The Program begins each summer with a planning workshop for teachers, custodians, staff members and energy professionals from outside of the District who serve as volunteer mentors to Green Schools. Teachers are introduced to the instructional materials and instruments provided and have the opportunity to review the project based activities completed by other schools within the RCSD and districts from across the country. Each school receives grade level appropriate project workbooks and a Tool kit containing special equipment and instruments needed to complete the activities included in the workbook. Each team must also develop a 5 Strand Plan that outlines the schools implementation process for the year.
The five strands of the plan include:
- Instruction: Integrating energy education into daily classroom instruction.
- Action: In-school activities that conserve electrical energy and change behavior.
- School Involvement: Involving the entire school in energy awareness and conservation of electrical energy.
- Residential and Community Involvement: Taking the energy message home and into the community.
- Custodial Involvement: Involving custodial and facilities staff in energy conservation efforts.
The 5 Strand Plan is reviewed, evaluated and updated during the midyear progress workshop each year during which schools reconvene to share progress and challenges and plan for the spring semester.
On May 1st each school in the program is required to submit data detailing the amount of electrical energy that has been saved in kWh and the amount of energy costs in dollars that have been avoided as a result of the behavior changes implemented in their school. The assigned mentors are very helpful in developing the data reports which are subsequently verified by the Facilities Department. This data is used to determine the amount of the rebate each school will receive.
Key Program Points:
- Project based hands-on instructional program
- In-class instructional program and Energy Club activities before and after school
- Energy and recycling related field trips for participating schools
- Engineering professional volunteer as a mentor to each participating school
- Cash rebate to schools of 50% of the documented energy cost savings
- District wide participation of more than 500 students and 225 staff since program inception
- Professional Development Credit (PD) or stipends provided as with other school clubs for participating staff members