News Release, Calvert County Public Schools
Prince Frederick, MD- The U.S. Department of Education announced that Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) is among the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardees.
Dr. Daniel D. Curry, Superintendent, said, “This is an amazing accomplishment that recognizes our district efforts in both the classroom and in managing our energy conversation. Thanks to our Science Department, our Construction Department and our Maintenance Department.”
All preK-12 schools in CCPS are certified Maryland Green Schools, making Calvert the only school district in the state to have 100 percent of its preK-12 schools certified in this statewide program.
The district’s green practices range from encouraging individuals to adopt more environmentally friendly habits to eco-conscious construction projects. The district reduced energy consumption by 17 percent over a 10-year period, while continuing to mirror the EmPower Maryland Energy Efficiency Act reduction goals. CCPS has four schools that use geothermal energy as the source of heating and cooling, and one of those, Northern High School, is LEED Silver-certified. CCPS employs a dedicated energy and environmental specialist, whose priority is to reduce energy consumption. Projects include LED upgrades, HVAC upgrades, and the promotion of behavioral change. Nearly all CCPS schools and administrative offices operate on a building-automated system that helps to reduce energy consumption.
The district began environmental education over 25 years ago as a single-grade-level program collaboration with the local Department of Natural Resources. This collaboration has grown into the CHESPAX districtwide environmental education program, through which students in kindergarten, first, second, third, fifth, seventh, and eighth grades engage in field experiences connected with their class-based science curriculum. Students in fifth and seventh grades participate in a “Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience” in collaboration with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Approximately 10,000 students annually engage in CHESPAX programming.
Across the country, only 14 public school districts are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.