Newton Board of Education members and staff accept recognition during the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Awards Program at the Atlantic City Convention Center on October 24, 2017.
Merriam Avenue School, Halsted Middle School, and Newton High School have each met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools bronze certification. These schools join a group of 91 schools that achieved the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2017. A total of 679 schools and 274 school districts are participating in the program overall. “This recognition for our three schools is well-deserved,” said Newton Superintendent Dr. Ken Greene. “Sustainability is a key element of our district mission, and our staff and students should be very proud for being recognized for the role they continue to play in bringing that mission to life.”
“As students and teachers head back to school this year, they will learn the good news that their hard work has paid off,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement for schools and their school district. The number of schools participating in the program is truly remarkable.”
Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for kindergarten through twelfth-grade public schools in New Jersey, is voluntary, but achieving certification is not easy. Each school that is certified at the bronze level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, attaining a minimum of 150 points. Silver-level certification requires a minimum of 350 points of sustainability actions. Over 2,700 sustainability actions were completed by schools and districts participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program - from performing energy audits and boosting recycling efforts to integrating sustainability into student learning and promoting student and staff wellness.
“We are proud of the leadership provided by the boards of education and their superintendents, as well as the contributions of principals, teachers, education support professionals and parents, that made this important milestone a reality,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, New Jersey School Boards Association executive director. “We congratulate the schools on achieving Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.” On October 24, 2017, the certified schools and their districts will be celebrated at a reception held during NJSBA Workshop 2017 in Atlantic City. Workshop 2017 will feature Sustainable Jersey for Schools sessions along with NJSBA sustainability support programs for schools.
About Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. To date, 274 school districts and 679 schools are participating in the program. The district participation has grown to include 46 percent of all New Jersey school districts.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The 2017 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA, the Gardinier Environmental Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation and Investors Bank are Silver Sponsors.
Program partners include: NJSBA, NJEA, New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).