Five New Jersey school districts, and 59 individual schools, are the first to receive Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.

The Sustainable Jersey for Schools leaders took various steps to go green – conducting energy audits, planting school gardens, using green cleaning supplies, installing refillable water bottle stations and more – in an effort to create more environmentally-sound schools.

The five standout school districts, each of which had multiple schools achieve certification, are Egg Harbor Township, Cherry Hill, Medford, Readington and Wayne.

“I am very proud of our school family for their hard work to create environmentally sound and sustainable practices in all aspects of our operation,” said Egg Harbor Township School Superintendent, Dr. Scott McCartney. “Our sustainable practices not only save money for our taxpayers, but they educate our students to be good stewards of the environment and conserve valuable resources.”

The first group of certified schools and districts will be celebrated at a session during Workshop 2015.

Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director, congratulated the schools and districts. “We are proud of the leadership provided by the boards of education and their superintendents, principals, teachers, education support professionals and parents to make this important milestone a reality,” he said.

The Sustainable Jersey for Schools program partners include NJSBA and the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, New Jersey Association of School Business Officials, New Jersey Education Association, New Jersey Parent Teacher Association, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association, and the Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is voluntary, but achieving certification is not easy. Each district must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of sustainability actions, each one of which carries a different point value. Schools can earn bronze certification with 150 points, and silver certification with 350 points.

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