NC Green School of Excellence, 2016-present, NC green School of Promise, 2015-2016
Salisbury Academy (SA) continues to purposefully plan and seek out new green initiatives in order to expand and promote environmental literacy for students, staff, parents, and the local community. Our school community has benefited from the addition of new partnerships and an increase of outdoor learning, critical thinking and problem solving, and integration of environmental concepts across multiple grades. It is our desire to continually increase, evaluate, and expand green opportunities.
New partnerships with the LandTrust for Central NC, NCSU Department of Parks and Recreation, and NC Department of Environmental Education have provided a new perspective on the importance of conservation and student involvement in resource protection, and have produced a measurable, evaluated growth in environmental literacy for the 2016-2017 school year across all middle school students.
Last summer new environmental literacy standards were developed for kindergarten through eighth grade to increase environmental literacy during the 2016-2017 year and beyond using the North American Association of Environmental Education standards, the new NC Environmental Literacy Plan, and the Next Generation Science Standards. The founding of a K-5 “Science Explorers” class provided students with opportunities to develop observation skills and increase understanding of energy and interrelationships in the environment.
Outdoor time for field experiences and classroom lessons saw significant increase at SA. Lower school students benefited from connections with upper school students as environmental concepts and energy were explored and shared together.
Student-led environmental initiatives that grew from classroom discussions were implemented, including a battery disposal collection program, a bluebird trail, and an outdoor classroom. Whole- school use of the garden area for cross-curricular activities increased this school year, and SA showed an increase in staff providing engaging, integrated, environmentally-focused lessons throughout all grade levels and content areas.