Many districts have completed free energy audits under the Local Government Energy Audit program, but find it difficult to implement comprehensive upgrades due to funding shortfalls, the complications of New Jersey’s procurement laws, or other resource limitations.
ACESplus uses a fully-customized approach to help schools navigate complex financial and technical issues to implement enhanced energy solutions such as renewable sources, energy security, and resource efficiency. Learn more.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification Program
NJSBA was instrumental in helping Sustainable Jersey launch the voluntary Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification-recognition program for school districts in New Jersey in 2014. To showcase the program launch and help schools get started, the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program staff worked with partners from the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the New Jersey Education Association, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials, the New Jersey Buildings and Grounds Association and the New Jersey Department of Education. Since that time, 478 schools and 197 school districts have registered for the program, which is considered one of the most successful certification programs in the state.
N.J. Green Program of Study Pilot
John Henry, NJSBA’s iSTEAM and Sustainable Schools Specialist, managed several years of the pilot project of the N.J. Green Program of Study for Sustainable Design, Green Construction and Sustainable Energy. It is an innovative partnership between education, government and business aimed at expanding educational options to prepare students for a broad range of high-demand careers in New Jersey’s emerging “green economy. This evolving career and technical education model links high school with collegiate study, advanced training and apprenticeships through a progression of coursework that will prepare students for success in a variety of “green careers. It is the first time a career and technical education program in New Jersey has been developed on a statewide level to meet local and regional workforce needs.
NJ Sustainable Schools Project (NJSSP)
As part of its mission, NJSBA provides a variety of resources and services to help board members effectively govern and make a positive impact on student achievement. To help school board members learn about the impact of sustainability measures in schools, NJSBA managed a three-year pilot with 11 school districts to document the processes they use to lower their operational costs, and redirect those savings to other educational priorities. This was a critical step in the evolution of NJSBA’s goal to provide resources and training to school leaders in the area of sustainability. The project highlighted steps that can be taken to improve a school’s operations in finance, buildings and grounds, curriculum, policy and other areas involved in the day-to-day and long-term operation of a school.
Review the results of the 3-year research project in the NJSSP Guidebook.
Green Ribbon Schools Program
NJSBA staff members were on the original committee that assisted with establishing the Green Ribbon Schools program for the N.J. Department of Education, part of a recognition program from the U.S. Department of Education. NJSBA continues to serve on the selection committee that reviews applications from New Jersey districts and makes recommendations on which schools to submit for national recognition.
Sustainability at the Annual Workshop Conference
The NJSBA/NJASA/NJASBO annual Workshop conference has become a destination for school leaders to learn about sustainable practices and to meet a wide range of sustainability Subject Matter Experts. Last year more than 1300 people passed through the Exhibit Floor area which featured more than 25 demonstrations of sustainable practices. Additional learning opportunities were provided by sustainability partner organizations, non-profit groups and government agencies through 11, 30-minute presentations on a variety of sustainable subjects. Workshop is a carbon-neutral event with many examples of sustainable practices that can be implemented at your school.
NJSBA provides several dues-based training programs throughout the year. Some programs highlight leadership actions that can be taken by school districts, and promote strategies that should be in every school’s strategic plan and policy. Other one-day sessions help schools conduct a Sustainability Wellness Check, which is in alignment with the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program.