Howell School District Earns Silver For Going Green

(From left) Middle School North staff Vice Principal Joseph Fiore, science teacher Kristin Raleigh, computer teacher Pamela Gawron, Vice Principal Shannon Johnson and Principal Paul Farley celebrate being the district being named the 2021 Middle School Sustainability Champion. (Photo courtesy Howell Township K-8 School District)

  HOWELL – The Howell Township K-8 School District has been awarded the silver level certification and was among the first to earn a Digital Schools Star recognition from Sustainable Jersey for Schools after all 12 schools reached the requirements.

  Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program that provides guidance, support and recognition to schools that implement environmental improvements. A total of 373 school districts and 1,025 schools are currently participating in the program. Over $2.4 million in grants have been awarded to schools and school districts through Sustainable Jersey for Schools.

  “The Sustainable Jersey and Digital Schools Star program focuses on developing a culture of sustainable practices within instruction and learning. Through the certification process, the program allows districts to review their current sustainable and digital practices and reflect on developing areas of their work,” Superintendent of Schools Joseph Isola said. “In partnering with the Sustainable Jersey program, we were able to build upon our sustainable practices, and advance our work with the Digital Star program. We were able to leverage our technology and push forward on personalized instruction, while incorporating the action steps within the digital learning roadmap. This work has proven to benefit our students and our entire community.”

  In the state, 37 schools from nine school districts were the first to earn the Digital Schools Star recognition as part of their Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.

  “The importance of digital remote and hybrid learning to sustainability and resiliency has never been more evident,” senior program consultant for Sustainable Jersey Digital Schools Laurence Cocco said. “To help strengthen support for schools, educators, and students in navigating the opportunities and challenges of digital learning, the Digital Schools program was created, integrating new content into Sustainable Jersey for Schools.”

  A school receives a Digital Schools Star recognition when they implement digital learning and communication tools, resources and practices. In addition, they document their successful digital learning strategies in the action areas of leadership, learning practices, technology access, school culture and climate and student learning in order to qualify for Star recognition.

  For every school in the Howell Township K-8 School District, they submitted documentation to show it has completed the program’s sustainability actions, attaining a minimum of 350 points of sustainability actions. Subsequently, this certified them to receive the silver level certification.

  In October, the whole school district had the opportunity to celebrate the Sustainable Jersey achievements of all 12 schools for receiving Silver Level Certification and Digital Schools Star recognition.

  In addition, the district took a moment to spotlight Middle School North for achieving the highest number of middle school points in New Jersey and being named the 2021 Middle School Sustainability Champion.