Stewardship and Sustainability Handbook for Schools


Published on

Stewardship and Sustainability Handbook for Schools
For more information, Please see websites below:
Organic Edible Schoolyards & Gardening with Children
Double Food Production from your School Garden with Organic Tech
Free School Gardening Art Posters`
Companion Planting Increases Food Production from School Gardens
Healthy Foods Dramatically Improves Student Academic Success
City Chickens for your Organic School Garden
Simple Square Foot Gardening for Schools - Teacher Guide

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Stewardship and Sustainability Handbook for Schools

  1. 1. Stewardship and Sustainability Handbook for Journey School Earth Keepers ● Integrated ecoliteracy curriculum ● Improved campus health and wellness ● Reduced environmental footprint ● Thriving campus natural ecosystem Journey School Aliso Viejo, CA 2013-2014
  2. 2. This is a living document which not only serves as a resource for our school, but will hopefully inspire others to adopt similar models.
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction & Stewardship Overview------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Integrated Ecoliteracy Curriculum----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 Improved Health & Wellness----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13 Reduced Environmental Footprint ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 17 APPENDIX I: Earth Keeper Leadership for 2013-14 APPENDIX II: Vision & Guidelines for Successful Gardening at Journey APPENDIX III: Resources for Teachers
  4. 4. 1 September 2013 INTRODUCTION AND STEWARDSHIP OVERVIEW Green Learning and Living is Nothing New at Journey School Journey School’s founding charter document states that the school’s ecological goals of environmental education, stewardship and civic responsibility be infused in all aspects of learning and living. Because of this the parents, faculty, staff and district align to ensure that the students develop an intrinsic desire to protect the environment. Journey School teachers employ an integrated, place-based curriculum that addresses the whole child, attends to the students’ cognitive, emotional and aesthetic needs, consistently connects them with the natural world, and allows them to experience hands-on environmental projects. Journey School families participate in our culture of ecoliteracy by supporting the school’s wholesome snack and lunch guidelines and ecological awareness program of recycling, reusing, repairing and sustainability, and joining in our seasonal Waldorf festivals, which promote the protection and celebration of our natural resources. We believe that this partnership with parents is a key in promoting in the children a desire for wholesome living and the development of their ecological awareness. Introduction Journey School is a free, public Waldorf Charter school. Since its inception in 2000, Journey School has been committed to teaching and implementing innovative environmental education and sustainable practices campuswide. Today, Journey School is considered a beacon model in ecological education for schools and families in the community and beyond. Our ecoliteracy curriculum is integrated into the master teaching schedule which educates all students using age-appropriate ecological principles and practices. A sampling of topics includes: nature walks, gardening, composting, vermiculture, biology, ancestral survival skills, soil building, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, native and indigenous plant studies, permaculture study and projects, and eco- leadership. Journey School is committed to using natural and high-quality products in every area of the school. The use of natural products supports and enhances the children’s inner connection with and their responsibility as caretakers of the Earth. Additionally, we've made a profound positive environmental impact on campus by establishing five gardens which include; the front Native Garden with a student designed rainwater harvesting demonstration site; the Green Heart Garden with 8 planter boxes and 30 fruit trees, the Sunny Patch for crops, a 3 station compost bin and outdoor meeting areas; the 3rd Grade
  5. 5. 2 September 2013 Garden with 6 planter boxes, compost and vermiculture bins, and fruit trees; as well as a Kindergarten Garden with planter boxes and a native playscape. What makes us unique and innovative in relation to the 3 Pillars judged by the Green Ribbon Schools award application? Executive Leadership: On the executive level, the school’s Administrators work together to ensure curriculum, professional development, and classroom atmosphere are in line with the charter's environmental values and goals. This Journey School Stewardship Handbook outlines Journey School’s vision and specific goals for teaching sustainability, environmental education, and stewardship practices. Proven Outcomes: Our model works! 96% of all 5th Graders and 81% of all 8th graders scored Proficient or Advanced on the science portion of the 2012 STAR examination. These results are higher than both state and district averages. We also scored high in Physical Education. The percentage of Journey students in the Healthy and Fitness Zone in 2011 (most recent achievement data available) far exceeded district and state averages in most categories. Professional Development: 80% of our teachers, who are already state credentialed, earned their joint Master’s Degree and Waldorf Certification from a WASC accredited college. Embedded in the program is coursework related to environmental education, gardening, science, and stewardship. Teachers learn best practices for weaving green learning outcomes into their classrooms— ranging from daily student chores, to classroom gardens, to recycling, to science instruction, to projects. Dedicated Parents: 70% of our families each contribute more than 50 hours of volunteer time per year to reduce environmental impacts and improve campus health and wellness. Upon enrollment, parents sign paperwork agreeing to our policies on healthy snacks, zero waste, and limited media guidelines relating to our comprehensive commitment to an active, healthy lifestyle. Innovative Community Eco-Partnerships: We've developed strong community relationships with top environmental professionals such as a Erik Katzmaier, a Master Gardener who mentors garden projects as well as conducts onsite garden workshops; Earthroots, a nature field school providing on-site specialty environmental education; SOKA University environmental studies interns; Brad Lancaster, a world renowned rainwater harvesting expert; and Chris Prelitz, a green builder and author/consultant and more.
  6. 6. 3 September 2013 Stewardship in our Charter Ever since the founding of our school in 2000, Journey has taken a comprehensive and holistic approach to being good stewards of our school, our community, and our planet. These are direct quotes from our school charter document: “A sense of reverence empowers students with the ability to develop an understanding and appreciation for the interdependence of all life. Students with a strong sense of reverence reflect this knowledge through conscientious respectful actions involving themselves, other people, and the world around them. They have appreciation for truth, beauty and the world. They connect with others. They are compassionate, communicative, grateful, and strive to build interdependent relationships, which positively impact the world. ...Another primary goal of the practical curriculum is to instill in students a deep understanding and respect for the interdependence between humans and the natural world. Students appreciate that every action impacts the environment, and that their choices have significant consequences for the natural world and other human beings. Students engage in learning experiences and activities that cross curricular boundaries, promoting a strong sense of environmental stewardship and community responsibility.” We take our environmental mission seriously. The Charter document also provides targets and measurement tools for meeting our green goals. Outcome 3: Reverence and Stewardship Students will show reverence and stewardship for the world around them, including human beings, other living things, and the earth. Measurement Tools This outcome will be measured using some or all of the following: ● 3.4 Students will participate in school-wide recycling programs, evidenced by ongoing formative assessments conducted by the Recycling Champion, which measure students’ ability to sort recyclables individually and as a class. ● 3.5 Students will maintain classroom and/or school-wide gardens, with measurements using classroom-based assessments. Performance Targets The school will annually set the performance targets for this mission-specific outcome. This will include a determination of which of the measurement tools to focus on each year, as well as the annual expectation for overall student performance on this outcome. ● 3.4.1 Students will demonstrate age-appropriate recycling abilities.
  7. 7. 4 September 2013 ● 3.5.1 Students who participate will demonstrate active engagement and high levels of production in the gardens. Our approach to environmental stewardship is not imposed from outside sources, such as government incentive programs or district policies; it is intrinsic to Waldorf education, in general, and specifically, to the foundational wording of our Charter. Our student, faculty, staff and parent stakeholders, who we call “Earth Keepers,” renew their commitment each year and take action to be upstanding stewards -- building a strong model for “incorporating environmental learning with improving environmental and health impacts” as outlined in the 2012-2013 Green Ribbon School application. Stakeholder Meetings on Green Efforts Green efforts are a cornerstone of our school and are highlighted in ALL stakeholder meetings, including: classrooms (recycling, eco-friendly cleaning supplies and handwashing, mess kits, zero trash lunches); Parent Cabinet (recycling at events, engaging local eco-friendly vendors, opportunity to buy produce boxes from local farms); Faculty meetings (ecoliteracy curriculum, ways to engage students outdoors), and administrative meetings (School Council puts policies in place where environmental concerns are at the forefront of discussion). Our volunteer Garden Helpers meet weekly in an open forum where parents and community members join together to set goals for composting, crops, wellness, and environmental education. Beginning in 6th grade, when children are developmentally ready to become school leaders, the students discuss, plan, and implement green efforts by peer-teaching lower grades in foundational resource conservation. Permaculture leadership comes in 7th grade and Eco- Leadership in 8th grade. The all-school newsletter updates all school stakeholders on green efforts. Committees and Groups ● Earth Keepers (Sustainability): Every student, parent, teacher, staff member, administrator, and community member of Journey School is an Earth Keeper. We all do our part to practice sustainability in our actions -- as outlined in the school charter. Certain key volunteers assist teachers and students to help make habit out of best practices for the planet. For instance, our 4 R’s waste reduction program has parent volunteers help monitor and educate students about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot (compost). ● Wellness Committee: Parent Cabinet is the primary body responsible for campus wellness. They foster a rich festival life and take charge of things like Community- Supported Agriculture delivery. ● Garden Helpers: A group of parents led by Master Gardener, Erik Katzmeier meet weekly in the gardens to maintain the school’s outdoor classrooms. Special work days are held to invite parent volunteers to enhance the gardens and nature play areas. This work continues into the summer months so the gardens are maintained.
  8. 8. 5 September 2013 ● Room Parents: Room Parents take the lead in making sure classrooms are clean and eco-friendly cleaning supplies are used. Room parents also help guide fundraising choices and festival booths to be in line with Journey’s green values. Food choices for potluck planning, class birthday celebrations, and Kindergarten’s organic snacks are guided by wellness principles to be as healthy as possible and consist of organic fruits and vegetables when possible.
  9. 9. 6 September 2013 INTEGRATED ECOLITERACY CURRICULUM In alignment with Waldorf education, we aim to teach our students to: ● Become independent adults who use critical and ethical thinking to make complex connections between different areas of knowledge. ● Recognize and appreciate the interconnectedness of all life. ● Develop a reverence for nature and their local environment. ● Value their special place within nature as a human being. ● Acquire a sense of guardianship and responsibility for the Earth and all of its inhabitants. ● Develop strength, hope and resiliency to support the health of the earth in their day- to-day and future decision-making such that become responsible and active environmental stewards. Because of our commitment to these goals, we place the school’s ecoliteracy curriculum in the broad context of life as a whole, enabling our students to learn over time that they are part of a much larger macrocosm that needs to be kept in balance. We design the curriculum to be in accordance with the students’ unfolding intellectual and emotional development. We ask ourselves, “What do the students need to develop in a harmonious way?” instead of “What kind to environmental education program do we choose to add on to the curriculum so that our student are environmentally conscious?” To this end: We integrate ecoliteracy into the students’ day-to-day school life and into our science, geography, history, math, and language arts Main Lessons* from Kindergarten to 8th grade. One of the most "research-based" books on best practices, Best Practice: New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America's Schools, states that “learning science means integrating reading, writing, speaking, and math.” Our method of teaching, integrated with other subjects rather than taught in an isolated fashion, establishes a strong foundation for students to pursue environmental science careers and invent green technologies. In fact a recent survey of Waldorf high school graduates found that 42% major in the sciences or math as undergraduates. We link our ecoliteracy curriculum with learning the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Thinking Skills. Our science standards, aligned to the California State Standards and to the Common Core Standards beginning in 2014-15, are taught through observation and experience of our natural environment. The students learn about sustainability and the importance of their individual and collective decisions in making a direct impact on the world throughout the course of their studies by engaging in projects and activities that relate to their daily lives. For examples: understanding the need for waste reduction and reuse begins in Kindergarten through our campus-wide composting and recycling program; by participating in a variety of garden projects, especially in maintaining our native garden, students learn the importance of water conservation; and, when studying
  10. 10. 7 September 2013 physics and meteorology in the upper grades, they learn about how to capture and reuse solar and wind energy. The students consistently use mathematics in their ecoliteracy studies as well, for examples, calculating how much rain can be captured annually on our school building rooftops in 5th grade and creating energy consumption charts to study business math in 6th grade. We use multi-disciplinary modes of expression in every lesson that engage the whole child. These modes of expression include: ● Artistic endeavors such as painting, drawing, poetry, modeling, music, and drama ● Group activities, hands-on experiences, service projects and field trips ● Practical arts such as crafts, woodworking, and handwork using natural materials When children are engaged in such pursuits they are not only able to receive information through their auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic preferences and express their knowledge in their own distinctive learning styles, but deep emotional connections to the information are made and their innate sense of wonder and awe at nature builds exponentially. For instance, when the 3rd graders are engaged on a weekly basis in their garden, they observe the tiny seeds they plant, then the tender seedlings about to be transplanted, the young plants with light green leaves reaching for the sun, the developing plant with abundant flowers, and the mature plant with its fruits, vegetables or roots for harvest. They observe the circle of life by pulling up the older, dying plant and saving its seeds and then its transformation through the composting of the plant into rich soil to nourish new seeds. We make sure that nature and the environment are the students’ “outdoor classrooms” with a range of school experiences that connect them with the natural world. Our teachers engage the students in many hands-on experiences in our school gardens and at the nearby Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. They also take a number of one-day trips that are linked to their studies, such as visits to beekeepers, tide pools, animal parks, botanical gardens, and factories. In grades 3-8, annual 2-5-day experiential class trips to organic farms, sustainable communities, tall ships, and the wilderness are well-loved rites of passage for the students. Such experiential learning cycles deepen the students’ understanding of new concepts and give them the opportunity to share what they've learned in school with the broader community. We ensure that the study of the natural world and the human beings’ relationship with the environment are brought qualitatively while paying due regard to the quantitative aspects. We share the awe and joy we have for the grandeur of nature at each developmental level. At each level we relate the aspects of nature to the human being so that we guide the children to find a bridge from them to nature and bring them ever closer to an understanding of their own humanity.
  11. 11. 8 September 2013 My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! – W. Wordsworth Our integrated ecoliteracy curriculum is integrated into our full curriculum within three key areas: ● Study of the Natural World. This study progresses from observation and experience of the natural environment in and near the school in Kindergarten to rigorous scientific experimentation and investigation of physics, geology, astronomy, meteorology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology in Grades 6-8. ● Study of the Human Being’s Relationship with the Environment. Understanding how humans impact the environment is an interdisciplinary study at Journey School encompassing cultural history, mathematics, and experiential learning in the school’s many gardens and during the Earthroots Field School intensives. ● Promoting Healthy Living Habits. This action-based aspect of the curriculum guides the students’ understanding of how to take care of their bodies, of the natural environment in which they live, work and play, of the food that they grow and eat, of the air they breathe, of the plant and animal worlds around them, of those who are sick or in sorrow, of their own classrooms, and of our communal spaces such as playgrounds, kitchens, and restrooms. Please refer to the next two pages for summary chart – and separate Integrated Ecoliteracy Curriculum Guide with Ecoliteracy Intensives Appendix for details. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, described over ninety years ago that “if during his early school years [the student] has stored up an inner treasury of riches, ... then at puberty these inner riches can be transmuted into intellectual content. [A] human being can only come to the experience of freedom if the intellectuality awakens within him of itself.” (Masters)
  12. 12. 9 September 2013 Journey School K-8 Integrated Ecoliteracy Curriculum Chart Grades K-4 Areas of Study Kindergarten Grade 1 and 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Study of the natural world Observation and exploration of “Outdoor Classroom” and of local surroundings during weekly nature walks Listen to and reenact fairy tales with ecoliteracy themes Nature Stories blocks Weekly Nature Studies class (observation and exploration of local surroundings, nature activities and seasonal crafts) Listen to and reenact fairy tales with ecoliteracy themes in Grade 1 and animal fables and Native American tales of nature in Grade 2 Life Cycle intensive Trips to pumpkin farm, ocean, local open spaces, etc. Geography of our local surroundings Farming and Gardening Shelters Clothing and Fibers 2-3 day organic farm trip Geography of our state and region Zoology Trip to zoo or animal park Study of human being’s relationship with the environment Cultural history of dwelling, food, clothing, measurement, and farming methods around the world Weekly gardening and cooking classes Gardening intensive Trips to observe artisans and crafts people Cultural history of local region and state, biographies of key environmental figures Emphasis on importance of human’s responsibility for animals in Zoology studies Ancestral Skills intensive Local trip to Gold Rush country or to native lands Promoting healthy living habits Help teachers w/daily environmentally conscious responsibilities (composting, recycling, care of indoor plants and animals, care of classroom and of campus) Cooking Baking Cleaning Gardening Local walks Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Cooking Baking Cleaning Gardening Local walks Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Development of self sufficiency through building, textiles, cooking, gardening blocks Local walks Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Native garden tending Local walks Bold “intensives” indicate ecoliteracy specialty classes
  13. 13. 10 September 2013 Journey School K-8 Integrated Ecoliteracy Curriculum Chart (continued) Grades 5-8 Areas of Study Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Study of the natural world Geography of our continent Botany Study of Insects Trips to Catalina Island and to botanical gardens to study botany World Geography through Earth Science (Biomes) Geology Physics Astronomy Hiking trip to mountains; astronomy overnight trip World Geography and History Physics Anatomy and Physiology and Nutrition Inorganic Chemistry Wilderness experience World Geography: Peoples of the Earth Meteorology Physics Anatomy and Physiology Organic Chemistry River trip Study of human being’s relationship with the environment Cultural histories and biographies of environmental stewards in relation to regions of the United States Cultural histories/ technological developments of ancient India and Middle East to Age of Greece Rainwater Harvesting intensive Trips to wastewater treatment center, beekeeper, plant nurseries Cultural histories/ technological developments of Roman History – Middle Ages and in relation to geography of Europe, Asia, Africa and Arabian Peninsula Biographies of environmental stewards Recycling and composting intensive Developing an eco-friendly business in Business Math Trip to landfill facility Cultural histories/ technological developments of Renaissances and Reformations around the world Study of human being as synthesis through Anatomy and Physics studies Permaculture studies intensive Tall ship sailing experience Cultural histories/ technological developments of Revolutions-present day; Biographies of environmental stewards; visit environmental HS and/or sustainable community Ecoliteracy leadership intensive and projects Application of scientific principles in industry Trips to factories, museums Promoting healthy living habits Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Gardening Local walks and bike rides Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Leadership of school’s recycling and composting program Local walks and bike rides Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Support recycling and composting program Nutrition and hygiene addressed in Human Anatomy and Physiology and Chemistry Ropes course, local walks and bike rides Daily environmentally conscious responsibilities Support recycling and composting program Nutrition and hygiene addressed in Anatomy and Physiology and Chemistry Ropes course, local walks and bike rides Bold “intensives” indicate ecoliteracy specialty classes
  14. 14. 11 September 2013 We Use a Unique Learning Progression to Meet the Developing Child Our Journey School Integrated Ecoliteracy Curriculum Guide for each grade, Kindergarten through Grade 8, outlines how we teach the three areas of study to each developmental phase in a different way, based on the question, “What do the students at this developmental phase need to grow and learn in a harmonious way?” Four developmental learning phases of ecoliteracy learning are found in the curriculum: Willing Phase For the Kindergarten children our overall focus is to develop their trust in the world. To this end, the teachers engage the children in consistent and authentic observation and experience of our natural environment and model daily environmentally conscious practices, all the while sharing their view that the world is a good place. The children imitate their teachers, building their understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and of nature’s life-sustaining systems, and encouraging the beginning steps towards lifelong sustainable habits. Feeling Phase In grades 1-5, emphasis is placed on developing a love for one’s local surroundings, the earth, and the world, also known as a “sense of place.” The teachers give the children living pictures of the ways of the earth through nature stories and nature study while continuing to observe and experience our natural environment. The students take on more and more of the daily environmentally conscious practical responsibilities such as composting, gardening, and recycling as they become more capable. All elements of the children’s emotional connections to nature are tended to: care and respect for others and other creatures, love for beauty, and exploration of the harmonious patterns of nature. Artistic activities and a loving and artistic approach toward all elements in every subject are shared. These experiences are meant to heighten the children’s perception, develop an attitude of inquiry, and allow the students to discover their own inner relationship with nature or “dialogue with the world” through “feeling.” Thinking Phase In grades 6-8 we continue to nurture this inner relationship with nature with attention now placed on guiding the students to recognize and appreciate nature’s mysteries and laws through their own accurate observation and scientific thinking. With the students’ increased abilities to understand cause and effect and to engage in inductive and deductive thought processes we emphasize scientific experimentation through a creative, inspirational approach and exploring interdisciplinary ecoliteracy. Both studies are guided so as to preserve the students’ sense of awe and interest and to evoke questions and answers from the students themselves.
  15. 15. 12 September 2013 Action/Leadership Phase In addition, in grades 6-8, we give our students the opportunity to apply their learning to environmentally conscious action such as leading our school-wide recycling/composting program, engaging in innovative service projects and developing into eco-leaders. For example, all 8th grade students are required to present an 8th grade project on a subject that interests them. 50% of the projects in the 2011-12 school year involved green technologies (solar panels, electric bikes, plastic bag ban/reduction to name a few). * The Main Lesson is the key element of a unique thematic approach. During the first two hours of the school day, different themes or subjects are studied during 3-4 week “blocks.” During these intensives the teacher leads the students to explore how concepts, principles, or topics from various disciplines exemplify the theme. This kind of exploration allows the students to engage in holistic thinking, come to a deeper conceptual understanding of the subject matter, analyze and clarify their individual and group attitudes and values, and engage in individual and collective actions that contribute to healthy and sustainable living in our global community. Bibliography: Masters, B., ed., Science in Education, Sussex, U.K.: Lanthorn Press, 2008. Zemelman, S., Daniels, H. & Hyde, A. Best Practice: New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America's Schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998.
  16. 16. 13 September 2013 IMPROVED HEALTH AND WELLNESS This pillar covers the school environment, fitness, outdoor time, food and nutrition. Health and wellness also encompasses pest control, air quality, and controlling for certain environmental hazards and contaminants. Nutrition and Fitness Factors School Gardens We built our Green Heart Garden to provide an outdoor classroom for students where they can eat food they grow as part of their ecoliteracy curriculum. Outdoor time is a hallmark of Waldorf education. 100% of student physical education takes place outdoors. Outdoor Education, Exercise, and Recreation - Including Time Spent in the Garden Movement activities, dance and forms of creative physical expression are infused into everyday curriculum. There are 2 recess periods per day for free play. Our PE is a specialty class named "Games" which supports developmental capacities -- providing exercise and activities to build small or large motor skills, organization skills, and teach teamwork. Classrooms and play yard space are organized to maximize movement opportunities. Students are in the garden weekly for ecoliteracy classes. High Quality Materials and Aesthetics The use of high quality natural materials, such as handmade play materials of wood, silk, and wool in the kindergarten, beeswax crayons, plant-derived paints, and wooden flutes, allow the students to feel more connected to the environment and appreciate the gifts of nature. Our teachers also ensure that the classrooms are also environments of beauty and simplicity that include live plants, cotton curtains, and warm lighting. Students tend to focus more easily and feel more relaxed and nurtured when in such settings. Staff and Student Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Journey School puts staff wellness as a top priority by encouraging fresh organic meals, nature walks, on-site yoga, eurythmy (a system of rhythmic body movements performed to a recitation of verse), and other relaxing practices. A beautiful faculty lounge is provided for rest and relaxation. Periodically, organic fresh fruit and veggies are provided to faculty by way of parent gifts and teacher appreciation. Teachers model sustainable living practices to their students. A local Orange County grower, Tanaka Farms, delivers baskets of fresh organic produce weekly for faculty, students and parents. All Kindergarten students participate in preparing daily organic snacks that include organic fruits or vegetables, grains such as quinoa, and fresh bread. Journey School parents published a healthy foods recipe book as a fundraiser.
  17. 17. 14 September 2013 Wahoo’s Partnership and All School Lunch Program An innovative relationship has been established with Wahoo’s Fish Taco’s to provide a healthy lunch option made with fresh vegetables, as well as beans and brown rice. Our values and ideals regarding healthy alternatives and proper nutrition are in alignment with Wahoo’s. We provide parents with menu descriptions and nutritional information. Eating Healthy From the School Handbook: Nurturing our bodies as well as our minds and spirits is important at Journey School. Meals and snacks eaten at school provide additional opportunities to acknowledge our appreciation for the natural world. For example, snacks prepared in Kindergarten offer wholesome ingredients and encourage reverence for healthy bodies and a healthy earth. Families are encouraged to support this philosophy at home by following these guidelines: ● Send snacks, lunches, and celebration treats to school that use wholesome ingredients, fruits and vegetables (organic if possible), and as little processed sugar as possible. ● Gum, candy, soda, juices, as well as other unhealthy foods are not allowed. ● Please pack only water for your child to drink at school. Drinking fountains and purified water are also available at school. From the school Charter Document: Healthy Nutrition: Nutrition and schooling performance go hand in hand. Simply put, bad eating habits negatively affect student attendance, achievement, and behavior. As a result, we have strongly established school-wide nutritional guidelines to improve learning and to embed positive lifelong habits into the educational environment. Physical Activity: The qualities of physical fitness and health enhance the students’ welfare and academic achievement. Each child is encouraged to rise to his/her individual physical potential. Movement activities, dance and other forms of creative physical expression are infused into the everyday curriculum. To the greatest extent possible, classrooms and play yard space are organized to maximize the children’s opportunities for movement. Physical Education and Games: A wide variety of age-appropriate physical education classes and games occur at Journey School. They are an integral component of the educational program and promote spatial awareness, healthy group dynamics, and physical health. Environmental Factors Integrated Pest Management Plan We have a “no spray” policy in place with Capistrano Unified School District. We are the only campus in the district and possibly Orange County that does not allow pesticides.
  18. 18. 15 September 2013 Volunteer all school work days take a more hands-on approach to pest control with eco- friendly cleaning products. Parents also volunteer weekly to clean each classroom deeply, as an added layer to janitorial staff services. No Smoking Policy We prohibit smoking on our campus. Tobacco-Free School District Certification We encourage Capistrano Unified School District to get certified by the California Department of Education as a Tobacco-Free District. Fuel Burning Combustible Appliances Our school does not have fuel burning combustible appliances, thereby protecting occupants from carbon monoxide poisoning. Asbestos Management Plan Our school adheres to the Asbestos Act and has an asbestos management plan in place. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) was passed in 1986 and the EPA put asbestos regulations into place in 1987. Our school was built in 1992. Information can be obtained at the EPAs Asbestos in Schools website. ASBESTOS MANAGEMENT PLAN (40 CFR §763.93): The District’s updated asbestos management plan for each school is available for inspection in the Maintenance and Operations Department. Chemical Management We are not a high school and, and therefore, have very few chemicals other than paint and organic garden fertilizer. Stockmar paints have no negative effects on health or on the environment and meet EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements. Fertilizers are stored in locked garden shed. Lead-Safe Since our structures are less than 20 years old, there’s been no use of lead paints. Asthma Triggers To control animal allergens, we do not keep warm-blooded pets in our classrooms. Students keep their lunches in refrigerators or sealed bins to control pest allergens. We are vigilant about promptly cleaning up moisture to prevent mold. To control indoor allergens students have no exposure to secondhand smoke. We use green cleaning products when possible. Our classrooms are not cluttered and they are cleaned often. Parents volunteer to launder cloth items at home.
  19. 19. 16 September 2013 Radon Buildings are above ground and do not require radon testing. Regular Inspections The Capistrano Unified School District performs regular inspections of our campus. Our administration, faculty, and staff are aware of the hazards and actively inspect classrooms and students areas for any sign of moisture or mold. We are vigilant about promptly cleaning up moisture to prevent mold. There is good communication between our custodial team and staff members. We report any safety issues to the District immediately. Ventilation The Capistrano Unified School District is responsible for inspecting and maintaining all unit ventilators to ensure they are clean and operating properly. Since each classroom is in a portable building -- they each have a dedicated ventilation unit. There isn't a single all-school system to maintain. Filters are regularly changed and problems are reported immediately. Since our classrooms and other spaces are in portable buildings, it facilitates room by room ventilation. Most classrooms have windows or doors on opposite walls to allow for cross- ventilation. Every classroom has an outside door and outside window. Luckily, our climate allows for them to be open often. Inspections & Reporting The Capistrano Unified School District is responsible for most of our indoor environmental quality issues and testing. However, administration and staff are continuously assessing the school environment with the help of parent reporting -- and we communicate our findings to the district. Our weekly all-school newsletter is an essential communication tool in keeping the school community informed about health and safety issues.
  20. 20. 17 September 2013 REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT Earth Keepers drafted an Energy Conservation Strategy to address reducing our school’s environmental footprint. Whenever possible, and usually dependent on available funds, we put the following actions in place to: ● reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ● improve water quality, efficiency, and conservation, ● reduce waste production, ● and use alternative transportation. Our Earth Keepers have additional strategies unique to Journey School, such as: ● color-coded waste cans and the 4 R waste reduction, ● zero waste lunch policy (School Handbook), ● school potluck mess kits (School Handbook), ● carpool, walk or bike Mondays, ● composting Wednesdays, ● recycling Thursdays, ● green cleaning and purchasing, when possible. Energy Conservation Strategy Goal: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions - energy and buildings Strategies to reach goal: ● Carpool ● Encourage alternative transportation (walking, biking, etc.) ● Join Safe Routes to School program ● Secure bicycle storage on campus ● Offset emissions through on-site tree planting ● Zero-emissions field trips (6th graders bike to field trip, nature walks, etc.) ● We have organizations bring their field trips to campus thereby reducing vehicle use -- and what would typically be a field trip for others is a specialty class at Journey (music, ecoliteracy, etc.) so we are bringing those resources to the school rather than having to travel. ● Administration and faculty model sustainable lifestyles by sharing rides with each other. ● No school bus service eliminates children’s exposure to diesel particulate matter which is an identified carcinogenic material in California Goal: Reduce non-transportation energy use Strategies to reach goal: ● Shut off lights when not in the room ● Set air conditioners to be off when the room is not in use ● Set thermostats to automatically control temps
  21. 21. 18 September 2013 ● Place reminder signs on doors to make sure lights and A/C are off ● Complete campuswide full spectrum lighting retrofit (2012) ● New urinal flushers to save water (2012) ● Track electrical bills in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager ● Reduce the number of refrigerators and replace remaining appliances with Energy Star models ● Continue to explore ways to reduce the heat island effect. We already replaced buildings and asphalt with the Green Heart Garden. Are there opportunities to use cool roofs or reflective coatings on pavement? ● Install on-site renewable energy by putting solar panels and wind-driven generator into use (permanent campus) ● New buildings which can be built to green building standards (permanent campus) Goal: Reduce total water consumption Strategies to reach goal: ● Increase areas of regionally appropriate, water-efficient plantings [Current: Black sage, Coast Live Oak, coast sunflower, salvias, lemonade berry, and succulents are in the Native Garden. Our edible garden plants in the Green Heart Garden were chosen for hardiness & water demands (lettuce, radishes, beets, onions, chard). ] ● Find additional alternate water sources used for irrigation. [Our rainwater harvesting site was created by a student as her 8th grade project. Water is re-routed from roof of the office into a mulch pit which sustains native plants. She educated our students and community at large about rainwater harvesting.] ● Find more ways to reduce stormwater runoff and/or reduce impermeable surfaces [Green Heart where we took out impervious surfaces and replaced with decomposed granite (DG) and mulch. Gardens specifically designed to bring water into garden areas as drainage and retention.] ● Devote more area of school grounds to ecologically beneficial uses (rain gardens, wildlife and native plant habitat, outdoor classrooms). ● Continue to give students access to water that is protected from potential contaminants [Each classroom and the office is equipped with a water cooler and water delivery. Students keep reusable drinking containers. Moulton Niguel Water District H2O "meets and exceeds the standards required by state and federal regulatory agencies."] ● Water Wise Field Trip in 4th Grade ● Track water bills in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager Goal: Divert solid waste from landfill Strategies to reach goal: ● 4 Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot (Compost) ● Zero waste lunch policy
  22. 22. 19 September 2013 Additional Strategies from Earth Keepers Earth Keepers work to reduce environmental impacts on campus. Color-Coded Waste Cans These three colorful and informative waste cans clearly labeled for landfill, recycling and compost. The best solution for Journey’s waste management was to create our own colorful waste stations on campus, educate the sixth graders who, in turn, educated each grade. There is a small compost bucket on each lunch table that is emptied into the main compost bins on a regular basis. If a student mistakenly adds something that is not compost to the on- table bucket, sixth graders will leave a note for the students to educate them on correct usage. A big thank you to the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano for inspiring us with the ideas for our colored cans. These color-coded cans help make our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Rot Program more effective. Zero Waste Lunch Policy The avoidance of commercialism and excessive food packaging is another aspect of our commitment to environmental consciousness. Please try to send snacks and lunches in reusable containers with reusable utensils. We also request cloth napkins. Wahoo’s uses recyclable lunch containers. School Potlucks We help Mother Earth by assembling our own reusable mess kit (plate, cup, utensils, napkin) for all our Journey gatherings. Carpool, Bike or Walk Mondays We implemented a few Monday drop-off ideas to alleviate traffic issues and reduce resource usage at least one day a week. ● Carpool or bike to school! ● Walk your children to school from the baseball field parking lot off of Woodfield off of Pacific Park Drive. Come through the back gate, which will be open at both arrival and dismissal. Compost Wednesdays We also accept compost in the garden on Wednesdays right at school drop-off time – if you deliver it to the Garden Helpers in the Green Heart Garden. According to the Master Gardeners of Orange County “What is Composting?” brochure: GREENS include grass clippings, yard trimmings, green leaves, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and tea bags. Greens contain nitrogen that increases the rapid breakdown of organic material. BROWNS include dried leaves, straw, hay, shredded newspaper or cardboard, and sawdust. Browns contain carbon that increases the surface area and makes decomposition easier. We like to have an even mix of greens and browns. Please keep compost donations to a manageable amount (for instance, 1 container of veggie scraps + a small stack of newsprint).
  23. 23. 20 September 2013 Recycling Thursdays Every Thursday morning at drop-off our 4th grade team collects CRV labeled plastic bottles and aluminum cans. No glass please. Since our students and families use reusable containers, gathering plastic bottles and aluminum cans can sometimes involve gathering materials from neighbors and friends (thereby reducing waste in the community). School’s Cleaning Custodial Program Because we are a charter school, our cleaning crew is independent of the district. They receive an orientation on green cleaning products and agree to the use of non-toxic cleaning supplies. Parents pitch in on work days and on regular weekly or monthly schedules bringing in non-toxic cleaning supplies from home. There is a culture of green living. We do not use an official standard, such as Ecologo or Green Seal. However, our custodians receive an orientation about our green practices and preferences. Green Purchasing Policies Parents provide "green" cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers for classroom use. Low impact art supplies are chosen. Energy efficient equipment and low impact supplies are purchased as much as possible and as funds allow.
  24. 24. APPENDIX
  25. 25. APPENDIX I: ECOLITERACY LEADERSHIP 2013-14 All positions extend through Summer 2014 to ensure the gardens get year-round care. Ecoliteracy Core Vision and Garden Storyteller - Michelle S. Volunteer Ecoliteracy Coordinator (Asst. to Michelle S.) - To be filled Earth Keeper Waste Reduction Coordinator - To be filled Ecoliteracy Faculty Liaison - Alyson Smith (5th grade) 2nd Ecoliteracy Faculty Liaison - Shelley Kelley Earthroots Field School & Jodi Levine - Ecoliteracy Intensives Press/VIP Visit & Outreach Coordinator - To be filled Ecoliteracy Faculty Resource - Patti Connolly Garden Helpers Master Gardener - Erik Katzmaier, OC Master Gardener Volunteer Garden Coordinator - Michele W. Native Garden Lead - Gaylen C. Kindy Garden Lead to Work with Kindy Garden Helpers & Faculty - Debi F. Green Heart Garden Leads - Brad S. & Michele W. Sunny Patch Lead – Jane W. 3rd Grade Garden Leads - Kim Torrey (teacher) & Shannon M. (parent) Garden Treasurer - Marisol C. Community Education Volunteer & Outreach - To be filled Volunteer Garden Mentor to encourage and empower garden volunteers - To be filled Community Partners: Education & Support: OC Master Gardeners (composting workshops) California Rare Fruit Growers - OC Chapter (tree pruning workshops) SOKA University Interns City of Aliso Viejo Green Initiative Sage Hill High School Garden Club Chuck Forbes, Pumpkin Farmer Labor & Supplies: Ron May, May Contractor’s Inc. Angel Pena Landscaping Jason Mueller Contractor Jesse Mills of Mills Construction Ganahl Lumber Aguinaga Green Lowe’s of Aliso Viejo Home Depot of Laguna Niguel
  26. 26. Gatherings (all welcome to attend) Garden Helpers meet EVERY Wednesday in the Green Heart Garden from 8:30am-10am year- round. Monthly Ecoliteracy Stakeholder gathering every 3rd Thursday of the month. Ecoliteracy Calendar, Photos, Volunteer Sign-Ups and Class Schedules Posted to - viewable to public.
  27. 27. APPENDIX II: VISION & GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESSFUL GARDENING AT JOURNEY Garden Vision Our vision is to create a “Showcase Garden” at Journey school which will take full advantage of our outdoor classroom gardens by providing: ● Sustainable outdoor classrooms for every student in grades K-8 as part of our ecoliteracy sustainability curriculum. ● Interactive learning opportunities for our community in the form of garden workshops (open to students, families, and community) on subjects such as seed planting, rainwater harvesting, composting, and herbs. ● Beautiful spaces for the students, faculty and parents to rest, study, and connect. ● Harvested food for classes, cooking, celebrations, and to one day help supplement our lunch program. ● A place for musical and theater presentations. ● A place for students of all ages to connect with nature and co-mingle. Goal Our primary goal is to establish a partnership between parents, students, faculty, and the community. We recognize that the garden’s long-term success is dependent upon our ability to engage our whole community in this exciting project. 4 Ways to Help Our Garden! ● Keep garden gates closed. Our pest control policy requires gates to remain closed at all times. Leaving gates open puts our crops in jeopardy of being nibbled by the wild animals living in the natural areas around our school (raccoons, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, and rodents). ● Keep the garden tidy. Please send an email to Michele Whiteaker ( or visit the Garden Helpers on any Wednesday morning to ask before you dump any plants, furniture, or supplies. We have safety and space requirements to consider before filling our limited space with new or used items. If you’d really like to contribute something, but don’t know what - visit our “Wish List” on the Journey Gardens Shutterfly site. ● Leave irrigation to the professionals. Our gardens have extensive irrigation systems in place. Even if you are a regular Garden Helper, please do not add or change any irrigation without consulting Michele Whiteaker. If you have an idea you’d like her to present to administration, send a detailed email or catch her in the gardens on Wednesdays. ● Join us! We can always use extra hands in the garden. It’s a fun group and the outside time is so peaceful. A wonderful balance to the increasingly screen-focused time in our adult lives.
  28. 28. APPENDIX III: RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS Nature Stories Notebook (in teacher lounge) Book List: Heart-Centered Teaching Inspired by Nature (Nancy Rosenow) Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability (Michael K. Stone) Sharing Nature with Children (Joseph Cornell) Last Child in the Woods (Richard Louv) Children’s Books for Stewardship Library: Tops & Bottoms (Janet Stevens) The Curious Garden (Peter Brown) Children’s Environmental Literature List (Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources) Articles: Cultivating the Curriculum, Herb Broda, Children & Nature Network (June 2013) The Garden as Metaphor for Curriculum, Karen Wilson Baptist (2002) (sent by Sue Vaughn) Websites: Granny’s Garden School Lessons by Grade California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom California School Garden Network Kids Gardening The Edible Schoolyard Project Center for Ecoliteracy Greening Your Schoolyard NWF Wildlife University: Creating Places for Wildlife Series Project WILD Southern California Area School Gardens to Visit: Sage Hill High School Garden (Contact: Lauren Fieberg) Muir Ranch at John Muir High School in Pasadena (Contact: Mud Baron) Grades of Green (Contact: Suzanne Kretschmer) Environmental Charter Middle School Green Ambassadors