Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Rain, Rain Go Away
With all the rain over the past week, does your child's school have leaks? Some of the older schools do have roof issues, but is this a real problem, or is it just a few schools throughout the system? A quality, well-maintained roof should last 20 years. Some DCSS schools seem to have always roof leaks, some have never leaked. Looking forward to hear from parents and staff from throughout the system!
Posted by Open+Transparent at 10:15 AM
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TOP 10 REASONS TO BUILD GREEN SCHOOLS
INCREASE STUDENT PEFORMANCE
Studies have shown that student test scores can improve up to 20% when kids learn in green classrooms that provide more natural daylighting, improved classroom acoustics and healthier paints and carpets that don’t release toxic chemicals into the air.
Schools built with more natural daylight, better ventilation and healthy green building materials such as non VOC carpets and paints, can improve student and teacher health and result in fewer sick days, higher teacher retention and improved student attendance.
Operating costs for energy and water can be reduced by 20% to 40%, allowing more money to be used for teacher salaries, textbooks and computers
PROVIDE A UNIQUE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
Buildings can become teaching tools and important features of science, math, and environmental curriculum when green features and advanced technology and design in schools are used to excite kids about learning real world applications of green technologies.
REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS
Green Schools significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions. In Los Angeles alone, building 34 new green schools will reduce 94,000 tons of CO2 or the equivalent of eliminating more than 15,000 cars from the road every year or planting more than 280,000 trees!
REDUCE WATER USAGE
On average, a green school reduces water usage 32%. This reduction has direct savings for the building as well as substantial societal benefits from lower pollution and reduced infrastructure costs to deliver water and to transport and treat wastewater.
IMPROVE TEACHER RETENTION
A green school can reduce teacher turnover by up to 5% which results in financial savings for the school, as well as a more positive experience for students
CREATE GREEN JOBS
Investing in building green schools is an investment in green jobs including green construction, building product manufacturing, and green architecture.
IMPROVE DAILY ATTENDANCE
Students in Green Schools are absent less frequently. By reducing absenteeism just 15%, a typical elementary school would save from $40,000-$60,000.
Greening public schools creates an opportunity to improve the health and educational settings for all students, regardless of income or background.
Are there any references for these claims? How many green schools are there upon which to base these assertions? What 'brown' schools are used as a baseline?
And it would be real nice to have a spreadsheet model to play 'what if' games with:
"By reducing absenteeism just 15%, a typical elementary school would save from $40,000-$60,000."
How high is 'typical' absenteeism, that a 15% reduction saves that much money? Those figures mean typical absenteeism costs $266K-$400K--quite a lot in teacher salaries. And it would be revealing to know how much this is as a percentage of a school budget, how it is affected by school size, admin overhead, etc.
I'd love to plug in some numbers for my neighborhood schools.
One example is the Channel 2 report discussed here on the "Keep the Heat On" thread -
Bear in mind, there is a green initiative going on in DCSS. As with anything, there is an initial 'cost/investment' however you will realize a return. IMO, better education of the benefits of 'going green' will be needed with the community to help this succeed.
For more information on the Green Schools Initiative, contact Ted Bardacke, email@example.com.
Someone had posted recently on this blog about GA Tech and their green buildings/LEED certified initiative. It would be prudent for DCSS to partner with GA Tech, Emory, etc. regarding green buildings/LEED certification. We have great universities and colleges in the area; let's work with them. No need to re-invent the wheel when there are great examples and resources right here.
And it would make for awesome projects for graduate students and undergrads, especially from GA Tech, to evaluate the DCSS building stock. Having those students working with DCSS students is an even better win-win.
The world leader in public health, the CDC, is right here in our own freaking county. Why doesn't the DCSS Central Office take advantage of the incredible resources right here??
It's just not about LEED certified schools and the lower utility bills and a much healthier environment for students and staff. It can also be a major learning opportunity, with "teachable moments" galore.
If Arabia Mountain is the the only DCSS facility where environmental education is going on, we're failing the other 98.5% of DCSS stduents.
And I thought it was poor leadership (school board) and ignorant parents to blame for the failing DeKalb School System.
Kittredge's roof continues to leak, and leak, and leak.
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