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Delran students go green – again

Intermediate, middle schools first earned Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2016

Courtesy of Delran Public Schools
The Delran Intermediate School Green Team hosted Congressman Andy Kim (center) and state Sen. Troy Singleton (right) in April for a panel discussion on recycling plastics in the state.

There is no doubt about it: The Delran Public School District is doing a lot on the green front.

Delran Intermediate and the middle school have again met requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification at the bronze level, bringing the total number of certified schools across the state to 337.

As leading examples of sustainability excellence, the certified schools provide outstanding learning opportunities for their students and join an established cohort of recognized schools across New Jersey, according to a release from the school district.

“We are honored that two of our schools received the bronze level,” said Dr. Lisa Della Vecchia, interim superintendent of Delran schools. “The district remains excited for our students to see innovative renewable energy and sustainability measures firsthand and to help promote science through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs and educational materials.

“This project will yield benefits for our physical plants, but even more importantly, for our entire school community for years to come.”

Sustainable Jersey for Schools developed the voluntary certification program in 2014 as a roadmap for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools to reach their fullest potential. Each school certified at the bronze level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions and attained a minimum of 150 points for those actions. The more advanced silver level requires a minimum of 350, according to the release.

All four of Delran’s schools are involved in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program, including bronze-level certification status. In the program’s 2014-’15 inaugural year, Millbridge Elementary became one of 59 schools in the state to achieve the certification. Delran High was certified the following year, and in 2016-’17 came certification for the intermediate and middle schools.

It was during that year when the New Jersey School Boards Convening awarded Delran schools the Green Team Collaboration Award, for work with the Delran Municipal Green Team, according to the district.

“Certified schools play a crucial role in reducing environmental impacts, improving health and preparing students for the challenges they will face in the future,” noted Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey.

“With 67% of New Jersey public school districts participating and over 300 certified schools, there’s an incredible opportunity and potential for change,” he added. “Sustainable Jersey participating schools serve as learning labs, and the certification program supports educators by identifying authentic learning opportunities for students and staff.”

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