By Mary Beth Almond
ROCHESTER — Fifteen schools in the Rochester Community Schools district have gone “Green,” “Emerald” or “Evergreen,” according to their new Michigan Green School designations.
The Michigan Green School program, now in its eighth year, challenges all public and private schools in the state to initiate energy-saving activities and introduce programs to further environmental education.
Debby Dunn, who coordinates the Oakland County Green School program with Whitney Calio — said 178 county schools were recognized as some type of green school this year.
“We were down a little, but that ebbs and flows depending on school closings and coordinators who move on when their child changes schools,” she said.
To be designated a Michigan Green School, K-12 schools must successfully undertake a number of green activities — such as recycling various materials, adopting an endangered species animal, implementing an energy savings program and more — and they must submit an application. Depending on the number of activities undertaken by a school, three levels of green status are recognized with a flag and a certificate.
“We’re doing a lot of these things already in our schools, so we thought, ‘Let’s get them a little credit and kudos for accomplishing these things,’” Dunn said. “Rochester has been one of my stronger districts, although we were missing a few schools this year.”
The RCS schools that qualified for Green status — implementing 10 or fewer of the 20 activities — include Reuther and Van Hoosen middle schools. North Hill Elementary School earned Emerald status — implementing between 11 and 15 of the 20 activities. The schools that achieved Evergreen status — implementing at least 16 of the 20 activities — include Rochester Adams High School; West and Hart middle schools; and Baldwin, Brewster, Brooklands, Delta Kelly, Hugger, Long Meadow, McGregor, Musson and University Hills elementary schools.
RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said the district is proud to participate in the Michigan Green Schools program.
“The program encourages our staff and students to be conscious of opportunities to both conserve and strengthen our planet’s natural resources,” he said in an email.
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