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What's Our Greenprint St. John's?

By: lking

Helping St. John’s become even Greener began over the summer with a variety of groups working on new projects for the coming school year. So how will we become even Greener in 2011-2012? Here are a just few of the new things in store!

[image] Non-disposables 

New in the Eco-campus corner, the Greenteam will be expanding our Schoolwide Recycling to include cardboard, batteries and electronics; paper, plastic and aluminum are already recycled. This program involves students and staff,  and the basic program is expected to be up and running in September,  with electronics, cardboard and batteries added by January. Cost is expected be less than $100.00 for a few additional recycling bins. We will also be adding a new No Disposables initiative which will begin by getting rid of disposables in the teachers' workrooms. This initiative will begin with only staff participation, but is already expanding to other areas,  with the third grade planning on making muslin napkins and having 5 days of recycle/waste free lunch days in April. The cost is less than $100.00 for washing materials and muslin; staff members are donating cups, dishes, etc. for the workrooms. Finally, in the Let’s Go Green campaign, all staff is being encouraged to document all their “green” projects through GRS so they can be shared with others. Curricula are being examined to help teachers identify projects that could include a “green component.”  Presentations about the importance of these initiatives will be included at staff meetings,  and monthly help sessions  about the GRS program and how to use its tools to the greatest advantage are being offered. Faculty time over the summer was paid for by a $1500.00 professional development grant.

We were very excited to hear that our student "Head for a Day" organizers decided upon Wilderness Day: Appreciate the Wild as their theme, a great kick-off activity for further Nature Adventures this year. To provide a fun-filled day helping students appreciate the nature all around them, students will dress up as park rangers, fisherman, and other outdoorsmen,  and outdoor activities, games and a petting zoo are planned. Faculty is encouraged to use these activities to teach conservation, biology, ecology, health etc.  This all-school activity also includes collecting supplies for For The Love Of The Lake, a local non-profit Volunteer group working to preserve and enhance White Rock lake park.

St. John ’s students will be even more Brain Balanced this year as the balance balls spread to more and more classrooms and other brain-research teaching techniques are introduced into the classroom. These activities are budgeted at $1500.00. Other Health & Fitness improvements include an increase in the number of PE classes weekly at the 6th grade level, a unit on exercise, nutrition and the new food guidelines at the 3rd grade level, a change to a healthier, more nutritious menu for the cafeteria, and wellness seminars via podcasts for the faculty and staff. These activities were worked on throughout the summer and  began at the beginning of the school year.

Congratulations to Middle School teachers Liz Christensen, Toni Herrin and LeAnne Wyatt, who have received a Texas Healthy Habitats grant for more than $8,000 from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Service Learning Texas, and Encana Oil and Gas to protect, restore and maintain a Blackland Prairie remnant adjacent to White Rock Lake with their eighth grade students. Wow, that's a really in-depth Natural Classrooms project! The project will get started in November and continue throughout the year.

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