Student Life

Green School

FASPS Is a Proud Sustaining Green School
 
FASPS's Green Team, with the help of all of our students, faculty, staff, and parents, began its work toward becoming a Green School in September 2011. In May 2012, FASPS became a Level 1 School, which focused on waste reduction and recycling. Level 2 was obtained in May 2013 and helped FASPS conserve energy in a variety of ways. FASPS was awarded Level 3 status in May 2014, which focused on water conservation and pollution prevention. And finally, FASPS achieved Level 4 status in May 2015, becoming a Sustaining Green School.
 
 
Level 1: Waste Reduction and Recycling (Achieved May 2012)

  • Teachers adapted curricula to incorporate waste reduction and recycling reminders appropriate to each age level.
  • FASPS increased its recycling rate from 44% to 52% thanks to initiating collection of recyclable and compostable materials from classrooms.
  • In winter 2014, an all-school assembly kicked off a paper towel reduction campaign. Students and staff were encouraged to use only one paper towel sheet when drying their hands. The student Green Team created posters about reducing paper towel use in classrooms.
  • A note was sent home with each student to encourage families to pack lunches in durable containers and to reduce the amount of wasted food at lunch.
  • Middle School students taught elementary students how to use the three different bins – recycling, compost, and garbage – in each classroom.
  • In 2014-15, the student Green Team weighed lunch waste from several lunches in multiple classrooms each month. The team displayed the data on posters hung around the school.
  • Signs were posted in every classroom to remind staff and students how to properly sort their waste.
  • Students organized a contest that involved weighing each classroom’s garbage weekly for four weeks and graphing the results. The winning class reduced its garbage weight by 80% and was awarded a gingko tree, which they planted during a ceremony in the school garden.
  • In 2012-13, FASPS began offering a hot lunch program with compostable plates and utensils.
  • The staff kitchen is equipped with reusable plates, glasses, cups, and silverware to reduce waste from plastic and paper products.
  • The school reduced paper by sending out its weekly newsletter electronically.
  • In August 2012, in order to reduce paper use, the copier system was updated to include an option to send documents to the user’s email inbox.
  • Household alkaline batteries were collected at the school’s front desk, and a staff member disposes of them in an ecologically responsible way.

Level 2: Energy Conservation (Achieved May 2013)

  • Stickers were placed near light switches to remind students, staff, and visitors to turn off the lights and electronics when they aren’t needed.
  • FASPS installed occupancy sensors to help conserve energy.
  • Staff members were encouraged to keep doors and windows shut and to turn off lights when leaving rooms on campus.
  • The thermostat system was programmed to turn off in the evenings and on weekends when the building is not in use.

Level 3: Water Conservation and Pollution Prevention (Achieved May 2014)

  • Low flow flush valves were installed in the bathrooms.
  • Facilities staff monitored monthly utility invoices to identify, report, and solve water leaks.
  • FASPS saved water by only running full loads of dishes with their “Energy Star” dishwashers.
  • During extended school breaks, hot water and circulation pumps were turned off.
  • Students in each grade level learned about water sources and uses in different parts of the world, including the historical importance of water to the development of civilizations.
  • Adult supervisors trained students in preschool and kindergarten to conserve water when washing their hands.
  • In 2015, teachers held classroom water conservation discussions with their students.
  • In winter 2013, an all-school assembly was performed by fourth-grade students to educate staff and students about water conservation and how to reduce food waste and paper towel use.
  • In 2011, FASPS started a garden based on the science curriculum. With the help of a professional landscaper, the school selected native plants and organized them in six garden boxes, each representing different ecosystems.
  • Students learned about the full cycle of life. For example, the children planted pumpkins, harvested them, and made pumpkin muffins in the fall. In spring, they planted the pumpkin seeds they had harvested.
  • FASPS installed two rainwater collectors for the garden, and used the collected rainwater to irrigate.
  • Consistent with natural landscaping practices, no pesticides were used in FASPS's garden.
  • Maintenance staff-applied mulch on school grounds to conserve water.
  • Water-saving dripline irrigation systems were used for most of the FASPS campus.
  • Sprinklers were set to water only the lawn or garden and not sidewalks, driveways, or gutters, and were turned on during times of day when evaporation is lowest.
  • Facilities staff turned off water from areas of school property that are not currently used.

Level 4: Sustaining Green School (Achieved May 2015)

  • FASPS sustained its Level One waste reduction and recycling practices, Level Two energy conservation practices, and Level Three water conservation strategies.
  • Students in the theater performance group designed a play about conserving water. The play was performed in May 2015 at an all-school assembly.
  • Middle School students took a field trip to the Bullitt Center to learn about sustainable building design.

Contact

 
Victoria Paolacci-Mellor
(206) 275-3533, ext. 274