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Policy 6080 - Sustainability

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the HCPSS is an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable organization.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) believes that environmental, economic, and social sustainability within the school system is the responsibility of all individuals as well as the collective organization. Therefore, the Board supports sustainable practices that create a healthy environment, engage our staff and students in developing environmental literacy, and strengthen our operations.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the HCPSS is an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable organization.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Conservation – The careful utilization of resources in order to prevent depletion, injury, decay, waste, or loss.

  2. Environmental Literacy – Ability to implement the critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills to make informed and responsible decisions about resources.

  3. Resources – Any natural, human, or economic asset that can be drawn upon as needed.

  4. Sustainability – A systematic process for managing economic, social, and environmental resources in order to meet short and long term goals.

  5. Triple Bottom Line – Organizational process that balances social, environmental, and economic interests (goals, practices, and opportunities).

IV. Standards

  1. School and office staff will model conservation and sustainable practices in their operations.

  2. Sustainability will be an integral part of ongoing improvement efforts for schools and offices.

  3. Staff and students are encouraged to participate in sustainable practices.

  4. Instructional programs will include sustainable practices and environmental literacy.

  5. Sustainability efforts will be encouraged and enhanced through community partnerships and initiatives.

  6. HCPSS business and strategic planning decisions will consider the Triple Bottom Line.

  7. All procurement decisions that require Board approval will include a specification review of environmental impact.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Chief Facilities Officer will be responsible for reviewing and ensuring that a systematic approach to sustainability is taken across the school system.

  2. The Chief Facilities Officer will ensure compliance with green building practices in accordance with state and local regulations, and will review national best practices as applicable.

  3. The Chief Operating Officer will ensure that all procurement decisions that require Board approval include a specification review of the environmental impact.

  4. Curricular Office staff will encourage activities and instructional programs that promote sustainable practices and environmental literacy.

  5. School staff will strive to support sustainable practices and a culture of environmental stewardship.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is directed to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

VII. References

  • Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, Section 5-112

  • Maryland State COMAR Regulation 13A.03.02

C. Relevant Data Sources

  • Schools’ energy use data

  • Schools’ waste generation and recycling rates

  • Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Educators Green School Certification

  • U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Certification

D. Other

  • Maryland State Department of Education Environmental Education Program

VIII. History

ADOPTED: December 17, 2013

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED:

REVISED:

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2014