NEWARK, NJ — Sixty-one schools in the Newark School District have met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade public schools in New Jersey, is voluntary, but achieving certification takes commitment and collaborative effort. Each school in the Newark School District was certified at the bronze level after submitting documentation to show it had completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, attaining a minimum of 150 points.
“Since 2014, this initiative has been six years in the making and we’re so glad that we’re able to accomplish such a tremendous feat,” Superintendent Roger Leon said. “We love doing programs involving the whole NPS community. This isn’t just words or another program, but an opportunity for the schools of Newark to benefit from Sustainable Jersey, which in turn will benefit the city of Newark.”
Newark Public Schools has managed to create energy profiles and green cleaning initiatives while winning awards for sustainability. With the help of Jill Buck, a Go Green Initiative consultant, the district was able to present these existing initiatives and receive credit for its many food service programs and clean air program, which works with school buses on a “no pollution” plan.
A significant part of the Newark Public Schools certification applications was the completion of the actions for energy efficiency of school facilities and energy tracking and management. Each school has completed an energy audit through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program’s “Local Government Energy Audit.” The Newark Public School District instituted a $17 million Energy Savings Improvement Program, also through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program.
“The project encompasses 63 Energy Conservation Measures over 1.4 million square feet — actions included lighting retrofits, boiler replacement, roof replacement, solar installation, upgrading systems and components to improve the safety of energy use, and performance monitoring. From 2017-’19, the district saved $1.9 million, 4.7 million kWh and 460,000 therms of gas,” Newark Public Schools Director of Sustainability Rodney Williams said.
The Newark School district is one of 352 school districts participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program.
The Newark schools that achieved bronze-level certification in 2020 are Abington Avenue Elementary School, American History High, Ann Street Elementary School, Arts High School, Avon Avenue Elementary School, Bard Early College High School, Barringer High School, Belmont Runyon Elementary School, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Bruce Street Elementary School, Camden Street Elementary School, Central High School, Chancellor Avenue Elementary, Cleveland Elementary School, Dr. E. Alma Flagg Elementary School, Dr. William H. Horton Elementary, Eagle Academy, Early Childhood Center–Central, Early Childhood Center–South, Early Childhood Center–West, East Side High School, East Ward Elementary School, Elliott Street Elementary School, First Avenue Elementary School, Fourteenth Avenue Elementary, George Washington Carver Elementary School, Newark School of Global Studies High School, Harriet Tubman Elementary School, Hawkins Street Elementary School, Hawthorne Avenue Elementary, Ivy Hill Elementary School, John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Lafayette Street Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Louise A. Spencer Elementary School, Luis Munoz Marin Elementary, Malcolm X. Shabazz High School, McKinley Elementary School, Mt. Vernon Elementary School, Newark Vocational High School, NJ Regional Day School, Oliver Street Elementary School, Park Elementary School, Peshine Academy, Quitman Community School, Rafael Hernandez Elementary School, Ridge Street Elementary School, Roberto Clemente Elementary School, Salome Urena Elementary School, Science Park High School, Sir Isaac Newton Elementary School, South Seventeenth Street Elementary School, South Street Elementary School, Speedway Academies, Sussex Avenue Elementary School, Technology High School, Thirteenth Avenue Elementary, University High School, Weequahic High School, West Side High School and Wilson Avenue Elementary School.