For the second straight year, Powhatan School earned 1st place in the 2012 VAIS Green Independent Schools Challenge.
Winners were announced during the annual VAIS conference in Richmond, Va. These schools scored highest among all competitors in the challenge by implementing sustainable practices and policies throughout their campus. Schools were rated on 26 different areas of sustainability in order to qualify to be named a “Green School.” Powhatan won the Day School (200-500 student) category.
Head of School, Sue Scarborough, will present the award to the student body at a special All School Gathering in the Niemann Auditorium on Monday, December 3, 2012. “We are honored to have been recognized for our longstanding commitment to environmental education,” said Mrs. Scarborough. “The school continues to teach students to care for our campus and natural surroundings. Powhatan students learn to reuse, recycle and reduce materials.”
A portion of the challenge related to adopting a curriculum plan that incorporates key sustainability concepts into age appropriate curriculum. “This is something that Powhatan has been doing for more than a decade through our NEAL Program,” commented Upper School Science Department Head Mr. Ray Legge. “The NEAL Program (Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning) is specifically designed to integrate the value of nature across all areas of the curriculum. There is a significant portion of our curriculum that focuses on sustainability and the environment, and we are very fortunate to be able to use our natural surroundings as an outdoor laboratory to engage our students in outdoor education.”
Mr. Legge lists numerous recent opportunities for Powhatan students to learn more about the environment around them. “Between weekly recycling in the classroom, Conservation Day, theSquare Meter of Life project, the eighth grade Chesapeake Bay Trip, the addition of The JASON Project curriculum, the recent work started on the Crocker Conservancy, and CSpout Run; we work very hard to incorporate environmental education and sustainability into the everyday curriculum. Even the McIntosh Center for the Arts and Sciences is green – drawing heating and cooling from 29 geothermal wells on campus.”
According to the VAIS (Virginia Association of Independent Schools) website, “The Green Independent Schools Challenge is a friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by Virginia’s independent schools and the broader community.” Read more about the challenge (sponsored by BCWH & Trane) by visiting:
The award presentation will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Niemann Auditorium, located in the Lindsey Library on the campus of Powhatan School.