Providence Day School
NC Green School of Quality 2017-present
Providence Day School has made improving environmental sustainability a central focus. Sustainability Coordinators in each division (Lower, Middle, Upper) work to realize the following mission statement: “Providence Day School seeks to build an environmentally conscientious school community committed to the understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of natural ecosystems.”
We work to provide curricular and extracurricular programming integrated with environmental education and a sustainability ethos across all divisions and grade levels. We can point to initiatives like Environmental Clubs, a school garden, Green Week challenges, days that highlight alternative transportation and carpooling, participation in the “Trout in the Classroom” project organized by Trout Unlimited, and a partnership between the 9th grade class and a local urban farm, Sow Much Good. In addition, environmental education and stewardship appear frequently in schoolwide curriculum. Particularly intense focus comes at several points a 2nd grade Monarch Curriculum featuring a campus Monarch Way Station, Environmental Studies courses in the MS and US, and AP Environmental Science but our World Language, Global Studies, and History courses also address issues related to the environment.
In addition, we continue to revise our facilities and institutional practices with sustainability in mind. This year, we completed a new building for US and MS Humanities and Math classes that will soon be LEEDcertified. The Sustainability Coordinators are involved in long range planning conversations to promote an increasingly sustainable school footprint. We also partner with our third party food service vendor to provide healthy and sustainable food choices in recyclable and compostable packaging, and we offer campus wide recycling, as well as composting in the dining hall and campus cafe. In the coming year, we will expand our composting initiative to other areas of campus, review chemicals used in buildings and on school grounds, evaluate the transportation footprint of our community, and work to mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff from our campus (one small scale project will be a rain garden built and maintained by students).
PDS has a culture of ongoing professional development and a budget that supports faculty as they pursue new and improved skills. The administration at all levels supports professional development around sustainability topics, and the Sustainability Coordinators work to make faculty aware of opportunities available to them. Professional development that faculty have pursued thus far range from the extensive commitment of earning a NC Environmental Educator Certificate to single day activities like site visits with partners and sustainability themed workshops.