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School Facilities Policy Spotlight: Georgia’s Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Download

State policy places an integral role in determining both the mechanisms and funding levels for construction, renovation, and repair of school facilities. Through policy review and notes from a 2017 convening in Atlanta, this report discusses a unique schools funding mechanism in Georgia: the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST).

Info Sheet: LEED & Schools Download

Download our info sheet to see how LEED certification makes school buildings healthier, more productive places for students and staff.

Green Schools Menu of Options for State Legislators Download

State legislators have powerful opportunities to promote healthy, high-performing schools through legislative activities and innovative community partnerships. This resources offers a menu of legislative options for green schools.

Green Classroom Professional: Group Trainings Download

A how-to guide for planning and conducting in-person Green Classroom Professional workshops

The Campus Wild Download

Report highlighting how college and university green landscapes provide havens for wildlife and “lands-on” experiences for students.

Green Classroom Professional Certificate Program Handbook

The Green Classroom Professional Certificate program provides pre K-12 educators and school staff with the knowledge to identify what supports or impedes healthy, resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable learning spaces.

Jumping in to Learning Lab

Learning Lab is your one-stop shop for leading-edge classroom sustainability materials. Equipping and engaging educators with the right resources and preparation means students are more likely to understand the interdependence of economic, environmental, and social systems and to be empowered as global citizens.

Global Coalition for Green Schools

The Global Coalition for Green Schools creates a powerful global force for ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn in a green school within this generation. It seeks to amplify the voices of the many national coalitions around the world who work tirelessly to make their schools healthy, safe and efficient.

Green Apple Day of Service Video

Green Apple Day of Service inspires schools and communities to learn about sustainabilty and take action to green their school building and grounds.

State of Our Schools Report 2016 Download

In the 2016 State of Our Schools report we compile and analyze the best available school district data about U.S. K–12 public school facilities funding. The report projects that going forward our nation will under-invest in school buildings by $46 billion annually.

Green Apple Day of Service 2016 Highlights Download

An inspiring compilation of Green Apple Day of Service photos and stories from around the globe.

Getting Started: The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award Download

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors schools, districts, and Institutions of Higher Education that are leading the way in the green schools movement. This resources offers an overview of the award and application process, as well as resource recommendations to get started.

Higher Education Project List Download
Every School can be a Green School: Getting Started Checklist Download

Whether you are a parent, teacher, school staff member, student, or community volunteer, you want your school to provide a healthy, welcoming place to learn. This resource offers 12 simple priority actions to help make your school healthy, efficient, comfortable and environmentally responsible.

Campus Implementation Workbook Download

The workbook is designed to assist higher education campus teams with creating a green existing buildings program, implementing the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system at the campus and building level, and establishing a culture of performance.

National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability Download

In June 2013, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt brought together stakeholders from academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors to envision a future where our schools support thriving, healthy, and regenerative communities. Participants agreed on a shared vision where all students graduate educated for a sustainable future through the integration of the environment, economy, and equity, with the ability to apply systems thinking to problem solving and decision making by 2040. Fifteen subject matter experts undertook the task of recommending key actions that, collectively, outline a pathway to achieve our ambitious goal. This National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability intends to propel efforts to affect policies and practices through collaboration, alignment, and large-scale implementation.

Perspectives on Implementation and Effectiveness of School Green Cleaning Laws Download

This paper presents a summary of the state laws, analysis of national survey data, the research results concerning data and opinions on the effectiveness of the laws, and detailed analysis of the similarities and differences of the laws.

Powering Down: Behavior-Based Energy Conservation in K-12 Schools Download

"Powering Down: Behavior-Based Energy Conservation in K-12 Schools," follows the experiences of five public schools that have reduced electricity use by an astonishing 20 to 37 percent through behavior-based strategies alone. The paper, which was written with lead author Kate Crosby, looks to these schools as models for others and examines common strategies for every school to reduce its energy usage.

2013 State of Our Schools report Download
UC Davis Brewery, Winery and Food

Davis, CA
LEED Platinum

Learning Gate Community School

Lutz, FL
LEED Platinum

SUNY Oswego Townhouses

Oswego, NY

UNF College of Education Building

Jacksonville, FL

Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business

Oakland, CA

Betty Irene Moore Natural Sciences Building

Oakland, CA
LEED Platinum

IAIA Science and Technology Center

Oakland, CA

Thurgood Marshall Elementary School

Philadelphia, PA
LEED Certified

Edy Ridge E.S. & Laurel Ridge M.S.

Sherwood, OR

Adlai E Stevenson High School

Lincolnshire, IL

Overview: How to Green Existing Schools Download

View Overview: How to Green Existing Schools (21 minutes)

This module provides an overview of comprehensive sustainability planning for a school or school district.

Contributor: Tim Cole of Virginia Beach City Schools.

Water Management Download

View Water Management (27 minutes)

Contributors: Nikolai Kaestner of San Francisco Unified School District and Jeff Haberstroh of Boerne Independent School District

Materials and Sustainable Purchasing Download

View Materials and Sustainable Purchasing (32 minutes)

Contributors: Carol Stroup of Hillsboro School District and Nancy Bond and Elaine Hoyt of Portland Public Schools

Green Cleaning Download

View Green Cleaning (37 minutes)

Contributors: Dianne Jones of Montgomery County Public Schools, Carol Stroup of Hillsboro School District and Nikolai Kaestner of San Francisco Unified School District

Energy Management Download

View Energy Management (38 minutes)

Contributors: Les Pace of Tulsa Public Schools, Zane Foraker of Knox County Schools and Kimberly Wright and Victoria Brunn of Manteca Unified School District

Tools to Green Existing Schools

View Tools to Green Existing Schools (24 mins)

This module identifies and explains free tools to assist in greening schools, including ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the Green Existing Schools Toolkit, and the LEED certification process.

Contributor: Suzanne Hearther, consultant with Pasco County Schools

Transportation Download

View Transportation (29 minutes)

Contributor: Vickie Jacobsen, parent at Washington Elementary in Evanston, Illinois

Indoor Environmental Quality Download

View Indoor Environmental Quality (38 minutes)

Contributors: Brian Kasher of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Tiffany Delcour of the Recovery School District of Louisiana

Recycling and Waste Management Download

View Recycling and Waste Management (30 minutes)

Contributors: Suzanne Hearther, consultant with Pasco County Schools and Carol Stroup of Hillsboro School District

The Whole-School Sustainability Framework Download

The Whole School Sustainability Framework was produced through years of research by the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University and was produced and published by the Center for Green Schools. It Illustrates how every school can establish the conditions necessary to support their journey toward sustainability. The framework is organized into three components of schools—organizational culture, physical place, and educational program—and is supported by literature and case studies from social science, business, education, and building sciences.

The Campus as a Living Lab: Using the Built Environment to Revitalize College Education Download

The Campus as a Living Lab: Using the Built Environment to Revitalize College Education was developed in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges’ SEED Center and targets colleges that have greened their campuses, or are thinking about greening their campuses, creating real-world teaching tools for students across an array of academic and technical programs.

Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management Download

The goal of this Implementation Guide is to provide practical guidance for designing, implementing, and managing a green revolving fund (GRF) at a college, university, or other institution. The GRF model is widespread, with at least 79 funds in operation in North America representing over $111 million in committed investment as of late 2012. GRFs have proven their ability to reduce operating costs and environmental impact while promoting education and engaging stakeholders.

The Green Schools Investment Guide for Healthy, Efficient and Inspiring Learning Spaces Download

The Green Schools Investment Guide for Healthy, Efficient and Inspiring Learning Spaces is a free downloadable resource for K-12 schools and communities that demonstrates how schools can implement healthy and resource-efficient building improvements. The guide is the first product of a joint initiative of Architecture for Humanity and the Center for Green Schools.

2013 McGraw Hill New and Retrofit Green Schools Report Download

Since McGraw-Hill Construction's Education Green Building SmartMarket Report was published in 2007, schools have been demonstrably on the vanguard of green building, and we are happy to report that our latest research confirms that they continue to be leaders in green building.

Water Conservation Download

This toolkit offers K-8 teachers a lesson plan, including an interactive case study of Learning Gate Community School, to teach students the importance of conserving water and personal actions they can take in school and at home.

Fostering Learning in Healthy Indoor Environments Download

This guide will help K-12 administrators, teachers, parents, and students interested in pursuing LEED to understand the importance of healthy indoor air, how it manifests in schools, and actions that can be taken. It includes an interactive case study of Learning Gate Community School and an interactive web module.

Leading Your School to Sustainability Download

Learn how to develop and implement a major school-based sustainability project with this guide for K-12 school leaders and planners. Read the interactive case study of Learning Gate Community School, take a one-hour online course, and conduct a professional development in-person workshop using the tools in this guide.

Harnessing Green Buildings as Teaching Tools Download

This guide is intended for K-12 administrators and teaching staff, as well as building professionals working on K-12 projects – or for individuals who educate these audiences. Using Learning Gate Community School as a case example of how to harness a LEED-certified building as a teaching tool, the guide includes short- and long-format case studies and a professional development workshop, complete with a presentation.

Guide to Resources for Green Ribbon Schools Applications Download

This document outlines the essential tools you’ll need to successfully complete portions of your application for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools voluntary recognition program.

Local Leaders in Sustainability: Special Report from Sundance, A National Action Plan for Greening America's Schools Download

Outlines a national action plan that mayors and local leaders can use as a framework to develop and implement green schools initiatives. The report also provides a comprehensive review of the benefits of green schools; a summary of local, state and federal policy solutions; leadership profiles of green school advocates; and case studies from both large cities and small communities. Together, these resources serve as a roadmap on the journey to green schools.