Obama Administration Names Loveland High School as one of 78 Schools in 29 States and D.C. as First-Ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
One of 26 High Schools in Nation
Only High School Named in Ohio
Washington D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to announce the first-ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, a list including 78 schools that span 29 states and D.C.
Loveland High School Principal, Dr. Molly Moorhead said, I am extremely proud of teacher Tracy Burge and all her environmental science students who have embraced the goal of making Loveland High School a truly green school.” Moorhead praised Burge's passion to make a difference for the earth and said it is shared by her students. “They are the reason we have been recognized by the US Department of Education and the White House." She said that she is both excited and humbled to be recognized the inaugural year of this award.
As part of their commitment to be a Green School, high school students will be increasing the size of their wild life habitat by 5 acres this year in an effort reduce the initial habitat destruction during construction of the high school. As a result, they will have 18 acres of woodland and prairie wildlife habitat.
The Loveland students have been at the forefront of initiation and implementation in school recycling programs. Last year students began a school wide recycling and trash reduction program that to date has reduced trash volume at the high school by 62%. As a result of their efforts the High School was awarded “Outstanding High School Recycling Program“ by Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District. In addition, students are looking toward the future and endeavor to make the cafeteria a “zero waste” facility through composting all non-recyclable waste.
Students also participated in a cell phone recycling program called “Go Bananas” that was sponsored by Cincinnati Zoo. Loveland high school students recycled the third largest number of cell phones in the nation.
Students have, in an effort to reduce household hazardous waste, researched avenues that can be taken to recycle T.V.’s in the wake of replacement of analog T.V.’s by flat screen T.V.’s. They have also called the local energy company Duke Energy to investigate ways to reduce their home energy use and some have convinced their parents to turn down the heat to save energy and reduce emissions. Many students have made the call themselves to the local recycling facility Rumpke to set up residential recycling pick-up if their family did not have the service. In addition, students have made school video announcements, made posters or initiated conservation conversation, written newspaper articles or have been interviewed for such themselves; all in an effort to rally other students to engage in a, reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy.
The announcements were made during a visit to Stoddert Elementary School, one of D.C.'s two honorees.
"Science, environmental and outdoor education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education, helping prepare them for the jobs of the future," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments."
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is a federal recognition program that opened in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating "green" environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy.
"Schools that take a green approach cut costs on their utility bills, foster healthy and productive classrooms, and prepare students to thrive in the 21st century economy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "These Green Ribbon School award winners are taking outstanding steps to educate tomorrow's environmental leaders, and demonstrating how sustainability and environmental awareness make sense for the health of our students and our country."
Loveland High School was one of the 78 awarded schools that were named winners from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies. Among the list of winners are 66 public schools, including 8 charters, and 12 private schools. In total, the schools are composed of 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools.
"These Green Ribbon Schools are giving students and educators what they need to maximize learning and minimize risks like asthma and other respiratory illnesses, ensuring that no child is burdened by pollution in or around their school," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Today's winners are protecting our children's health and opening up environmental education opportunities for students. The EPA is proud to help recognize the Green Ribbon award winners and will continue working to improve the environment of our nation's schools and helping prepare students to succeed in the emerging green economy."
What Else Has Been Done in the Loveland District That Helped Win the Green Ribbon School Designation?
In the last two years comprehensive programs under the leadership of Business Manager, John Ames, has resulted in the reduction of numerous environmental impacts:
- In order to reduce GHG emissions our district implemented an Energy Improvement Plan and obtained six million dollars of interest-free financing; provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This deal was the first of its kind to be completed in Ohio and the sixth in the U.S. The capital raised was used to provide energy-efficient upgrades to buildings. Motion and infrared sensors were installed on lighting fixtures so they were automatically turned off and on in order to save energy.
- In addition light bulbs of 32 watts have been exchanged for bulbs of 28 watts. Infrared sensors were placed on HVAC systems to regulate heating and cooling and heating and ventilation upgrades were made; all reducing energy use and emissions.
- The economic savings in the first year equaled $350,000 in energy cost and consequently energy use and this year the savings increased to $480,000. By engaging in these emission reducing efforts the district demonstrated its commitment to the long term health of students and staff and of the environment as well.
- All buses have been retro-fitted with catalytic converters through EPA Grants. These catalytic converters operate near a 90% efficiency rate eliminating diesel fuel odor and reducing visible particulates. On 30% of our bus fleet, cold weather engine block warmers were installed. These warmers reduce the need to idle buses all night during extreme cold weather. No idling zones have been established to further reduce emissions and thereby hazardous conditions and health concerns for the student body.
- In an effort to improve our water use efficiency and conservation our district installed low flow faucets reducing our water consumption by 59%. As a result we were able to eliminated 2 boilers. Most of our potable water is now heated using heat exchange plates in the HVAC system. The district also replaced our football field with artificial turf reducing irrigation water use by 692,700 gallons per year. Irrigation, if used, is manually turned on and off according to weather conditions. No landscaping or grassy areas are watered, only athletic fields are irrigated.
- The Loveland District has reduced its contribution to the hazardous waste stream to 0 lbs/student/year . Lab chemicals are neutralized in a reduction pit below the lab facilities. In addition harsh cleaning chemicals have been eliminated thereby significantly reducing asthma attacks in the student population.
- The district is also initiating a “paperless school”. Next year’s seventh graders will be given electronic devices that will be used for most if not all assignments through their senior year. This move will not only save paper but will also save energy used to transport paper to the school and energy used to produce copies of assignments for students.