A sea of red flooded the main entrance of Furr High School on Friday morning as the cheerleaders, Sparkle Dancers — dressed in red and white uniforms — and band pepped up the crowd in celebration of the school’s building dedication ceremony.
Music and chants echoed through the air, and lush trees and landscaping lined the length of the brightly colored 182,000-square-foot-building, offering an ornate backdrop to a long red ribbon stretched across the building’s main walkway.
“Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a high school that empowers students to tackle environmental injustice and becomes the central green hub of their community,” said Furr Interim Principal Rosa Hernandez to attendees. “Imagine spaces filled with student voices, trust, school spirit, and a flexible learning environment.” She pointed to the new building, saying “That’s what we have here.”
Milby High School has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for its new building, which was constructed as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification provides independent verification of a building’s green features and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.
Green schools offer improved air quality, lighting, temperature control, and acoustics, as well as reduced operating costs — all of which enhance the overall learning environment and have been shown to boost student health, test scores, and faculty retention. Continue reading →
Representatives from the National Wildlife Federation visited Piney Point Elementary School this morning to present the campus with the Eco-Schools USA Green Flag Award.
The Green Flag is the highest honor a school can receive from the NWF. Piney Point is only one of two schools in Houston to be recognized this year and one of three elementary schools in the state of Texas to receive the honor.
“Here at Piney Point, we truly live by our motto – Everyone Learning, Everyone Leading,” Principal Bobby Swaby said.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program is looking for HISD schools interested in joining the third year of their USA-Taiwan Eco-Campus Partnership Program.
The program, designed and coordinated by the NWF, U.S. Environmental Program and EPA Taiwan, matches schools in the United States directly with sister schools in Taiwan to work together on a global level to address environmental- or sustainability-related issues.
The 2015 Green Schools competition has concluded, and HISD’s Energy & Sustainability Department is pleased to announce the winners of the Green Schools Challenge.
Mistral Early Childhood Center, Baylor College of Medicine Academy, McGowen Elementary, Piney Point Elementary, Seguin Elementary, and Garden Oaks Elementary all placed in the contest. As part of the competition, 28 schools pledged to take energy saving actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help protect the environment for future generations. Schools also were encouraged to become a registered Eco-School through the National Wildlife Federation.
At HISD, energy conservation and smart environmental design are important considerations in every new school. That’s why all new building projects under the current bond program are expected to meet certification requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and is used to measure the sustainability of design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings, homes, and neighborhoods. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED certification provides independent verification of a building’s green features, allowing for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy, cost-effective buildings.
In this edition of I Am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, we talk to the new Manager of Energy & Sustainability Kellie Williams about how her experiences at Fort Bend ISD will impact her decisions here, which sustainability efforts are already afoot in the district, and what’s on the horizon for HISD in terms of “green” initiatives.
You joined HISD in May as the new manager of Energy & Sustainability. What is your vision for that department in the years ahead?
I’d like to see HISD become the leading K–12 entity in environmental stewardship, to participate in several energy initiatives, and to achieve national recognition for outstanding performance.
We’ll also be rolling out a new energy master plan, and bringing in some consultants and engineers to identify and address deficiencies starting this year with a really aggressive approach. They’re going to be collecting data first, such as utility usage and window-to-wall ratios, then gather boots-on-the-ground types of facility information, such as light levels, temperature, and humidity readings. The goal is to complete a thorough investigation and identify opportunities for savings. Continue reading →
The National Wildlife Federation is hosting two upcoming webinars for high school science teachers and club sponsors who want to help their schools “go green.”
The first webinar, titled “An Introduction to Eco-Schools USA,” is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, and will offer resources to motivate students to lead environmental service projects on their campus or in their community. On Feb. 5, the second webinar, “An Innovative Approach to STEM Education,” will engage science classes and clubs in service learning to launch a program that will help students make the school more energy efficient. Continue reading →