PHOTO: At the Sustainable Jersey awards ceremony in February 2017, (l-r) Dr. Susan Compton, Tri-District Superintendent; Alyson Denzler, Atlantic Highlands Board of Education President; Mary Ann Fiel, Highlands Board of Education President; Janet Walling, Atlantic Highlands Elementary School Principal; and Rosemary Schutz, Highlands Elementary School Principal.
Highlands, NJ – Two schools in the Henry Hudson Tri-District have met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. These schools join a group of 91 schools that achieved the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2017. A total of 679 schools and 273 school districts are participating in the program overall.
The schools that have achieved certification are: Atlantic Highlands Elementary School and Highlands Elementary School.
“This is such an incredible accomplishment for our Tri-District elementary schools. I look forward to continuing to work with Sustainable Jersey in order to achieve our goals of creating a culture of sustainability in our schools for years to come.” -- Dr. Susan Compton, Tri-District Superintendent of Schools
“I am so proud of the effort put forth by our staff, students, and parents on the Atlantic Highlands Elementary School Green Team. Their contributions and support made attaining this level of recognition possible. I'm excited to continue with implementing additional initiatives which will help our school community over the course of this coming year."--- Mrs. Janet Walling, Atlantic Highlands Elementary School Principal
“I am thrilled that Highlands Elementary School has achieved Bronze Certification with Sustainable Jersey for Schools. This was truly a team effort involving administration, staff, parents and students and I am looking forward to continuing to work towards our sustainability goals for the 2017-2018 school year;” -- Mrs. Rosemary Schutz, Highlands Elementary School Principal
“As students and teachers head back to school this year, they will learn the good news that their hard work has paid off,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement for schools and their school district. The number of schools participating in the program is truly remarkable.” Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for kindergarten through twelfth-grade public schools in New Jersey, is voluntary, but achieving certification is not easy. Each school that is certified at the bronze level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, attaining a minimum of 150 points. Silver-level certification requires a minimum of 350 points of sustainability actions. Over 2,700 sustainability actions were completed by schools and districts participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program - from performing energy audits and boosting recycling efforts to integrating sustainability into student learning and promoting student and staff wellness.
“We are proud of the leadership provided by the boards of education and their superintendents, as well as the contributions of principals, teachers, education support professionals and parents, that made this important milestone a reality,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, New Jersey School Boards Association executive director. “We congratulate the schools on achieving Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.” On October 24, 2017, the certified schools and their districts will be celebrated at a reception held during NJSBA Workshop 2017 in Atlantic City. Workshop 2017 will feature Sustainable Jersey for Schools sessions along with NJSBA sustainability support programs for schools.
About the Henry Hudson Tri-District
The Henry Hudson Tri-District consists of three one-school districts serving the communities of Atlantic Highlands and Highlands, New Jersey.
Serving pre-school through 6thgrade, Atlantic Highlands Elementary School has an enrollment of 320 students. Programs such as Math Olympics, Field Day, Tiger Patch Garden, Community Art Show, Senior RSVP Reading Program, and classroom volunteer opportunities have encouraged a strong partnership between home, school, and the community. In addition to a strong academic emphasis which includes content area specialists in grades 5 & 6, AHES values the benefits of teaching the whole-child through various aspects including mindfulness, the Tiger Patch Garden, makerspace activities, and small-group learning opportunities within our classrooms. With a strong focus on technology, the arts, and fostering a lifetime of learning for its students, AHES combines many of the traditional school values with modern educational needs to ensure that all learners benefit from a solid educational foundation. Over the past years AHES students have participated, and placed highly, in activities such as Odyssey of the Mind and the Stock Market Game.
Offering a full-day preschool program as well as serving students in Grades K-6, Highlands Elementary School (HES) has an enrollment of 201 students. While the school is well-known for its caring staff and family-like learning atmosphere, it is now equally known for its academic achievement. The school is continually infusing its curriculum with opportunities for learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). HES offers a state of the art “Makerspace” to its students and has added the Arts to its new STEM/STEAM lab. As a result of these opportunities, students who are promoted from the school in Grade 6 are well prepared for the rigorous academic middle school program at Henry Hudson Regional School. In addition to its emphasis on ‘citizenship,’ the school has introduced an experiential learning garden as well as many extracurricular activities.
About Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. To date, 274 school districts and 679 schools are participating in the program. The district participation has grown to include 46 percent of all New Jersey school districts.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The 2017 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA, the Gardinier Environmental Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation and Investors Bank are Silver Sponsors.
Program partners include: NJSBA, NJEA, New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).
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