Winter 2016 / 2017
News Briefs

Green and Healthy Schools Institute

Green and Healthy Schools Institute

About 100 teachers from throughout Wisconsin attended the recent Wisconsin Green and Healthy Schools (GHS) Institute to learn more about ways to make their schools more sustainable and create healthier learning environments for students and staff. The GHS program, in partnership with the Wisconsin Center of Environmental Education, DNR and DPI, organized the all-day Institute at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton. Keynote speakers, Bill Beckman and Ann Erin from Performance Services, a Wisconsin-based Design Build contractor and energy consultant, highlighted how the Middleton-Cross Plains School District has saved more than $3.3 million in energy savings alone in the last 12 years by implementing district wide energy conservation/efficiency measures, technology improvements and educating students and staff about how to save energy. All schools in the MCPASD have achieved ENERGY STAR® ratings, making the district one of the few in the state to have their facilities meet very stringent energy and sustainable standards.

Energy is just one part of the whole green and healthy schools initiative. During the GHS program, participants had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on student engagement, connect with community resources, learn sustainable building design options and incorporate environmental education into the curriculum.

Schools are increasingly adopting sustainable topics into their curriculums including recycling/composting, garden-based teaching methods, water conservation/rainwater recycling and alternative transportation systems, just to name a few topics. Currently, over 350 K-12 schools in Wisconsin are voluntary participants in the GHS program. There is no cost to participate in the program.

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