Sustainable Princeton recently held its first Green Schools Council meeting for parents, local teachers, and concerned community members. Fifteen people attended, including Princeton Regional Schools (PRS) staffer and member of the PRS Sustainability Committee, Gary Weisman. While primarily focusing on Princeton Regional Schools (PRS), the Council also hopes to involve the Princeton Charter School and local independent schools in the future.
Three priorities emerged from the meeting:
- Curriculum: educating and providing learning experiences in all grades to prepare students for a sustainable future
- Energy efficiency and resource conservation
- Healthy food, healthy living
Discussion also focused on the sorts of programs the Green Schools Council would like to see the district undertake, in the context of the Schools Action Plan. These included:
- Field trips and residencies with sustainability themes, such as: trips to landfills and recycling plants, exposure to professionals in green careers
- Curriculum requirements that include sustainability and systems thinking, such as time in the gardens
- Books and films to be read/seen district-wide to stimulate discussion and activity around sustainability
- Cafeteria programs, such as: getting rid of Styrofoam trays and plastic water bottles; emphasizing zero waste lunches; more buy fresh, buy local
- Parent/family/home kit to extend parental involvement and help make sustainable living a reality beyond the cafeteria or school doors.
- Passing a “Resolution to Educate for Sustainability”
- Inviting the Cloud Institute to help us formulate district wide approach to integrating sustainability in the curriculum, in keeping with state standards.
These build on goals formulated as part of the 2009 Sustainable Princeton Community Plan for schools (pdf).
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