The San Carlos School District (SCSD) received the special honor of “Green School” at the Green California Leadership Summit on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Sacramento. This award was only given to one school from the entire state and it celebrates the school district’s approach to integrate environmental literacy into the project-based curriculum, as well as their innovation with green schoolyards and facilities. Utilizing California’s Proposition 39 funds, SCSD is in the process of building solar panels on all schools and incorporating energy upgrades across all facilities. According to Chief Operating Officer, Robert Porter, “SCSD’s programs have resulted in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased biodiversity, reduction in the amount of waste in landfills, and increased diversion to recycling and compost. All of these things affect our planet and our school finances in positive ways.”
The students, staff and community of San Carlos all benefit because SCSD includes environmental literacy and sustainability in its notion of educating the whole child. According to Andra Yeghoian, Environmental Education Coordinator at San Mateo County Office of Education, “Through the work SCSD is doing, students and staff get access to a healthier school environment, more outdoor learning time, and the knowledge, skills and values to bring about a sustainable future.” The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) is putting forth tremendous support for environmental literacy throughout the county, including help with curriculum development, professional learning, and resource conservation “dashboards” that help students gain real-time insight to how their schools are using energy and water. SMCOE’s new One Planet Challenge is set to guide and build upon the incremental success of all of these efforts.
“The whole child approach also depends upon the expertise of dedicated teachers, school counselors, PE and health educators, and custodians. Together, they nurture students through curriculum and projects that encourage them to act creatively and collaboratively in real-world situations,” says Interim Superintendent Mary Jude Doerpinghaus. The district invites you to visit our schools and see for yourself how our students use problem solving, empathizing, design thinking, and risk-taking to create products and processes that involve things such as Renewable Energy & Energy Management, Water Conservation, Ecosystem Preservation & Conservation, Green Building, Waste Diversion and Active Transportation.
The District’s Wellness Director, Mindy Hill, and Energy Manager, Adam Lokar, attended the Summit and accepted the award on behalf of the San Carlos School District.