Greening Schools in the Golden State
Summit will focus on new
generation of healthy, sustainable schools
From December 4th to the
6th, the Pasadena Convention Center and historic Pasadena Civic Auditorium
will offer principals, school board members, architects, product suppliers
and educators an unprecedented view of the range of tools and strategies
available to make California’s schools the healthiest and most sustainable
in the nation.
California Schools Summit and Exposition, with over 190 exhibit
spaces and showcase areas, more than 80 breakout sessions and 10
pre-conference workshops – and even a model green school building
constructed in the center of the exhibit hall floor – will capture all
dimensions of the California’s growing green schools
the first major opportunity that we’ve had in California to focus
completely on K-12 schools in terms of the potential for energy savings
and sustainability,” notes David Thorman, California’s State Architect,
and co-chair of the Summit advisory board.
are often the centerpieces of their communities, and with growing
awareness in every one of the almost 1,100 school districts in California
of the benefits of healthy schools, the Summit will meet a tremendous need
to connect these districts with the products, services, financial
incentives and information they will need to begin or expand their
greening efforts. This need is given even greater urgency by the fact that
the state has undertaken the largest school construction effort in its
The Summit was developed at
the request of advisors to the Green California Summit,
convened in Sacramento last March to forward the implementation of state
and local sustainability efforts ranging from energy efficiency and green
building to transportation and environmentally preferable purchasing.
Despite the breadth of the program undertaken for the Summit, aimed at the
thousands of state workers with responsibility for these programs, they
wanted to be ensure that schools were not ignored.
moved forward, it became clear that schools had unique needs, and that an
entirely new event was called for,” said Green Technology president Bob
Graves. “The Green Schools event was created to provide a program and
resources that would best support programs to make California schools
healthier and more sustainable."
The advisory board for the event
is composed of officials and organizations that are leading sustainability
efforts in California schools. Secretary of State and Consumer Services
Rosario Marin, whose agency approves both design and funding for public
school construction, joins Thorman as co-chair. Members include
representatives from the state Department of Education, the Collaborative
for High Performance Schools (CHPS), director of the Department of General
Services, and the chief facilities executive of the Los Angeles Unified
“The Green Schools Summit is unique because it
will not be just about buildings, but about providing healthier
environments for students,” said advisory board member Jules Stein,
director of special projects for the Office of the Secretary of Education.
“The first thing Secretary of Education Dave Long said upon assuming
office is that all his decisions would be based on what is good for kids –
and green schools are good for kids.”
participation in the planning of the event is crucial; to be eligible for
green funds under Proposition ID, public schools must meet the “high performance”
standards that it has developed. While an ever-increasing number of
districts are embracing CHPS, there are many who still need to be engaged.
“The more events we can have to increase awareness, the more
people will join in,” said Kristin Heinen, assistant executive director
for CHPS. “This Summit is addressing a very broad range of green school
issues – not just facilities but also other important aspects, from
gardens and nursing programs to nutrition. We can provide a foundation of
what green goals are and an opportunity to talk about any green
Showcase for Possibilities
summit exhibition will have four distinct venues. The main exhibit hall
will be home to over 150 exhibitors, offering a chance to learn about and
see products ranging from zero-emission paint and recycled rubber flooring
to solar power and daylighting systems.
At the center of the
exhibition hall, Bouma
construct a Green School Demonstration Building. An experiential showcase,
the Demonstration Building offers attendees a unique opportunity to
experience, in context, various aspects of a green school. Specific vendor
products will be showcased as part of the building design. The
also includes a classroom area in which an ongoing series of educational
presentations will be provided.
adjacent building, the site of conference registration, pre-session
training, and breakout sessions, will also feature a project showcase
gallery. This area is reserved for displays featuring completed projects
that exemplify best practices and is intended to provide an important
element of the educational experience at the Summit. School staff who
participated in the showcase projects will be on hand, providing an
important peer-to-peer perspective.
The first exhibitor accepted
for this gallery is Solar City, which is
providing systems integration and installation services for the Pacific
Gas and Electric Solar Schools Program. Partnering with the
Foundation for Environmental Education, Solar City will be providing over
70 pole-mounted installations throughout the PG&E service territory
during the next two years and will provide a proprietary data portal that
will connect all 100 of the PG&E schools. Solar City will offer
attendees hands-on exposure to their 1kW ground mounted school systems,
rooftop commercial installations and their web portal.
Between the two buildings, an outdoor display area will feature
alternative fuel vehicles, playground equipment, grounds equipment and
landscaping designs and products. Six-foot tabletop displays will also be
available outside training rooms, offering a combination of economy of
space and high visibility.
“It is time for all school districts to
start incorporating green technology and sustainability in all new
schools,” said advisory board member Ted Rozzi, chair of California’s
Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and assistant
superintendent for school facilities for the Corona-Norco Unified School
District. “The position we find ourselves in is that we can no longer
accept things the way they are. We need to start thinking about the next
information on the Green California Schools Summit, or to register, click
here. [Space for full summit registration is limited.
Schools are encouraged to bring teams to obtain group rates;
recommended team members
include principals, business officers, facilities personnel, board
members, purchasing and transportations specialists, teachers, parents and
interested community members.]
regarding the education program and the call for presentations can be
found by clicking here.
For Green Technology coverage of schools issues,