"A Green Mission Statement Inspires Action"
School Contact Information
Paul Chapman, Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org Head Royce, Oakland Combined II (K-12), Independent Under 1000 Students
Paul Chapman has been Head of the Head-Royce School since 1984. Raised near Chicago, he attended Hinsdale High School and received a B.A. in history from Yale, and an M.A. in American history and a Ph.D. in the history of education from Stanford.* I Am Available to Mentor Other Green School Honor Roll Members.
The Green School Story
We addressed these 4 Pillars of a Green School
- Strive to be Toxics Free
- Use Resources Sustainably
- Create Green Schoolyards and Serve Healthy Food
- Teach Stewardship & Student Action
We have taken these steps from the 7 Steps to a Green School
- Establish a green team
- Adopt a policy
- Do a school Environmental audit
- Develop an action plan
- Integrate into the curriculum
- Monitor progress
- Involve, inform, and celebrate with the community
Environmental Challenge or Goal Addressed
A desire to “do something” about the environment had been pondered off and on over the last couple of years by various people at Head-Royce. Students met with teachers in the Upper School’s Environmental Club. Recycling was happening in a half-hearted way. Some Board members and Administrators discussed energy use and conservation. But without a unifying plan, the efforts didn’t coalesce.
Our Green School Approach
• The school adopted a green mission statement based on Green Schools Initiative's "Four Pillars" in October 2006.
• The Green Council was formed in 2006, comprised of 12 members of faculty, administrators, and a majority of students.
• An assessment of the curricula was done to examine ways of integrating environmental education with assistance from the Center for Ecoliteracy.
• The greening of the school became the school Head's top personal goal for the year.
Changes and Benefits We've Achieved
Students ran a trash audit. They addressed the full faculty to educate them about the “do’s and don’ts” of recycling. The audit prompted Head-Royce to contract for separating and removing compostable waste.
The Board of Trustees allocated more money in the budget to green the school's Master Plan. As a result, the new building is LEED certified at the Gold Level, receiving credits for solar panels, excellent indoor air quality, use of materials with recycled content, and energy efficiency measures (like awnings to shade windows), among others. The building also is home to the new Cafe with a "green" commercial kitchen, serving fresh, local, organic food on reusable dishware.
The school has started a garden where they are growing vegetables. A graduate of Head Royce is now the Garden Educator!
Head Royce is now focusing on reducing its carbon footprint. One effort is to reduce the number of cars coming to school through a monthly walk, bike, carpool, BART, bus to school day.
Students, parents, alumni parents, administrators, faculty, staff, and board members. The Green Council has been instrumental in deepening the school's capacity and creativity for finding solutions to reduce the school's footprint.
How We Involved Students
Students were the motivating force behind the actions. High school students took the lead in energizing the school to get started. They also organized a school-wide Green Day with lots of educational workshops around environmental actions themes.
Head Royce has embraced the "Principles of Ecoliteracy" promoted by the Center for Ecoliteracy. The curricula was assessed against these principles and all grade levels have integrated ecoliteracy lessons. Students participate in greening activities throughout the grades.
Our Timeline for Change
Head Royce started focusing its efforts in a more comprehensive way in 2006 and has made huge progress toward its goals, but there is always more to do.
Resources We Used
Our Inspiration and Motivation
The school watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and was inspired to take action. And student commitment and enthusiasm has kept our efforts going.
Reducing our carbon footprint is our next big goal. We are working to set a specific target and develop methods for how we can meet and exceed it!
Our Advice to Other Schools
"It was vital to our efforts that we develop our own vision for what it means to be a green school. Working with the four pillars from the Green Schools Initiative, we created a Green Mission Statement that was adopted by our Board of Trustees, signaling that sustainability is a top priority for our community. And our annual action plans have enabled us to make significant progress on implementing our mission." - Paul Chapman
"To me, the biggest lesson we learned is that when people have a personal connection to something, they are much more invested in seeing change happen." - Crystal Land, Asst. Head/Academic Dean