Two Charles County public schools – Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School and North Point High School – were honored last week by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) as 2016 Maryland Green Schools. Dr. Mudd and North Point join 72 other schools statewide honored April 21 through the Maryland Green Schools program.
Green Schools are honored for their commitment to developing stewards of the Earth and reducing environmental impacts. Maryland Green Schools must complete a two-year application process to secure the designation. The process requires schools to demonstrate and document a continuous effort to integrate sustainable best management practices, classroom integration of environmental issues, curriculum and instruction, professional development opportunities, conservation practices and evidence of existing community partnerships that help enhance environmental learning.
As part of the application process, students are involved in projects that help to save energy, reduce waste and promote other sustainable activities. Through the Green School program, schools are encouraged to use school grounds as an extension of the classroom and for outdoor learning experiences.
“Students, teachers, school personnel, parents and community partners are working together to create a positive and lasting environment at school. Their actions are essential to becoming a Maryland Green School,” Laura Johnson Collard, MAEOE Executive Director, said about the program.
Environmentally friendly practices in place at Dr. Mudd include a no waste lunch, recycling campaigns, student and staff maintenance of a butterfly and turtle garden, and the launch of a Green Club. Student members in the club meet weekly to plan environmentally friendly efforts for the school community.
At North Point, students work together to support their local environment through hands-on and engaging experiences and activities. These activities range from protecting and conserving local watersheds and marine sanctuaries to conversation projects. Students have also helped to conserve grounds at the school by planting trees and perennials native to the area.
Ian Buter is the content specialist for science for Charles County Public Schools. He said a goal for Charles County Public Schools is for 100 percent Green School representation. “It is very exciting that both North Point and Dr. Mudd have joined the other Green Schools in Charles County. Their dedication to environmental stewardship is an exemplar model for all of our schools,” Buter said.
Green Schools are recognized for using resources to educate students and staff on environmental challenges in Maryland, modeling environmental practices in building and landscape design, and demonstrating how to maintain these practices. Additionally, Green Schools are recognized for building and maintaining partnerships within their local communities to enhance environmental learning and to design programs to result in a healthier environment.
Dr. Mudd and North Point join 10 other Maryland Green Schools in Charles County with current certification. They are Gale-Bailey, Dr. James Craik, Indian Head, Arthur Middleton and J.C. Parks elementary schools, General Smallwood, Piccowaxen and Milton M. Somers middle schools, and Thomas Stone and Westlake high schools. The Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center is also a certified Maryland Green Center.
All Maryland schools receiving Green School certification will be recognized May 13 at the Maryland Green School Youth Summit at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. Each school will receive a Green Schools flag, as well as a Governor’s Citation to recognize their achievement.
The Maryland Green Schools Program was founded in 1999 to foster a student-led integrated approach to authentic learning that incorporates local environmental issue investigation and teacher professional development with environmental best management practices and community stewardship. The program also supports schools in meeting the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) environmental literacy standards established through the Governor’s Partnership for Children in Nature. For more information on the Green Schools program and application process, visit http://www.maeoe.org/.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,300 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.