• Stormwater Basin Redesign Takes Shape at Readington Middle School

    Posted by Doreen Harris on 1/7/2019

    RMS Stormwater Basin

    Stormwater Basin Redesign Takes Shape at Readington Middle School

    The fenced-in stormwater detention basin next to the bus parking area at the Readington Middle School continues to grow and evolve. The collaboration between the Board of Education, the District Green Team, Readington Township, and its Environmental Commission is funded by a special Clean Water grant through N.J. Department of Environmental Protection.

    The project is an excellent example of employing green stormwater management practices and is part of the District commitment to environmental stewardship and River Friendly Schools recognition.

    The design was engineered to capture the stormwater runoff from the roofs and parking lot areas of the Readington Middle School and to filter sediment and pollutants out using native New Jersey plant materials that also serve as habitat for wildlife. The basin slows the speed of the property’s stormwater, allows more of it to be re-absorbed into the soil and reduces the potential of flooding of our downstream neighbors. In an average 1” rainfall event up to 200,000 gallons of stormwater can be generated at the Middle School and its parking areas.

    Season #1 is just winding down. The fast flush of grasses from the Summer is dying back now and the roots systems of the plants will continue to grow with the cold rain and snow of Winter. The snow fences will no longer be needed in the Spring when we will see a flush of new color from flowering and woody plants that will pop up in the environment and take over the grasses in Seasons #2 and #3.

    Students will be using the basin habitat as an outdoor classroom laboratory utilizing science and mathematics content to study the water cycle and wildlife that is part of this mini-ecosystem. Be on the lookout for constantly evolving changes in this interesting and dynamic “neighborhood” in the coming months as you visit the school and district offices. An official dedication will be made in late Spring before Summer break.

    By Steve Foster, Readington Twp. Environmental Commission

    Readington Township Environmental Commission website: 

    https://www.readingtontwpnj.gov/boards-committees/environmental

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  • PBS News Story on Readington Schools Energy Savings

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 12/7/2018

    The achievements of our Energy Efficiency Program at Readington Schools were featured on the Hunterdon County segment of PBS 39 local news.

    Link to PBS 39 WLVT News

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  • Sustainable Jersey for Schools Awards for all schools!

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 10/8/2018

    All four Readington Schools were awarded re-certification by Sustainable Jersey for Schools in October 2018.  Readington Middle School and Holland Brook School earned bronze certification and Whitehouse School and Three Bridges School earned silver certification.  These certifications reflect all of the wonderful ways we are conserving resources, educating about sustainability, and improving health and wellness in our schools.  Congratulations!

    Sustainable Jersey Press Release

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  • Readington Schools Dedicate Solar Installations

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 5/21/2018

    Solar Ribbon Cutting

     

    Readington Township School District, in its continuing efforts to be environmentally friendly and promote a culture of sustainability, embarked on a project in 2015 to bring solar power to the schools.  After two years of research and planning, construction began in September 2017.  At Readington Middle School, both ground and roof-mounted solar arrays were installed, roof-mounted arrays were installed at Three Bridges School, and additional ground arrays were installed behind Holland Brook School.  While the system will reduce some but not all of the electrical power received from the local power company, it is anticipated that the district will be able to send power back into the grid during times of reduced building use, particularly during summer months.  This will result in reduced energy costs to the district, while also lowering the district’s carbon footprint. 

    On the afternoon of May 9, the district celebrated the completion of the solar project.  Standing in front of the newly installed ground array panels at Readington Middle School, a group of staff members, students, families, Board of Education members, and project contractors gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  After words of welcome from Jodi Bettermann, the district’s Energy Efficiency Coordinator, students Rooney Rasare and Christopher Serrao cut the ceremonial ribbon. 

    Following the ribbon cutting, Eric Zwerling, Chair of the district’s Green Committee and a Board of Education member who spearheaded the district’s solar initiative, addressed the audience, stating, “In the next fifteen years, this solar installation will prevent approximately five million pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.  In addition, it will reduce our children’s exposure to significant amounts of sulfur and nitrogen oxides.  It will also save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars.”  

    Rooney Rasare and Christopher Serrao, sixth grade members of Readington Middle School’s Energy Club, spoke about their participation in the club and the activities that teach club members about recycling, solar energy, and pollution.  The model solar houses that club members created were on display during the solar celebration.  The students thanked their club’s advisors, teachers Madeline Kalinich and Cathy Smith, and Energy Efficiency Coordinator Jodi Bettermann, for their guidance.  The boys ended their presentation with the words, “We hope that our school continues to be eco-friendly and a role model for other schools in our country.  We’re green and we’re proud of it!” 

    Facilities Manager Donald Race closed the program with special words of appreciation for those who helped throughout the planning, design, construction, and completion of the district’s solar project, including the project engineers from Ameresco Inc.; project consultants from Gabel & Associates; designers and installers from EZNergy; and the legal team of DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLC.  He also thanked those who played pivotal roles within the district, stating, “Last, but certainly not least, a special thanks goes out to our district administrators, principals, and school staff, Board of Education members, both past and present, and members of the district’s Green Committee.  Their dedication to reducing our environmental impact, saving energy, and the promotion of sustainability have made this project possible.”

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  • Whitehouse School earns Energy Star

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 7/1/2017

    Congratulations to Whitehouse School for earning Energy Star certification for 2017!  Click here for the news article.  Whitehouse School joins Readington Middle School which was certified in 2016.

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  • Grants awarded to Readington Schools

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 2/10/2017

    Congratulations to Three Bridges School, Holland Brook School, and Whitehouse School who were each awarded a $2000 grant from Sustainable Jersey for Schools funded by the NJEA.  Check out the news article below.

    Readington schools win grants for sustainable energy programs

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  • Energy bulletin board at HBS

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 5/5/2016

    Holland Brook School's Student Leadership Club created a bulletin board with ways to save energy.  Check it out between the library and 4th grade wing next time you are there!

    HBS bulletin board

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  • Whitehouse School Earns National Green Ribbon

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 4/25/2016

    HD0428WhitehouseSchoolGreen.jpg

    At 2 p.m., on April 22, the Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Christy Goldfuss, joined the U.S. Secretary of Education, John King, to announce that Whitehouse School, in Whitehouse Station, is among the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. 

    Whitehouse School was nominated by the New Jersey Department of Education.

    Whitehouse School's principal, Dr. Ann DeRosa stated, "We are thrilled to have earned this prestigious distinction! Our greening efforts have been robust and have been rooted in student activism. As we continue to seek ways to reduce our environmental impact, we do so with the determination to change behaviors that better serve our environment. It's about stewardship that is modeled by adults and sustained by our children."

    Among the many accomplishments that led to this honor was the progress that Whitehouse School has made with conservation and cost savings efforts by working closely with the district's Facilities Manager, Don Race, and the Energy Efficiency Coordinator, Jodi Bettermann.

    Additionally, numerous program and educational enhancements have been instituted over the past five years. Student leaders, teachers, and the principal have collaborated to determine how to spend discretionary funds and grant monies. Suggestions have resulted in various acquisitions for the school including a water bottle refilling station, a rain barrel, two weather stations, three composters, sensory-garden items, and outdoor air quality flags.

    The school's very active student green team members assume the role of ambassadors as they facilitate green projects and promote the tenets associated with a creative GREEN TEAM acronym (Grow, Recycle, Earth, Energy, Nutrition, Technology, Efficiency, Activism, & Movement). Whitehouse faculty members also embarked on a wellness campaign and made significant changes to positively influence students.

    Finally, guided by a vast amount of current research, the Next Generation Science Standards & the effective practices of science instruction, this elementary school continues to make science a priority. Each grade level has a science or STEM Lab and there is a concerted effort to feature monthly STEM speakers from the community who address students on career pathways and eco-friendly practices.

    Dr. Barbara Sargent, the Superintendent for the Readington Township School District, where Whitehouse School is situated, said, "Critical concepts of environmental awareness, ethical decision making, and global leadership are being taught in our schools, and that all begins with the amazing work taking place at Whitehouse School.  Our students and staff are so deserving of this recognition and I'm excited to see them recognized by state and federal agencies."

    In total, across the country, total of 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. King and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, D.C.

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  • RMS 6th Grade Students Learn about Infrared

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 2/15/2016

    Soil station               Infrared image

    In February 2016, sixth grade students conducted a study of infrared light in their science classes.  They extended their studies about the light spectrum and heat transfer by rotating through several stations, one of which had an infrared camera, made available to the school through the Schools for Energy Efficiency (SEE) program.  The students investigated conduction, convection, and radiation, by using an infrared camera to "see" the heat transfer.  They also completed a soil temperature study station and video and reading stations about the application of infrared light.

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  • Readington School District Awarded Grant for Energy Project

    Posted by Jodi Bettermann on 1/5/2016

    Our Readington Public School District was one of seven school districts that earned a Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the Gardinier Environmental Fund.  The grant for $10,000 will be used to establish mobile energy labs in the district's four schools.  The energy labs will incorporate activities to increase energy awareness that are appropriate for students in grades one through eight.  The mobile energy labs will support the district's commitment to educate its staff and students about energy conservation.

     

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