Asthma impacts one in twelve children in the United States and is a leading contributor to student absenteeism. Chronic illnesses like asthma may even increase students’ risk of impacts from COVID-19. Purchasing environmentally healthier cleaning products, filters, furniture and rugs, and markers and paints can reduce a significant number of irritants and allergens that contribute to asthma symptoms in school settings.
The Healthy Green Purchasing for Asthma Prevention Guidebook helps schools meet the health needs of students, families, and school staff with environmentally preferred products. The guide serves as a resource for all who care about healthy purchasing for asthma prevention at the school level.
This Getting Started Guide walks users through the process of accessing and setting up a school project in the Arc online platform. It can also be used as a reference for uploading and managing the school's building data available in Arc.
Use this powerpoint and speaker notes to give an overview of the Center for Green Schools' work to your school, district, or colleagues; or review it yourself to better understand our work and how we can support your green school initiatives.
Download this powerpoint presentation and speaker notes to help your school, district, or colleagues understand how LEED can be used to protect health, improve sustainability outcomes, and increase accountability during the construction or operations of a school building.
This powerpoint presentation is intended for use by green school supporters and advocates. It can be used to communicate the importance of green schools, why they matter, and what is included in a vision for green schools. The presentation includes speaker notes.
The “Green Existing Schools” training webinar series intends to provide green school initiatives to be implemented in existing schools by staff, parents, community members, and students. The series consists of 10 short videos and companion guides and addresses how each category of the LEED rating system can be addressed in existing school buildings.
The Sharing the Table Roadmap addresses the food waste problem in schools through a simple approach of creating and implementing food waste reduction and recovery programs. Food waste can be dramatically reduced and surplus food can be provided to feed the community, through well designed surplus food reduction and recovery programs. These programs function with two main goals: (1) to reduce the amount of food waste created by school meals and (2) to recover perfectly good surplus food to feed those in need in the community.
At the time of writing this paper, only 15 states and DC had legislation around testing school drinking water for lead. This report presents a summary of the 15 state laws, the research results concerning data and opinions on the effectiveness of the laws, and a detailed analysis of the similarities and differences of the laws. The report’s side-by-side comparison of the laws is a valuable way to start thinking about the properties of effective legislation around testing school drinking water. State legislators and advocates can use this paper as they consider new state laws to address lead contamination in school drinking water. At the end of the paper, recommendations based on the analysis of the report is given to the reader to advocate for prospective state legislation.
This toolkit is designed to help green schools allies address sustainability issues and impact greener policies at the school district level.
This report offers a side-by-side comparison of of each state’s legislation and program features, including dollars invested, type of allocation, purpose and intent of each, and percentage of schools impacted.
The Green Schools National Network brings us the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly (GSCQ), the only peer reviewed, high interest digital magazine that highlights evidence-based practices for replication in green, healthy, sustainable schools. GSCQ explores issues in-depth, including qualitative and quantitative research, and includes columns that report on and explore emergent issues.
An executive summary of the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report.
Building on the 2016 State of Our Schools report, the Planning for PK-12 Infrastructure Initiative (P4si Initiative) formulated a systems-based plan to address the structural problems of inequitable and inadequate school facilities.
Six national cross-sector working groups organized around basic elements of a well-managed facilities program: Data and Information, Educational Facilities Planning, Management, Funding, Governance and Decision Making, and Accountability, came together for this initiative and developed a menu of solutions to guide school funding and infrastructure at the federal, state and local levels. Published in March 2017, the Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform report presents the working groups’ recommended priority action items, which are intended to build and sustain high-performance public PK-12 facilities for all children.
Adequate & Equitable U.S. PK-12 Infrastructure: Priority Actions for Systemic Reform is a joint publication of the 21st Century School Fund, the National Council on School Facilities, The Center for Cities + Schools and the U.S. Green Building Council.
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).
Download our info sheet to see how LEED certification makes school buildings healthier, more productive places for students and staff.
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.
A how-to guide for planning and conducting in-person Green Classroom Professional workshops
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.
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.
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 inspires schools and communities to learn about sustainabilty and take action to green their school building and grounds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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," 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.
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 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.
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.
A toolkit and comprehensive guide for state lawmakers who are developing policy solutions that improve the health, productivity, efficiency, and fiscal responsibility of schools in their state.
The Paid-From-Savings Guide to Green Existing Buildings is a guide to help building facilities managers and energy service companies (ESCOs) leverage utility cost savings to fund comprehensive green building retrofits. The resource provides detailed information on how to aggregate green improvement measures to optimize project economics and achieve LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification.
Jointly released with McGraw Hill Foundation, this paper is an accessible account of current research connecting school buildings with student health and performance. It also includes a summary of research needed and how individual groups (teachers and students, design professionals, government agencies, etc.) can help in the effort to draw connections between where students learn and their well being. Anyone who needs clear, defensible research to support the need for better, healthier classrooms will find the summary of research into how students breathe, see, hear, move and learn useful.
The first in a series of research publications about sustainability professionals, this report was released with McGraw Hill Global Financial Institute and reaches well beyond the world of schools and colleges. The paper examines how the community of sustainability professionals can begin to make a stronger case for the profession and its impact on organizations across sectors.
The second in a series of research publications about sustainability professionals, this report summarizes the role and expectations for sustainability directors in K-12 school districts. Drawing from extensive surveys and interviews with the Center for Green Schools’ network of sustainability professionals, the research concludes with important lessons for those managing and performing in this role.
The highest LEED rated aquatics center in the US, the Niles North High School Aquatics Center is 39,204 sf and achieved LEED Gold in December of 2014. This facility uses 44% less energy and 42% less water compared to a typical facility of similar size.
Legacy Charter School in Chicago, IL, which is 61,123 square feet and was certified LEED Platinum in 2017, was created with its community in mind. Its sustainability program is rooted in citizenship goals. Design features include geometric shapes and bright colors, and the school has PV panels that provide 13% of the electricity load.
This project on the campus of the Grauer School is 9,196 square feet and was certified Gold in April of 2017. The new building has solar panels, a highly efficient HVAC system, and increased green space. In addition, the school devotes a third of their 6-acre campus to wildlife, native habitats, and nature trails.
Atrisco Elementary School in Albuquerque, part of New Mexico’s largest school system, was certified LEED Gold in February of 2017. This school has 300 PV panels and 27% of the recycled materials used in construction were sourced locally.
Originally built in 1931, the newly renovated Cambridge Rindge school is 403,393 square feet and achieved LEED Gold in July of 2013. This 1,700-student school lowered their operating costs by $335,000 annually.
At 158,960 square feet, Green Street Academy in Baltimore, MD achieved LEED Platinum in 2016. This charter school supports public transportation and has reduced overall parking lot area by sharing a lot with Kingdom Life Church.
Chapel Hill, NC
Northside Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC, is 99,500 square feet and was certified LEED Platinum in July of 2014. This new school, built on a site that has housed a school since 1924, incorporates storm water management strategies such as a rainwater cistern and pervious pavements.
When Bay Path Regional Vocational Tech High School in Charlton, MA, renovated their facility in 2015, they reused 95 percent of the original structure and added 50,000 square feet and achieved LEED Silver in June of 2016. This now 249,393 square foot facility includes new science labs and a new media center.
The first public high school for African Americans, the historic Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, DC was certified LEED Platinum in February of 2015. At 276,000 square feet, this school ties in its historic roots with elements such as a solar array and radiant flooring to save $250,000 in annual energy costs compared to the average DC public school.
Lake Mills, WI
The K-12 first school in the nation to receive LEED Platinum under v4, Lake Mills Elementary School in Lake Mills, WI is 93,284 square feet. It is a Department of Education Green Ribbon School and includes a green roof and solar hot water system.
Outperforming the Maryland High Performance Program requirements, Edward M. Felegy Elementary School in Hyattsville, MD achieved LEED Gold certification in October of 2017. Some of the sustainable strategies for this 92,000 square foot facility include a green roof, bioswales, and access to daylight in 91% of classrooms.
At 160,072 square feet and 50 classrooms, Jaime Padron Elementary School No 2 was certified Gold in April of 2016. As a result of a 256 kW PV system as well as a new HVAC system, the school reduced energy usage by 43.4%.
Opened in the fall of 2015, Willard City Schools K-12 Campus in Willard, OH is a 233,000 square foot facility that has achieved LEED Silver. This campus incorporates natural light and open floor plans and features studios and collaborative spaces to support 21st century learning.