On Earth Day 2015, CHCCS was named a US. Department of Education Green Ribbon District Awardee. In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”
The district’s full application can be found here.
In May 2011, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education adopted the district's first Sustainability Policy (1810). The policy was drafted by the Sustainability committee's policy sub-committee and was vetted through the approval process by the sub-committee chair.
The Board's adoption of the Sustainability Policy shows the continued commitment and leadership of CHCCS to the principles of sustainability, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship.
CHCCS received Green Plus Certification in late 2011, making it the first school district in the country to earn the designation.
Green Plus Community Coordinator Amanda Komar said, "Their (the district's) commitment to sustainability is fostering a healthier and safer learning environment for children and for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.”
Chartwells, the district food service provider, started a $10,000 annual grant for CHCCS in 2010. The grant process is opened during the fall and recipients are notified in the winter months.
In 2011, the Chapel Hill High was one of five schools that won the national "Green Your School Challenge." The school was recognized as a "Champion of Change" by the White House and the Green Tigers, the school's environmental group, was specially recognized for their energy saving projects, community garden, recycling efforts and using Facebook to engage students.
The club's motto: The club that saves the world, rocks the world. Green is in. Carbon emissions are out.
Mary Scroggs Elementary has set up a community garden with the help of students, parents, and staff members. Their mission is to utilize the current garden layout to create a place for hands-on, outdoor learning that corresponds with grade-level curriculum and creative play.
Follow their progress on the Scroggs Garden website or go to their Facebook page.
As North Carolina's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified high school, Carrboro High School makes high grades for sensible energy use, environmental protection, and community stewardship. It is North Carolina's second facility to earn LEED certification. CHS was certified LEED-Silver in 2008.
Smith Middle School utilized daylighting in the building's construction in order to save on energy use and create a pleasant learning environment in every classroom. The facility is uniquely designed to allow students and teachers to follow a circadian rhythm throughout their day.
East Chapel Hill High students created a video to encourage and teach their classmates to recycle.
Glenwood Elementary students created a video to encourage their classmates to recycle.
Culbreth Middle School launched an Environmental Science Club in 2011 when a group students expressed interest making their school a "greener" place through service projects. The club currently consists of about twenty members that are represented by sixth, seventh and eighth grade students who meet after school twice a month to discuss environmental issues that surround the school and future service projects.
Brian Tyson, adviser of the Environmental Science Club, said, "I'm very proud at their level of commitment to such a great cause. They are giving up their Friday afternoons to help the environment when lots of students can't wait to leave school and start their weekends."
The club has several service projects in the works for the next semester and are very excited to work more with the community. As enthusiasm for the club continues to spread among the school and membership keeps growing, students feel there is no limit to the amount of good they can do.