Sustain DCSD

May 2017

You Rock!

As we close out this school year and take the time to reflect - WOW! We have a lot to celebrate. Awards, accomplishments, collaboration, and impact are widespread at DCSD. Enjoy your break, take some time to breathe, and enjoy time with your family. Let us know if you want to grab some coffee and do some planning for next year - we are here all summer long!

Sedalia Elementary - 2017 ED Green Ribbon School!

Gardening, Composting, and Chickens! Sedalia wins Earthie Award

Congratulations Sedalia!

Sedalia Elementary School is a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School! This is the highest sustainability honor provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Across the country, only 45 schools, nine districts, and nine postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

Sedalia is a rural Title I school in a facility built in 1958 serving a student population with a 53% free and reduced lunch rate. From kindergarten through sixth grade, students follow an effective recycling program, divert food waste from the cafeteria to chicken coops, and practice composting and vermicomposting, leading to a 70 percent diversion rate. Sedalia’s reuse centers throughout the school put hard-to-recycle items to innovative use.

The foundation of Sedalia’s culture of sustainability lies in a Sustainability Special class, which provides environmental education to each student in every grade. Through this class, students engage in project-based learning addressing waste and consumption, energy conservation, sustainable food, and health and wellness.

The student-led garden team cultivates vegetables, herbs, and even fruit trees using water-conserving hugelkultur (raised-bed) gardening. Students have the opportunity to sell their own produce and collaborate with local farmers during their weekly produce stand. A pollinator garden, chicken coop, and multiple outdoor learning spaces provide plenty of opportunities for students to get outdoors! Despite the challenges of reducing energy in an aging building with large expansions and few upgrades, Sedalia has managed to cut energy use by six percent, largely through student-initiated efforts.

Sedalia's team has worked hard to build a culture of sustainability. Congratulations to the Sedalia community for this incredible honor!

DCSD wins Innovative EE Award

DCSD won the Innovative Environmental Education Award from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education for its Sustainability Incentive Program.

Since 2009, the Sustainability Incentive Program has sparked the creation of hundreds of environmental education initiatives ranging from energy conservation, waste reduction, to alternative transportation and idle reduction. With a flexible school-based approach, this program provides financial incentives to implement EE by giving a proportion of energy savings back. By focusing on outcomes in energy (and in prior years waste and transportation), schools are given the freedom to develop innovative programs and solutions to achieve those outcomes.

79% of the District's schools participated this year. The impact is powerful: students engage in real-world problem solving to address sustainability issues in the school community, teachers are provided with a framework to address 21st Century Skills and World Class Outcomes, all while conserving natural and financial resources!

As a result of this program, schools have funded gardens and schoolyard habitats, provided energy upgrades, purchased recycle bins and scales, built compost bins, created “no idle zones” in school parking lots, and even put the funds to work in chicken coops.

Rocky Heights Middle School Sustainability - DCSD Cribs

Meet The Very First Earthies!

Earthie Pioneers

Jenny Dallman - Castle View High School

Denine Kysar - Strategic Sourcing & Contract Management

Tara Lee Montague - Copper Mesa Elementary

Robyn Riches - Fox Creek Elementary

Sue Antonsen - Heritage Elementary

Lori Schwendeman - Mountain Vista High School

Tom Neal - Mountain Vista High School

Chantel Estes - Roxborough Primary & Intermediate

Stephanie Mills - Thunder Ridge High School

Leslie Burns - Pine Grove Elementary

Debi Ruiz - Ponderosa High School

LeeAnn Westfall - Operations & Maintenance

Randy Barber - Communications

Earthie Innovators

Debi Knapp - Sedalia Elementary

Beth Church - Sedalia Elementary

Heather Berry - Highlands Ranch High School

Kay Tucker - Lone Tree Elementary

Sharon Majetich - Rocky Heights Middle School

Sara Christensen - Wildcat Mountain Elementary

Earthie Administrators

Gina Smith - Acres Green Elementary

Brian Rodda - Fox Creek Elementary

Matthew Barton - Castle Rock Middle School

Derek Fleshman - DC Oakes

Jennifer Oldham - Larkspur Elementary

George Boser - Sedalia Elementary

Alisa Pauley - Heritage Elementary

Mindy Persichina - Lone Tree Elementary

Michele Radke - Timber Trail Elementary

Julie C. Crawfod - Trailblazer Elementary School

Kelli Bainbridge - Pioneer Elementary

Earthie Parents

Kimberly Bartels - Cougar Run Elementary

Danielle Petersen - Cougar Run Elementary

Jenny Henry - Eldorado Elementary

Shannon Diederich - Heritage Elementary


Steve Shultz - Douglas County High School

Brooke Homrighausen - Larkspur Elementary

Raymond Hurt - Soaring Hawk Elementary

Brian Wood - DC Oakes

Laurie LaComb - Health & Wellness

Amy Faricy - Nutrition Services

Glenn Kirby - Operations & Maintenance

Robert Liesener - Operations & Maintenance

Bruce Weller - Operations & Maintenance

Vanessa Hoffman - Professional Development

Jackie Feely - Professional Development

Lindsay Bergemann - Strategic Sourcing

Shannon Viera - Transportation

Jesse Downey - Capital Planning & Construction

Kim Eikenberg - Fox Creek Elementary

Chris Williams - Northridge Elementary

Daren Brown - Rocky Heights Middle School

Teresa Henley - Trailblazer Elementary School

RXPI Energy Auditing Project/Shannon Steward & Mr. Dawson's Class - Roxborough Intermediate

SSN program at TRHS - Kelly Wood, Joanna Hutson, Amy Lunstra, and Tricia Maybaum - ThunderRidge High School

Jenn Ford - Cherry Valley Elementary

Jan Francis - Cherry Valley Elementary

Natalie Reeser - Franktown Elementary

Carol Sotebeer - Frontier Valley Elementary

Margaret Condron - Pine Lane Elementary

Courtney Kuntz - Operations & Maintenance

We are extremely grateful for all those who helped make the inaugural Earth Week Extravaganza a huge success!

Project Learning Tree and the Colorado State Forest Service; Douglas County High School, Steve Shultz and his students, Don MacHendrie and your team; Sagewood Middle School, Autumn Rosengren and the PeaceJam Jr. students, Michael Plaster, Martha Crawford; ThunderRidge High School, Stephanie Mills and the PeaceJam students, Greg Skarda and your crew; the Sustainability Steering Committee: Heather Berry, Steve Shultz, Chantel Estes, Debi Knapp, and Beth Church; Chris Silberman, Nate Jones, Chris Cheline, Randy Barber, Jan Reagan, and the whole Communications crew; LeeAnn Westfall, DeEtte Pace, Max Krueger, Greg Evans, Vanessa Hoffman, Alexis Jacobs, Alisha Sandoval, Lisa Rychlik, Katie Walley, all the vendors, all the Green PBL presenters, all the attendees. Thank you for showing how awesome the sustainability community is at DCSD!