From irrigation controls to LED lighting and from new boilers to chemical-free cleaning, Bend-La Pine Schools is engaged in numerous efforts to make schools more sustainable. This week we are celebrating sustainability in our schools in honor of Earth Day.
“We are proud of how our schools manage resources, and how our district continues to become more energy-efficient and sustainable,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “Being sustainable is not only the right thing to do, it also saves the school district money that we are then able to invest back into teaching and learning.”
Over time, energy management programs and equipment upgrades have saved more than $1 million in gas and electric bills, according to Mike Tiller, Executive Director of Facilities.
One new program Jackie Wilson and the custodial team helped create this year is the Golden Dustpan award. At several schools in the district, students are encouraged at the end of each day to pick up the pencils, pens and other debris on the classroom floor. At one school, students picked up more than 100 pencils on the floor in one day. The classroom with the tidiest classroom is awarded the Golden Dustpan.
This program has many benefits including: It encourages students to pick up after themselves, it saves parents money in purchasing new school supplies, it reduces the amount of trash and it saves time and energy for the custodians (imagine how much time it would take to bend down and pick up more than 100 pencils in one day.)
“This is a great example of how our schools teach students to be thriving citizens and excellent stewards for the world around them,” said Mikalson.