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Shenandoah County schools win green award

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

WOODSTOCK — The Virginia School Boards Association has recognized Shenandoah County Public Schools’ environmental initiatives for the second straight year.

Superintendent Mark Johnston announced during the School Board’s Jan. 12 meeting that SCPS achieved Gold Certification in the 2016 Green Schools Challenge. It is one of nine divisions to achieve the certification.

The VSBA has held the friendly competition since 2010 to encourage school divisions to adopt environmentally-friendly policies and practices.

Barbara Stombock, the SCPS finance director, submitted an application to the VSBA. Participants are awarded points based on their proficiency in categories like energy efficiency, waste management and student involvement.

The division received 155 points out of a possible 200, Stombock said. Gold-certified divisions must score at least 150 points, according to the VSBA.

SCPS won first place among divisions with 5,001 to 10,000 students in the 2015 Green Schools Challenge. Culpeper County Public Schools won that distinction in the 2016 contest.

Schools Superintendent Mark Johnston said the division has adopted several practices to help schools reduce their carbon footprint, including tightening temperature standards to save “substantial” heating and cooling costs.

The division hopes to make schools even greener in the future, Johnston said.

“We want to swap out lighting to low-cost ballast and sodium vapor versus incandescents and flourescents,” he said. “Also chiller replacements and ventillator replacements for more efficient systems.”

The division also plans to replace 25 school buses that have exceeded their 15-year lifespan during the next five years, Johnston said.



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