ARSENAL MIDDLE SCHOOL has been recognized the past several years for its extraordinary student-achievement growth through Pittsburgh Public STAR School Program, a district-wide program celebrating only five to seven schools per year that have made the greatest strides in academic success.

A significant focus of that growth has been dedicated to increasing the school’s sustainability initiatives, particularly by expanding its environmental science curriculum and budding school garden program. Arsenal was designated in January 2016 as one of Grow Pittsburgh‘s new affiliate schools, receiving extra support for its student and teacher-led school garden program.

Eden Hall Upper Elementary School

Eden Hall Upper Elementary School was recognized on our Healthy Schools Recognition Program’s “High Honor Roll” for the school year 2017-2018. Taking on initiatives such as weather tracking curriculum, using iPads to enhance science lessons by collecting real-time weather data from a nearby weather station, to participating in projects in collaboration with nearby Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus to reimagine unused space on the university campus, show Eden Hall’s holistic approach to practicing sustainability in their curriculum.

In addition, Eden Hall Upper Elementary School is one of the only schools in our Healthy Schools Recognition Program to complete all tasks listed in the ‘Professional Development’. Some of these tasks include allowing teachers to pursue green initiatives and sustainability focused professional development courses, and school-wide training on topics related to Green and Healthy Schools. We look forward to the green initiatives Eden Hall will continue to pursue in the future!

ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER SCHOOL continues to be a leader in the field of environmental learning and green and healthy practices. With an ongoing partnership with Grow Pittsburgh, the school developed a full edible garden with multiple raised beds and supporting curriculum connections for students.

Other notable projects and initiatives:

  • At least 85% of the food served at ECS is made from scratch
  • Students created projects that support cleaner air quality in the City of Pittsburgh.
  • Students applied for a grant through the Breathe Project to fund the placement of “No Idling” signs at the front of both schools.
  • The school designed a systems handbook to include green purchasing policies, recycling and composting guidelines, green cleaning practices, and space design protocols for healthy and high-performing spaces.
  • The school has collaborated with more than 30 organizations to support sustainable food education — including farmers, chefs, and photographers

GATEWAY SCHOOL DISTRICT keeps building on past successes.  In 2014, it received a Creating a Healthy School Environment grant from the Highmark Foundation, allowing it to replace harmful industrial cleaning agents with unscented, EPA-certified green cleaning. Their use improved air quality, especially for students and staff who suffer from various illnesses such as asthma and allergies. The district also has a rule prohibiting items that can’t be easily dusted, such as fabric-covered furniture and throw rugs. The district also completed a chemical cleanup of the schools’ chemistry labs.  

GREENOCK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in the Elizabeth Forward School District continues to grow its  environmental curriculum and outdoor gardening program. In 2015, it was one of only 20 community food gardens in Allegheny County to receive funding from the Community Garden Sustainability Fund (a joint project of Grow Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy). In the 2014-2015 school year, Greenock worked with us to provide food and environmental curriculum for kindergarten through second -grade classes.  

KISKI AREA HIGH SCHOOL is ensuring a green and healthy environment on multiple fronts.

  • All occupied areas have an air supply from an outdoor source, allowing for air to be turned over every eight hours. This is achieved by keeping vents and areas of airflow cleared, along with having dampers opened to bring at least a portion of the air from an outside source.  Its maintenance department replaces air filters three times per year.
  • Water quality is monitored for healthy drinking, cooking, and cleaning and water quality and indoor water audits have been completed.
  • The school’s environmental club helps with the recycling program and includes office paper, newspapers, cardboard, and printer cartridges.
  • Its food and nutrition program uses local food vendors and offers a daily salad bar in the cafeteria.
  • The school has posted anti-idling signs.

MT. LEBANON HIGH SCHOOL empowers its students, staff and communities to actively pursue a green and healthy learning environment.

Key on-going initiatives include:

  • Comprehensive recycling and composting program
  • Locally sourced, healthy food program
  • Student-led environmental club
  • School-energy saving program
  • Prohibited pesticide use on school grounds.  

SPECTRUM CHARTER SCHOOL recently received the Green Flag Award from the National Wildlife Foundation’s Eco-Schools USA program, recognizing its progress in improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, and engaging the community in environmental efforts.

Students have conducted an energy audit of the school’s electric bills, tracking how much energy the school saved from year to year in bar graphs. Spectrum also has a recycling program, a water bottle fill station, and uses third-party certified green cleaning products.  

Plum Borough School District Helps Stop Food Waste

There’s a lot of food waste in school cafeterias across the state. Recognizing this amount, Food Service Director, Jessica Griggle, has teamed up with Healthy Schools PA Coordinator, Michelle Buford, to encourage the students of the Plum Borough School District to donate their unwanted food to those less fortunate, making a positive impact socially and environmentally.

Plum schools have partnered with 412 Food Rescue and begun to establish donation tables in every cafeteria within the school district. These tables enable students to place their unwanted, viable and fresh, food in one location instead of throwing it away.  At each building, cafeteria personnel safely gather and store the food. Weekly volunteers from 412 Food Rescue come to pick up the food and deliver it to those experiencing food insecurity.

To date, the students have donated 825 pounds of food, provided 688 meals to families in need and have sequestered 448 pounds of carbon.  The District has done an excellent job helping the community!

WEXFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in the Pine-Richland School District continues to make significant progress in multiple areas. Using the Healthy Schools Recognition Program Report Card as a guidance tool, the school’s wellness committee arranged a meeting with school administration, facilities management, the school nurse, and other staff to identify what the school was already doing and where it could expand its efforts.

Wexford Elementary also tested for radon, tested the drinking water, and started a recycling program.