Purpose/Goals:

  • Recommend a vision and mission for sustainability efforts to align with The Bellingham Promise that reflects our aspirations for integrating sustainability throughout the district.
  • Develop a plan and timeline for benchmarking waste, water and energy usage within the district and individual buildings.
  • Determine actionable sustainability priorities that connect to teaching and learning.

Basis for Establishment:

  • The climate crisis is impacting our community and the global community. Recently, BPS has changed practices to adjust for environmental changes, including:
    • Plans for indoor recess due to wildfire smoke
    • Facilities use during summer heat waves
    • Added bus routes due to flooding, similar to snow routes
  • Research around eco-anxiety among children and youth is growing. BPS students are looking for answers and action to address the climate crisis. Cognizant of student voice, we are listening and taking action to change behaviors and practices.
  • Action for climate change is a global public good. As a school district, we want to support the health and well-being of community.
  • The negative impacts of climate change are disproportionately born, both locally and globally, by marginalized populations. Addressing sustainability is an equity issue; a goal of this committee is to educate our members about climate justice.
  • K-12 funding is fragile and uncertain because of economic disruption due to climate change.
  • The Washington state superintendent has established integrated environmental and sustainability learning standards for K-12. Environmental education is a mandatory area of study in Washington, required by WAC 392-410-115.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Recommendations will be made based on research, discussion and input gathered during the process.
  • Task force will utilize processes of consensus and input/feedback. We will engage in clear communication among team members and with stakeholders regarding the work.
  • The work will be consultative with the Department of Teaching and Learning.
  • The group will be a recommending body to the superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • March 2022: Issue call for applications, form the Sustainability Task Force
  • March-June 2022: Task Force meets to build background knowledge regarding Sustainability Program components through reading, research, and site visits to other districts with model programs.
  • April-May 2022: The Task Force will propose a recommended vision and mission for sustainability and complete a draft of the “sustainability master plan” document.
  • Summer 2022: The Task Force will review and submit the master plan draft to the superintendent and will work on details of the year-two Sustainability Task Force timeline for 2022-23.

Timeline:

Meetings will be held approximately twice a month on the second and fourth Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m., March through June 2022.
Members will have the opportunity to continue serving on the Sustainability Task Force during the second year of planning in 2022-23.

Thursday, March 24 (District Office)

Thursday, April 14 (Sehome)

Thursday, April 28 (Kulshan)   

Thursday, May 12 (Alderwood)

Thursday, May 26, (Parkview)

Thursday, June 16 (Options)

Members:

The application window to serve on this committee closed on March 7, 2022.
Questions? Please contact Facilities at 360-676-6548.

Co-Chairs:

  • Jessica Sankey, Executive Director of Operations
  • Mark Peterson, Director of Facilities and Sustainability

Facilitator:

  • Rachel Myers, RM + Co

Members:

  • Mike Copland, Deputy Superintendent
  • Bill Palmer, Director of Teaching and Learning (Science & Technology)
  • Margaret Gude, Communications Specialist
  • Amanda Ingram, Human Resources Coordinator
  • Gretchen Pflueger, Grant Writer
  • Kim Lund, parent & community member, former Executive Director of Bellingham Public Schools Foundation
  • Janis Velasquez Farmer, Director of Teaching and Learning (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)
  • Rae Anne Thon, Director of Transportation
  • Patrick Durgan, Executive Chef and Director of Food Services
  • Kim Niederhauser, Director of Health Services
  • Curtis Lawyer, Director of Capital Projects
  • Mylo Allen, Principal, Parkview Elementary School
  • Meagan Dawson, Principal, Kulshan Middle School
  • Kerry Hermann, Teacher, Geneva Elementary School
  • Sam Stoner, Teacher, Whatcom Middle School
  • Lindsay MacDonald, Multilingual Learner Specialist, high school level
  • Malory Lahti, Head Custodian, Sehome High School
  • Grace Schamber, Student, Bellingham High School
  • Zack Wopat, Student, Community Transitions
  • Emily Kubiak, Sustainable Connections
  • Sam Humphries, Peak Sustainability
  • Priscilla Brotherton, RE Sources
  • Andrea Reiter, City of Bellingham
  • CJ Huxford, local contractor
  • Joshua Cloud, local contractor with OAC
  • Laura Johanson, parent/community member
  • Charles Barnhart, parent/community member
  • Grace Wang, parent/community member

Responsibilities:

  • Attend all Task Force meetings and engage in reflective conversations
  • Participate in educational activities and readings
  • Gather and share feedback from stakeholder groups
  • Interact collaboratively and respectfully with all task force members.
  • Consideration to participate in at least one school site visit day trip or virtual field trip. Likely locations include: Oak Harbor School District, IslandWood environmental education center on Bainbridge Island

Budget Implications:

All anticipated budget expenses for professional learning, travel, materials, substitutes, etc. will be covered through bond funding.

Other

In addition to representation on the task force, relevant groups will be targeted to solicit input and provide feedback.