Tahoma honored as Sustaining Green School District

Tahoma honored as Sustaining Green School District
Posted on 06/26/2019

King County Green Schools Program is recognizing Tahoma School District and Issaquah School District as Sustaining Green School Districts for maintaining waste reduction and recycling (Level One), energy conservation (Level Two), and water conservation (Level Three) practices, and for completing additional conservation actions. One criterion is that 75 percent or more schools in the district completed Sustaining Green School criteria in the past two years.

Schools from 34 King County cities and unincorporated areas are reducing waste and recycling, conserving energy and other resources, and cutting costs with help from the King County Green Schools Program. The program provides hands-on help, guidance for Green Teams, and the tools schools need, such as information, indoor recycling bins, and a variety of conservation signs, to make improvements.

“This spring we are recognizing 89 schools and two school districts for their conservation practices,” said Pat D. McLaughlin, director of the King County Solid Waste Division. “By providing this hands-on program, King County is laying the foundation for a lifetime of resource conservation by students and their families as well as by school and district employees.”

Tahoma School District

Each of the nine schools in Tahoma School District participates in the King County Green Schools Program. All district schools have been recognized as Level One, Level Two, Level Three, and Sustaining Green Schools.

Each school has a student Green Team led by a staff member. With leadership from Dawn Wakeley, executive director of teaching and learning, staff Green Team leaders meet regularly to share successes, challenges, and information. Mary Jane Glaser, the district’s school board sustainability representative, participates in those district Green Team meetings. 

At Maple View and Summit Trail middle schools, STRETCH enrichment classes include Oceanography and Biosphere, both focusing on sustainability of the environment. Two elementary schools maintain native plant and rain gardens to prevent water pollution and conserve water.

Recyclable and compostable materials are collected in all district facilities, and most schools participate in Waste Free Wednesdays to encourage reduction of food waste and disposable packaging in lunches. All elementary schools use durable trays and utensils at lunchtime, all secondary schools use compostable trays and utensils, and all schools use compostable trays and utensils at breakfast.

Student Green Teams encourage sustainability efforts in their schools. For example, the teams monitor cafeteria waste and recycling stations to help ensure students place only accepted and empty recyclable materials in recycling bins.

Principals receive monthly updates on Green Team activities, custodians learn about conservation practices in twice annual trainings, and the district tracks energy and water data for use in classrooms and by Green Teams. All teachers and other staff members receive information three times each year on how they can help conserve energy and other resources.

Energy conservation was a main sustainability focus in 2018-19. For each student Green Team, McKinstry, a company that provides energy and facility services for the district, led a building operator tour of school mechanical spaces to share how building systems consume energy and water. Student teams were encouraged to form Power Patrols to promote energy conservation in classrooms and throughout each school facility. 

 

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