Bergenfield High School Achieves Sustainability Certification
Becomes first school recognized as sustainability leaders in Bergen County, NJ from Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Bergenfield, NJ (September 8, 2016) – The Bergenfield Public Schools announced today that Bergenfield High School achieved bronze certification for its sustainability efforts through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. Bergenfield High School becomes the first school in Bergen County, NJ to be certified by the nonprofit organization, joining a group of 83 schools across the state in 2016.
“Our district believes in educating our learning community about the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation. We applaud Bergenfield High School for the sustainability efforts they have implemented. By acting locally and thinking globally, our students are paving the way to make Bergenfield and the global community a better place,” said Christopher Tully, Superintendent of Schools.
Bergenfield High School evaluated the school’s existing programs and identified ways to reduce waste and increase sustainability. A number of current programs, such as general recycling, before-the-bell breakfast program and renewable generation system served as a strong platform for the certification process. In the 2015-2016 school year, the school installed new uninvent systems that would help control indoor air quality while providing more energy-efficient heat, as well as began utilizing air quality flags in the athletic program to better inform members of outdoor air quality. The high school also received a Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant from PSEG to support a new program that targets collecting food waste and converting it to compost to be used in school gardens and grounds.
“Our students are excited to set forth in this venture to educate other students on the environment and demonstrate how food waste can become a major resource to our school,” said James Fasano, Principal, Bergenfield High School.
In the upcoming year, students will continue to focus on its recycling initiatives, making necessary tweaks to expand and improve efficacy. In an effort to increase participation school wide, students in the program are looking to start a Green Week that will focus each day to conducting specific sustainability practices with the general school population.
Sustainable Jersey schools collaborate with their school district to assemble teams comprising of key school members, including board representation, administration, faculty and students to implement programs for certification. “Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement for schools and their school district,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “They are leaders in implementing sustainability measures that save money, improve the learning environment, and prepare today’s students to address the challenges of tomorrow.” 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, achieving a minimum of 150 points. Silver-level certification requires that a school attain 350 points or more.
Bergenfield High School will be honored at a reception during the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) Workshop 2016 Conference on October 25 in Atlantic City.
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. A total of 509 schools and 204 school districts are participating in the program overall.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program partners include: New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), New Jersey Education Association (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.)