingly green economy.

Key Agenda Commitments

  • Install at least five RiverSmart School schoolyard conservation sites each fiscal year to treat stormwater onsite, create habitat for wildlife and serve as outdoor classrooms and laboratories.
  • Expand school recycling program for paper/plastic/glass/metal and other waste to all public schools.
  • Incorporate solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, geothermal and other renewable energy systems that are integrated into the science education curriculum.
  • Retrofit 22 school buses with filters to reduce diesel particulate air pollution and protect the health of students, employees and District residents—funded in partnership with U.S. EPA.
  • Establish a green cleaning and housekeeping program to purchase and use greener cleaning products, minimize product use and waste streams, and provide staff training on methods, products, and disposal.

Current Successes

  • Opened the District’s first public school with green features to qualify for U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Schools Silver certification (Phelps High School).
  • Eight more schools under construction are pursuing LEED Silver or higher.
  • All new school construction will achieve LEED Silver or higher standards for green building.
  • Created the Green Construction curriculum at Cardozo High School that will train more than 100 students in green construction techniques to prepare them for jobs in the green economy.
  • Elementary to high school students are participating in energy patrols—receiving energy education and assessment training to review school energy use.
  • Developed schoolyard conservation programs at 25 schools to clean and re-plant the grounds, manage stormwater and beautify the school environment.
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