A Developmental Objective: How can we behave responsibly towards the natural world?
Energy management and sustainability are two key aspects of this objective. The district has been wokring on both of these aspects of stewardship and will continue to do so.
As the list below demonstrates, tremendous progress has been made in this area over the past school year 2010-2011. The Richmond School District has become a recognized lighthouse among districts for its environmental initiatives. The list below represents a blend of activities that affect everything from operations to curriculum. As an organization that is responsible for educating students to assume responsibility for the world, we have made environmental stewardship integral to what we do, along with what we teach and model for our students.
Activities in 2009-2010 incluced:
Consolidation and further development of sustainability and energy management activities, e.g.
- District sustainabiilty and energy conservation website
- Self-assessment tools and sustainability grants for schools
- Sustainability Cafe discussions
- Energy Manager position funded by BC Hydro
Additional Plans for 2010-2010 include:
1. Filling Energy Manager position funded BC Hydro
2. Filling Energy Specialist position funded by Terasen
3. Continued development of a 5 year sustainability Action Plan including Continous Optoimization and Green Up Program
4. Further implementation of energy management and sustainability practices in all departments and sites.
The Board of Education, believing that all staff and students have a significant impact upon environment now and in the future, encourages and supports the integration of Environmental Education into the curriculum. Environmental education must strongly encourage, through examination of issues and provision of experiences, the understanding that everything in the biosphere is interconnected and that human beings are a part of, and responsible for, this system.
The Board recognizes that environmental studies can be effectively woven through the fabric of the curriculum as a way of approaching learning objectives set out in provincial curriculum documents. Environmental education should be holistic and multidisciplinary, enabling learners to use critical thinking to solve problems, make informed decisions, understand the potential consequences of decisions and take actions to ensure the sustainability of living organisms and their life support systems.
Environmental studies should provide opportunities for students to:
experience personal, local and global environments;
develop respect for self and all living things;
develop skills necessary for learning about, understanding and interactingwith the environment so they feel empowered to take personal action;
develop the desire and ability to continue learning throughout their life.
The Board also acknowledges its corporate responsibility to conduct its affairs in an environmentally responsible manner as a model to the students it educates. To this end the Board will encourage staff at schools, the Board office, works yard, service facilities and construction sites to act as environmental stewards: to actively seek, and recommend for approval, environmentally sensitive procedures, materials, and equipment; to review and update practices periodically as funds, knowledge and improved technology permit.
The Board recognizes that staff knowledge of ecological principles, conservation practices and environmental concepts, alternate technologies and improved practices will vary considerably. To improve the level of understanding and knowledge of environmental principles, the Board will encourage teacher and staff enrolment in professional development opportunities and where practicable and financially feasible, provide such opportunities.