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Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

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.

News and Updates

All MCPS students and staff are invited to judge DSC's 2024 poster contest!

The Division of Sustainability and Compliance holds an annual poster contest to increase awareness about the importance of environmental sustainability, energy conservation, waste reduction, and responsible recycling. Students and staff are invited to participate in the contest. Now that the contest has ended, all students and staff are invited to join in the judging process. Click here to check out the entries and cast your vote. Please note that your MCPS Google ID is required to participate. Vote today! The opportunity to judge will end at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

DSC poster contest

Hundreds volunteered and celebrated Earth Day 2024 at Loiederman

Volunteers working at the 2024 Earth Day event at Loiederman MS

On Earth Day, April 22, 2024, nearly 1,000 MCPS students, staff, and volunteers participated in impactful activities at A. Mario Loiederman Middle School. They built portions of a farm, rehabbed a courtyard garden, and worked on bioretention areas. These efforts are not only about the physical changes they bring but also the inspiration and motivation they instill in our community. MCPS is proud to be developing the REACH (Resilience, Education, Action, Climate, Habitat) Hub at Loiederman in partnership with the Charles Koiner Conservancy for Urban Farming, a nonprofit land trust dedicated to creating and supporting neighborhood farms that provide educational opportunities, improve food security, build community connections, and promote land conservation. The Habitat for Humanity and other county partners sponsored this event.  

Past Events and Older Information

The 2024 Sustainability Poster Contest has ended. Watch for news about the winning entries. 


The Youth Climate Summit was held at Tilden Middle School

Young girl holding up a globe; text reads MCPS 2024 youth climate summit, April 13, 2024

The third annual Youth Climate Summit was held on April 13, 2024 at Tilden Middle School. Dozens of secondary students gathered to learn about climate change, how they could grow as environmental activists, and how they could create projects in their communities. Speakers from a variety of environmental programs spoke to the students, including NOAA, Earth Day, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, the MCPS Division of Sustainability and Compliance, the MCCPTA Sustainability and Green Schools Subcommittee, Montgomery Parks and the Student Global Ambassador Program. The day ended with students planting trees.

The DSC-sponsored Van Wrap contest ended on March 1. The winning entry will be announced soon!

colors and shaps representing creativity; letters say art contest

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!

Click here to learn more about the contest.

Grade 4 students plant trees at S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School

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.


If you missed the Fall Sustainability Symposium, click the image below to watch the presentation.

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! 

  • PART 1: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 5-5:45 p.m.
    • Explore sustainability practices related to water conservation and solid waste reduction. Register in advance to join:
  • PART 2:  Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 5-5:45 p.m.

November 1 was Student Environmental Volunteer Day!

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.

Student Volunteer Day

MCPS students turned out to beautify Gaithersburg High School's grounds and protect the environment.

Sustainability Action Plans were due on September 30

Woman holding a clipboard with a Sustainability Action Plan form.

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: 

  • List the names of your recycling coordinator, food waste diversion coordinator, sustainability team leader, and team members.
  • If your school has a student-led environmental club, tell us all about it. 
  • Let DSC know how we can help you achieve your sustainability goals. 

If you need assistance completing your SAP, please email

Tree Planting at Rocky Hill Middle School


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:

Why Electrify Everything? 

Electrify Everything
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.

Professional Development Sessions

Professional development sessions are available for schools seeking Maryland Green Schools certification. Click here and go to "Resources for Staff" to learn more and register.

MCPS Adopts Transformative Sustainability Policy 

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.  

Voluntary Guidance and Resources: Increasing the Use of Outdoor Spaces 

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.

What Can I Do About Climate Change?


Climate Change_What can I do

What can my family, friends, and I do in our everyday lives to combat climate change and create a more resilient Montgomery County?  To learn more about Montgomery County Climate Action Plan, click here.
If you missed any previous presentations or events, click here and scroll down to Archive of Events and Presentations to view.

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