Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is developing a plan for environmental sustainability in the district.
The resolution to create this plan was passed during a committee meeting last week and will go for final approval on Nov. 15.
It states that the district will use a systems-level approach to show commitment to environmental sustainability through curriculum, policies, programs and practices.
That involves making eco-friendly decisions in the operation of facilities. The idea is that students will see it in action in buildings and on campus, and will learn about it in the classroom as well.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Tricia McManus says there are “pockets of excellence” across the district, but that they aren’t connected.
“We've seen composting at one school. We've seen gardening. We've seen energy efforts. We've seen just a lot of different things, and they've been kind of scattered,” she said at the committee meeting on Nov. 1. “We want to go to a more holistic, systemic approach to the work of environmental sustainability. And we want our kids all involved, and our kids all getting the experience of learning more about how we can be good stewards of our environment.”
The three main focus areas for the plan are sustainable grounds and learning landscapes; cleaner energy and smaller carbon footprint; and recycling, compost, and waste.
WS/FCS Chief Operations Officer Lauren Richards says the district could replicate model programs, like composting at Speas Global Elementary, in more schools.
“They are actively working today to revamp and kickstart that program again. And then working over the next several years to bring five more schools on next year, and then maybe 10 more schools on the next year. So that within a couple years time, we have schools where our students can go from K through 12 all the way through and compost at every school that they're attending.”
In addition to student engagement, the plan will explore opportunities to use cleaner energy with things like electric school buses and solar panels.
Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.