IW schools go green

Published 11:11 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Isle of Wight County Schools has been honored for the fourth consecutive year by the Virginia School Board Association’s Green Schools Challenge. The school division was one of 32 recognized at the VSBA’s annual conference.

“We are excited to be a certified green school division again this year,” Dr. Jim Thornton, superintendent of Isle of Wight County Schools, stated in a press release. “This award publicly acknowledges the great efforts of Isle of Wight County Schools to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient.”

The division has introduced propane-fueled school buses, energy-efficient windows and classroom projectors with more efficient light bulbs within the last few years, according to Lynn Briggs, spokesperson for Isle of Wight County Public Schools.

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The challenge was put in place to encourage the implementation of environmental policies. The school system received a platinum certification due its multitude of green initiatives.

The program had an array of initiatives with corresponding points. The categories include energy efficiency, vehicles, schools, waste management, education and community participation. The applications were reviewed and judged by VSBA members.

In order to be identified as a “Green School Division,” divisions needed to receive at least 100 out of 200 total points. For the silver, gold and platinum recognitions, divisions had to receive more than 125 points.

Isle of Wight County Schools received 175 points to earn its platinum recognition.

For the future, there are plans to add more buses to the division’s fleet and other eco-friendly initiatives, Briggs said.

“We are very excited we are able to be a good steward of the environment,” Briggs said.

Ever since the challenge was introduced eight years ago, the Isle of Wight County division has been recognized every year. Moseley Architects and ABM Building & Energy Solutions sponsored this year’s competition.

There was also a green challenge for local governments, which was given similar criteria to highlight the eco-friendly initiatives taking place statewide.