Success story: St. Francis of Assisi
School Location: Burien, Washington
Participated in the Green Schools Program: 2004–2006
The school set an ambitious goal of reducing paper consumption by 20 percent in the first year, and reduced paper consumption by 18.8 percent. In 2004 the school used 904 reams of copy paper. In 2005, it used 734 reams. How did the school accomplish this reduction in paper use?
- The administration asked teachers to send parent communications via e-mail.
- The school office notifies parents of upcoming events via e-mail.
- Parents asked local businesses to donate paper that had been used only on one side so that students could use the other side for worksheets and art projects.
The school increased its recycling rate from 44 percent to 55 percent by:
- Forming a recycling team of fourth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students and assigning a teacher to serve as facilitator of the team, which regularly promoted its improved recycling program to students and staff
- Reducing trash in recycling containers
- Setting up recycling for fluorescent bulbs and printer cartridges.
- St. Francis held an all-school assembly, led by the King County Green Schools Program, to teach students about the new conservation plans and ways they could be responsible stewards of the environment
- The school participated in several King County classroom workshops, including Smart Shopping, Recycling Leadership and Habitat Stewardship.
With assistance from Puget Sound Energy, the school replaced a 50-year-old boiler with a natural gas boiler. The school reduced annual consumption of natural gas by 2,500 therms.
- The school participated in an audit to examine efficiency of the school’s use of water and to monitor meter reading practices.
- Through the audit, errors were detected in the local water district’s reading of the school facilities’ meter. This resulted in an $11,000 refund from the water district.
Efforts planned for future years
- Set annual goals for its Conservation Program; and
- Replace one half of its windows with more energy-efficient windows.
“Our partnership with the King County Green Schools Program was important to our school. We formed this partnership because the Green Schools Program’s mission was in alignment with our school mission and philosophy, which calls on us to create an environment of respect and responsibility for oneself and for our global community.
“We want our parents and students to understand our interrelationship with the planet and the global community. Our school firmly believes that the parent is the primary educator, so we always keep them in the loop as to what direction we are heading in and how they can support us.” – Sheila Keaton, Principal, St. Francis of Assisi, 2005
For more information about this school’s participation in the King County Green Schools Program, contact:
Sheila Keaton, Principal