The Division of Sustainability and Compliance supports student success by elevating the school system’s approach to environmental stewardship and by leading change to incorporate sustainable considerations in all decisions. Our work aims to ensure that healthy learning and working environments are equitably accessible across MCPS. We embrace our shared responsibility to build and operate facilities that contribute to the well-being of the school community, and the health of the planet.
MCPS will be at the forefront of environmental stewardship using innovation, partnerships, and creative thinking to inspire significant, positive, and meaningful contributions that will sustain resilient communities for current and future generations.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Policy ECA, Sustainability, states our systemwide commitment to environmental sustainability. To support this policy, MCPS has purchased seven electric-powered cargo vans as fleet replacements. These electric vehicles will help reduce MCPS’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support the Board of Education’s commitment to cut GHG emissions by 80% by 2027.
We need your help to promote the actions we're taking to protect the environment. DSC is sponsoring an art contest to find exciting designs to use as wraps for these new EV vans. All MCPS students and staff are invited to participate in the contest. Your creative designs can inspire others to care more about sustainability!
All MCPS students and staff are invited to participate in DSC's 2024 poster contest. Don't miss this opportunity to showcase your artistic talents and help raise awareness about the importance of environmental sustainability, energy conservation, waste reduction, and responsible recycling. Entries are due on Friday, April 5, 2024. Click here for the contest flyer, guidelines, and the entry form.
As part of Maryland's 5 Million Trees initiative, Grade 4 students planted trees on S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School grounds. Story by Maryam Shahzad, Montgomery County Media.
Nature Forward is offering two virtual 45-minute teacher trainings this winter to help you meet Maryland Green School certification requirements. These trainings will share ideas for simple in-school activities and projects you and your students can start to help "green" your school, while meeting Objective 2 of the Green School application. Whether you are working toward your initial certification, recertification, or just looking for the next great activity to make your school more sustainable, we'll have lots of ideas to share and discuss!
This training also meets the professional development requirement of the MDGS application. All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance that can be used toward MDGS certification.
Two dates offered with different content for each session. Join one or both!
In partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), MCPS held a Student Environment Volunteer Day at Gaithersburg High School on Wednesday, November 1, 2023. Students learned about sustainability while they helped beautify the community. They also worked to enhance the health of the environment by planting 3,000 native plants and trees in the stormwater management gardens around the school. For more information, see the video below.
MCPS students turned out to beautify Gaithersburg High School's grounds and protect the environment.
Each year, schools must complete a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP), MCPS Form 201-10, and submit it to the Division of Sustainability and Compliance no later than September 30. The SAP is an opportunity to tell us about the great sustainability programs that are taking place at your school and to learn about tips for successful sustainable actions.
Completing the form is simple:
If you need assistance completing your SAP, please email email@example.com.
In April, the MCPS Division of Sustainability and Compliance (DSC) and the Outdoor Environmental Education Programs (OEEP) partnered with the Montgomery County Forestry Board and the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Tree Montgomery program, and worked closely with Rocky Hill Middle School’s environmental club to plant eight shade trees at the school. This project was part of a larger effort to add 45 new shade trees around the school. The benefits of shade trees are far-reaching and go well beyond the school boundaries. The local actions by the students help them to reflect and ensure that our natural environment remains cleaner and preserved for the present and future generations.
This effort is part of MCPS Policy ECA, Sustainability, which includes adoption of “measures to address resiliency and awareness, such as increasing the tree canopy and outdoor educational spaces on MCPS properties and mitigating stormwater runoff.”
New Website Links Climate Planning, Progress and Action
Montgomery County has unveiled a new website dedicated to the County's actions on climate change. The website brings the County's array of climate planning, progress, and actions under one, easy-to-navigate portal. Click here to visit the site: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/climate/.
Since 1992, Montgomery County has celebrated "Energy Action Month" each October. Last year, they focused all of their efforts on the phrase, "ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING!" Montgomery County has long been a national leader in responding to the challenge of climate change. Setting aggressive GHG emissions reduction targets, the County aims to reduce GHG by 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. The only way to tackle the impacts of climate change is to electrify everything. For more information, click here.
On June 28, 2022, the Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education unanimously adopted a transformative sustainability policy. Titled Policy ECA, Sustainability, the policy commits the school district to cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035 compared to 2005 levels, in line with the County's Climate Action Plan. To achieve this, the policy centers on environmental sustainability in every aspect of MCPS, from the type of energy powering school buildings to the depth of climate change education students receive in the classroom.
"It's not just new construction, it's the way we think about transportation … it's the way we think about our athletic fields. We see emails about 'the grass [being] too long'. That will become the norm: restoring the public space to natural space as part of climate initiatives," explained Seth Adams, Director of the Department of Facilities Management, at the June 28th Board Business Meeting. Click here to read the full article published in My Green Montgomery.
Read about the important guidance and resources for those interested in Increasing the Use of Outdoor Spaces on school sites for activities including lunch, recess, and learning.
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