Dec. 5, 2013
Albemarle County public schools have placed first in the state, in a competition designed around environmental programs in schools.
It's all part of the Annual Green Schools Challenge conducted by the Virginia School Boards Association. The competition is designed to encourage school divisions to implement environmental policies and actions that reduce carbon emissions.
Twenty-three of the 26 schools in the division are ENGERY STAR certified, and several have composting programs.
One school that contributed to this award was Henley Middle School, which has a renewable energy resource center. It uses solar panels and a wind turbine to generate power to heat water in the school.
School officials say the key is keeping students involved.
"I don't think it's as meaningful if you don't have the students involved,” Albemarle Co. Public School Environmental Compliance Manager Lindsay Snoddy said. “Even showing these graphics as an example, it makes it so much more meaningful to have students involved with understanding the systems, knowing how they got there, knowing how they help our environment and our school division."
Since starting during the 2009-2010 school year, the school division has saved $400,000 in energy costs because of such programs.