What is ADVANCE?
ADVANCE is a program designed to partner school districts with technical experts to create healthier, more cost effective buildings that can be used as a learning tool for the students.
Here’s how it works: we sit down with you and discuss the sustainability efforts you want to undertake within your school. Anything from energy efficiency, recycling and composting, environmental education, to student health and nutrition, or a combination. You understand what is best for your students and your schools, and we want to help you achieve that! Next, we help you build a cross-district green team, prepare briefings based on your district specific needs and desired outcomes, then we draw on USGBC’s wide variety of sustainability experts to select the correct expertise to participate in a workshop, where the staff and students of the school share information about their goals, and the experts provide advice and resources to prioritize and achieve those goals, all coordinated by a professional facilitator. After the workshop, your school will receive a written action plan which includes specific steps to achieve your goals, suggests timelines for achieving those steps, and identifies resources. Then we stick with you throughout implementation and on-going planning. The experts, also having an understanding of the plan, provide on-going expertise as needed as well. Basically, you get FREE expert consulting on the issues YOU want to address to support a greener, healthier school district for your students.
Recent ADVANCE Workshops and Progress:
Mankato Area Public Schools and Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Public Schools
Individual plans built included goals around monthly energy benchmarking, preventing food waste, composting, and outdoor classrooms + school gardens. Participants felt heard and included. At last check in Green Teams were well on their way to crossing goals off their list. Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial has begun to phase in organics recycling, and Mankato Area has organized cross-sector teams to work together to produce results – Nutrition Services and Instruction & Curriculum are working together to prevent food waste and maximize student nutrition. Industry Experts who participated for the day have continued to provide resources, expertise, and time to the green team members.
“Well put together – well organized – nothing wasted” – Joe Meixl, Director of Healthy and Safety Mankato Area Public Schools
Since the workshop both district Green Teams have been busy at work. LCWM has begun composting in the cafeterias and exploring updated IEQ policies while MAPS is set for a busy Spring including six new school gardens, a teacher training for the new LEED Certified Middle School (set to open to students in Fall of 2016), and addressing new turf management policies.
Supported by ADVANCE Champions:
Further ADVANCE Workshop support also provided by:
Please contact Steph Leonard, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information on future ADVANCE Workshops and how you can get your school district or company involved.