Boston public school receives award honoring its green mission

BOSTON — Boston Green Academy, a public school in Brighton, was recognized and awarded for taking a multi-faceted approach to environmental sustainability at the school.

On Saturday, BGA was presented with the Green Ribbon School Award from the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

BGA is one of 35 schools across the country to earn the award, which honors schools that reduce environmental impacts and costs, improve the health and wellness of students and staff, and provide effective environmental sustainability education.

Teaching grades 6 to 12, the school has college and career prep programs focused on environmental studies.

"Congratulations to the students and staff of the Boston Green Academy for this recognition and for setting an example of environmental stewardship for schools nationwide," said Mayor Marty Walsh.

"It's wonderful to see students applying the skills and knowledge they're learning in the classroom to address some of our most pressing challenges that will improve our communities for generations to come."

Boston Public Schools superintendent Brenda Cassellius said, "I'm incredibly proud of the innovative work our students and educators at Boston Green Academy are doing to solve problems that impact their community and so many others.

"Involving students in making positive changes at their school provides them a sense of agency and empowerment, which they can carry with them through college and career."

In February, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) honored BGA with the 2019 Massachusetts Green Ribbon Schools Award for meeting similar criteria. DESE then nominated BGA for the national award.

BGA received the Green Ribbon Schools award for the following, among others:

-The school is in an ENERGY STAR building with a score of 94. It receives 48% of its energy from renewable sources.

-Boston Public Schools, National Grid, and Steam Trap Systems recently repaired and replaced 203 steam traps at BGA, showing 25 to 30% savings. All classrooms and offices have occupancy sensors.

-Students in the Career Technical Education (CTE) program in Environmental Science are conducting a cost-benefit analysis to explore retrofitting current school lighting with LED bulbs.

-Students in middle school use Kill A Watt meters to figure out which devices use the most electricity and make sure the devices are unplugged on the weekends and holidays.

-Ninth-grade students are working with the city on a solar feasibility study for a solar array on the building.
-BGA follows district policies for green cleaning, integrated pest management, environmental audits, and no-idling, among other areas of school environmental health.

-Students participate in numerous green experiences, including overnight trips with Thompson Island Outward Bound and a green elective course with the Boston Nature Center in middle school, exhibitions of green research projects in high school, and a six-week green internship as seniors.

-Rigorous environmental science learning is available for all students, including those with disabilities and English learners.