- Jackson School District
Switlik Elementary School Earns National "Green Ribbon School" Award from U.S. Department of Education - One of Only Two Schools in the State!
Switlik Elementary School Wins U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award
April 22, 2021
The Jackson School District is proud to share that the United States Department of Education announced today that the Swilitk Elementary School has earned the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Award for its innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education. The school is one of only two in New Jersey to win this award.
"This is an incredible accomplishment and one that is so meaningful because it was earned through the collaboration of so many people within the Switlik school community and district,'' said Superintendent of Schools Nicole Pormilli. "We are so proud of Switlik and of all the students, staff and administrators who work hard every day to ensure we are finding ways to care for our planet and each other.''
The school was cited for its behavior-based energy conservation and facility improvements, which reduced energy consumption by 16%. This equates to a $2.5 million in savings over the past four years and an Energy Star rating of 96. The school received a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant to construct a greenhouse and also installed two water bottle filling stations averting 18,000 plastic water bottles to date.
Switlik Principal Kathleen McKiernan said the award was the result of a true team effort at the school.
“This is a wonderful building, with wonderful people and I could not be more proud of them,’’ McKiernan said. “Switlik is filled with such passionate and committed educators, staff and students and any positive light that shines on them is much deserved and appreciated.’’
Pormilli said she is thrilled that the "Green Team" at Switlik has been recognized for their passion and commitment to sustainability. She said the projects and initiatives at Switlik are part of a purposeful and structured district's energy program, which focuses on finding innovative and creative ways to save money and create a culture of responsibility and accountability throughout the district.
"This national recognition caps off a banner year for us,'' she said. "A month ago we earned a $1.1 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to purchase two electric-powered garbage trucks that were sorely needed and we receive annual recognition in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program for our initiatives. We're just very proud of all we have going on in our energy program."
Initiatives in the district's Energy Program include:
- The district has implemented a district-wide $27 MILLION ESIP (Energy Savings Improvement Project) replacing and improving inefficient building mechanicals and adding energy-saving tools. These projects are funded solely by energy savings.
- Participating in a Demand Response Program generating approximately $84,000 in revenue this year.
- The district held two Reverse Energy Auctions to secure the lowest cost for our electricity and natural gas. This resulted in a 2-cent-per-kilowatt savings and the stabilization of natural gas pricing
- As part of the ESIP program, the district reduces its carbon footprint by replacing outdated equipment including oil-fired boilers and has solar generation at ten additional locations
- 7 schools are Bronze Certified and Elms Elementary and Liberty High School are Silver Certified through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program. The district has already received 18 grants as a result of our participation in this program.
- Energy Program and Energy Education Specialist John Blair has increased energy savings through progressive monitoring, education, strategic planning, energy auditing and ESIP participation.
Learn More About WHY Switlik Earned This Award
(Switlik Info Begins on Page 81)
Check out information from the U.S. Department of Education's Announcement: