LBUSD Board of Education Workshop – Green Schools – 8/20/19

We’re gonna segue right into Green Schools. Okay, hello, Superintendent. Hello. And executive staff and board. Thank you for having us back. And nice tie, we like it. (group laughs) Yeah, we all had a part in that. So thanks for wearing it. I’m Pamela Weinstein from Rogers. And Danielle Van Divort from Hughes and Karin Wasinger from Keller. So we are here to report on what we’ve been doing all summer as it pertains to the sustainability plan. So, our first meeting this summer was with Mark Chavez at nutrition services. They were really welcoming and on board with all of Long Beaches laws. They’re phasing out styrofoam and plastic, and they showed us their new cardboard and paper packaging. They also told us that they would encourage their cafeteria supervisors to have share tables, and they are willing to train on the Food Finder collections. What are share tables, Pamela? So, the share tables are when, just a designated location or box or a bucket where kids can put food that they don’t want. It can also come from their lunches, anything prepackaged and sealed, and that Food Finders can intake. Do I go forward? Nope. Whoa, back. Sorry. Okay. Our next meeting was with custodial services with Jose De La Mora. We feel that the custodians are really the key to this whole project working. We need their support. We know that that’s going to be a transition for our custodians to have the dual carts that we have, will be made available to sites, so that custodians can take the waste that is already sorted in the classrooms, we’re not asking them to sort anything. So it would be sorted into a separate bin, and then moved in, by the dual bins, to the recycling bin to the purple bins, and then the trash to the trash dumpsters. So, those carts area available for sites. We need, what we need are really strong admin support to encourage our custodians to come on board with this. Mr. De La Mora was a little concerned about CSEA and about their contract and whether or not that’s something that they can do. So we need, we need clarification on who is in charge at the sites. We think the Principal’s in charge of the plant supervisor, but we think that CSEA has some authority over the custodians, so we’re not sure. We need to figure out how to do that, and make sure that we can get everybody on board so we’re looking to you for support on how to make changes with the custodial staff. Then we had another meeting with our friends here, from OMS, who were really welcoming and happy to help us produce videos about lunch sorting and classroom recycling. We are, also want to make a video for recycling aides. We found out through meeting with nutrition services that some of the recycling aides don’t really know what they’re supposed to be doing on the sites, so we’ve also included that information and we’ve sent that to the Superintendent to hopefully go out to all the sites so that they know what they are supposed to be doing and how they can help with lunch sorting. We’re going to be filming our students in September. We’re creating a script with them as well. And then we also have a meeting on Thursday to discuss a logo for the green arm of our district. So we’re moving forward with that, okay? All right. Oh yeah. Okay, hi. All right, so we have been busy. We feel like we’ve gotten a good handle on everything here. And now, our next step is to get everybody else involved. So I’m really excited that my principal mentioned something that he heard about our actions already. So that’s exciting. We know that this is going to be a process, but we feel like we have a pretty good launching pad here. So what we have is a kit. It’s not a kit where you can just pick it up, it’s more of a virtual kit right now. Our hope is that we can get this kit out to all the green site coordinators. And what we’ve asked is each site has someone who’s the sustainability coordinator, or green site coordinator, and that would be the person that would talk to us, that we would help train, that we would give them all the resources they need. And we know that 22 schools or so have somebody like that, but we’re looking for everybody. We don’t want it to be an administrator and have one more thing for them to do, we’d like it to be, it could be a teacher, it could be a parent, whoever it is. But we wanna get them trained and we want them to know that there are a lot of opportunities for them, and materials for them. So now I have to click, okay. Oh, thank you. All right, so this is what the kit looks like. Again, it’s a virtual kit that will come with training from us. And it’s something that will tell every school how do I get started? So I am at a school, we don’t even, we put paper in the trash. We don’t even have blue recycle bins. How do I get started? Or I’m at a school where we already sort our lunches, but we really wanna compost now. How do I do that? So we’ve tried to tier it, so that there’s something for everyone. And we feel like it’s attainable by every school that you can start somewhere and we’ll help you. So we’d like a coordinator at each school. They can receive adjunct duty which, you know, is a big deal, that’s up to 15 hours of adjunct duty. Or if sites have the funds, they can pay someone. We’re looking at quarterly meetings for all these coordinators. And those people would be paid to share their data, to ask for help, to share ideas. We don’t want everybody making up everything from scratch. We can have schools matched up with more established schools like us, and there are many others. And we know that middle school, high school, elementary school, there’s different needs there so we’d like to match them up appropriately. And then we are really excited, everybody’s excited, it’s the biggest news ever. The Green Summit, which we do have a date for, November 16th. You’ve heard about it, right? So we’re looking to train those coordinators. Come for the day, we’ll have different speakers, we’ll have kids there, we’ll have parents. We’ll have different outside agencies that can answer questions and help you get started wherever you are. And then, where does the money come from to purchase items from the kit, people are gonna wanna know. Well, our fabulous Superintendent has provided some money for schools to purchase some of these things, like buckets or ice packets. Really exciting stuff. So it’s something that will help people get started wherever they are. So now I answer the question, well, where am I? I don’t even have recycling, so how do I that? So, we would start at levels, start where you are, move up. If you’re only able to get one thing done this year, or if you’re able to just think about something this year, that’s all we’re asking. And then there’s incentives for participation at any level. We’re working on that. Recognition, definitely, at board meetings would be great. Just to say, you know, they’re on level one, they’ve done this. Cause we know, you know, even teachers like to get that gold star. So incentives. So what does this look like? I’m a level one, I’m coming in. I would love to have recycling at my school. It was really interesting in all of our meetings this summer we got to go all over the district. And all over the district, we didn’t see blue bins. And we said, “Why don’t you have blue bins?” Well, I don’t know. So it’s a question that it’s not necessarily we don’t wanna do this, but we just don’t know how to start. So we would provide that assistance, how do you get started? We get blue bins in the classrooms. We get the, we know we have the trashcans. But what’s the difference between those two? What do I put in each? We can get purple bins ordered from the city for free. We have a contact there who’s, the more the merrier to get those purple binds out. So we’re providing that resource. There’s also, we’ll show you the list of materials that can be ordered. So they can buy the blue bins to go in every classroom. So, purple bins. How many people have seen a purple bin around? Okay. So, we know what these are. They’re from the city. We have our friend, Elisa, who’s amazing who has answered all of our questions, who has helped us. We actually have a big field trip planned for Friday. We’re going to see how the recycling happens, so that’s exciting. But we can get purple bins. And we’re gonna explain to people this is how it’s worked at our school. Get a purple bin, put it outside the building. Get one so it’s accessible for everybody so they don’t have to worry. These are free. The only thing you have to figure out is how to get these purple bins out to the curb to get picked up. So, that’s level one. Level one, again, we’re gonna give them the list of everything to do. Recycle this, don’t recycle this. Recycling laws are changing constantly. So even from this summer, we found out we can’t recycle cartons anymore and certain plastics. So it’s, even for us, we have to be reeducated. So we’ll let them know, this is what you recycle. Here’s how you teach your staff, here’s how you teach your kids. So that’s level one. And we have this little poster. We’re hoping to get online also different posters that people could just print out and they don’t have to come up with all the resources themselves. So there’s that. And then there’s some nice pictures of what you need. Our dream, of course, is the dual cart. We know that that’s gonna be ongoing, but if we can get a few schools to start rolling in with that, that would be great. There you go. Level one. Level two, so I have a recycling plan at my school. We’re good. We have blue bins, we know how to do this. It’s not perfect, but we are with kids that forget sometimes where to put stuff. Now I wanna do lunch sorting. So you’re asking about the share table, this lunch sorting. From the schools that have done this, it’s basically, you have a table, a designated space. You have a bucket, you have a cooler, anything. I have a little carton. Whatever it is. The kids, if they have an apple left over that they didn’t eat, or something that was packaged. They put it there. At our school, most of the time, there’s nothing left at the end of the day, because the kids eat it. And that’s what it is. We just, we don’t wanna waste food. We want kids to get what they need. If there’s anything left over, we have partnership with Food Finders, which Food Finders picks up the food and then it gets eaten by people. So it’s just a win-win. There are lots of little nuances there, though. It’s hard. It’s really hard, and just talking to my custodian yesterday he talked about the raccoons eating the food and all that. So there are things that have to happen. And we’re gonna try to work out those kinks so we can teach other schools how to do that. But just to start. Have a share table. The sorting station, this would be, you can keep going. So this would be, okay, I’m ready to really do this. So I have a station at my school. There’s a trashcan for trash. There’s a purple bin for trays. There’s a cooler that can put milk and yogurts and that kind of stuff, and then there a bucket for share. Now, at Karen’s school, they have bit more, they do compost. I mean, there’s so many things you could do. The very least, what we’d love to see is every trashcan, next to every trashcan is a purple bin outside, that way people can start making those choices and helping alleviate the trash. And we’ve talked about with you all the savings that there are with the reduced trash. Okay, I am so good, I am a level three. I’m ready now, okay. This is now bottle and can separation. So we have schools that, for their green activities or for anything, I mean, just for buying stuff for their school, they collect bottles and cans and they get the redemption value and that money, then, can be used on things. At our school, we use it for gardens. So this one is a little bit, is the next step up. You just need blue bins or you can buy these clear streams that, if you’ve gone to Hughes, they’re all over the place. So we make thousands of dollars from our redemption. You can do drives, all sorts of stuff. But this is kind of a level three. It requires more, it requires paperwork, it requires talking to the state. But since we’ve done it, we know how to do it and we can help people if they’re ready for level three. So, we’ve added in here Rec Aides, which we’ve talked about that a lot of schools have the Rec Aides for recycling. But a lot of schools don’t necessarily know what should they be doing. So we would train the coordinators, this is what they can do, and we also have this list that would help them manage their time and help us with this, cause the whole purpose is waste reduction, getting things where they need to go, and saving money. Okay, I’m a level four. Are you a level four? Not yet? Okay. So, we have contact information. This is when, now I’m really ready. I’m gonna sort, I’m gonna do drives. I wanna collect these bottles, I wanna get the money from it. It requires a bin from CR&R, which is where you get your redemption value. It requires a lot. It requires time, it requires people. So that one, I don’t know how many schools have something like that. I know we do, and it’s a lot of work and it’s a big mess, but it’s totally worth it and it helps get that material saved and it also gets money for the schools. So that’s where we are right now, level one through four. And, luckily my name is first. If you wanna contact anybody to help, we realize all of our names are at the end of the alphabet, but we are the people that, if you don’t know what to do, just call us. We’ll talk to you, we’ll figure it out. You can come check out our schools. None of us, it’s not perfect. It’s not a perfect situation, but we have some ideas. And then we have additional agencies that will answer the phone, they will email you back immediately if you need help. Okay, so then the one more thing is we, purchasing is awesome. They gave us a whole list, we have them a list, and they’ve given us basically an order form. If schools are ready and they wanna order stuff, we have that order form ready for just the basics. For level one and two, really. So, look at that. It’s in the slide. And we’re gonna look at it in just a second. So that’s what it looks like. So the school, the principals, right? Have received this, or will receive this. If they haven’t seen it yet, they will? They will, yeah. They will receive this. And then this kind of gives an idea of how much these things are. Some of them come in, you know, you probably don’t need 100 buckets, you just need 20, but it’s, we have everything there that you could possible need to get started. So that is what our materials list looks like. Okay? Okay. Any questions? I have a question about, do we have a link on our website, maybe, for recycling?
How did you know that that’s in our next steps? That’s in our dream list, yes. Okay, sorry. Then I won’t- Maybe we should see that list. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming. Because you were talking about how cartons are no longer being accepted, well I personally need to know this because I still put cartons in my recycling. So I need to know this. Right, that’s one of our things. We’d like to have a link on our, all these school’s page that people can go to
That would be fabulous.
For any questions and any of these forms, you know, yeah. Okay, also, and this is just for us, for the board, well not just for us, but something we can do. We can recognize schools as they achieve the different, is that part of the thing, too? That’s in it. Did you see this already? As they achieve different levels? Okay. We did not leak any information. This is for the Superintendent. Might donations be made to the Long Beach Education Foundation, specifically to assist this project? Absolutely, yes. Donations are always welcome. However, you as a Board have set aside ample resources, to be very honest with you. It goes back to what Danielle was talking about. $500 million, Superintendent? Not $500 million. He’s really pushing the envelope (laughs). But it goes back to the different stages that people are at, and the team here, I just wanna step back for a minute, they’ve really spent a long time this summer putting this whole package together and working with it. So I wanna publicly thank you. (group applauds) Because it’s very, very exciting. And it’s developmental and the issue of schools are gonna go from where they’re at and to build. We are gonna build a whole incentive program similar to what we have for our link learning certification and all that type of program. But this is something that’s gonna be ongoing. So for example, the videos, the coordinators, all this. And it is going to take all of us in this room, and outside this room, to work together with our sites. So for example, using adjunct hours, is the perfect example of how to do that, cause this is really building lifelong mission for our children on how to take, be great caretakers of this planet. So we’re very excited. And then the summit, before I close for a minute, the summit’s on November 16th, correct? Have we picked a site? Rogers. Rogers. And what we’re looking at, my challenge to them, was to, we’ve had a great tech summit every year, we’ve had a great Khan Academy summit. So we’re gonna model it after that. So folks who go will be compensated. It’s gonna be a really whole community event. So we’re very excited. Yeah, we have just some of the information for the Green Summit, would be coming November 16th. It’d be all hands on, interactive, where we hope to share everything we’ve learned through our processes at our schools, with everybody interested. Staff, teachers, parents, student. Anybody who’s a stakeholder. Site coordinators, green coordinators would be invited. Again, parents, teachers, nutrition services, custodial, they’ve already committed to being present and helping out and sharing their information. As well as local nonprofits, like Grades of Green and Food Finders, and of course, City of Long Beach Environmental Services Bureau, that they are phenomenal. And as laws and things are changing, what we’re taking and what not, into recycling, they’re key to keeping us informed and so that way we can disseminate it to schools, students, and kids. As far as support, thank you so much, Mr. Steinhauser, for talking with principals about this and mentioning it and getting seeds planted. Part of the information that needs to go out is the fact that Recycling Aides will be available for all sites that need them, to help with these recycling efforts. That’s key. That’s really key because we need those man hours to help out where we all teach. So it’s really hard. I have a question about that. I’m sorry. Just a quick question about that. So I know you mentioned that there were, I think, 22 green coordinators right now. Give or take? Give or take. Is one of the strategies, and or part of the recommendation moving forward, that we identify green coordinators at each of the schools? Yeah, yeah yeah. So that’s a part of it. Solicitation for site coordinators at each of the schools. So who would like to head a green program or be a site coordinator for a green program at each of the schools, gathering those names, and then being able to share information on the Green Summit and the sustainability kit. Making sure that sites are aware that these efforts will count for adjunct hours, making available the materials pricing list, so everybody’s aware how much things will cost and what they might need. Or maybe if they can get other things for free, maybe from donations or whatnot. And then the fact that maybe materials, if there could be a little bit of a budget to where sites, cause sites are so squeezed for funds, if maybe that money can come from the district to help support. Yes. And then moving forward, this is our wish list, you were like, so, so right on. A sustainability tab on the LBUSD website with link to everything available. So as it changes, we can update and keep people informed. So that way they don’t have to wonder who was the person at the Board meeting that talked about, but that tab is there and people can be informed. With the videos, with the kit, with the signs, with the resources, what schools are doing what, what school is at what level. And the recycling changes, too. Right. So we could update it. Direct contact, so we wish to make direct contact with each person that wishes to be a green site coordinator. We wanna make contact by November 1st, so that way we can get prepared for the Green Summit. A tiered recognition plan. So, oh you’ve made level one, good job. Level two. And to be able to receive that recognition at Board meetings at the end of each of the semesters, semester one, semester two. And you know what, I would even take it a step further. As a Board member, I would visit those schools and I would make presentations or whatever the principal or the green coordinator wanted to have happen, like at school assemblies or whatever it is. Coming here isn’t always the easiest for folks. Yeah, but I- I get that. That would be amazing, cause the kids always get such joy of being recognized. I know when you’ve been at our sites, it’s been great. There’s such energy to all of it. Making the posters and the signs available. We think it’s key that these are uniform across the district because what goes in the recycling goes in the recycling at all bins across the street. What goes in the trash goes the same stuff or what gets to be turned in for the CRV value. So when it’s uniform across the district, then there’s never a question of what goes where. So when a child then promotes across the district, then it just continues. Or when they transfer from one school to another. So this is a banner that I have made for Rogers. The printing company that produced these for us can easily customize this, put each school’s logo here. So I’m doing the craziness of the cans and bottle sorting, but not all schools will, so they can delete that and they can just move the images from the can and bottle to the recycling. But all of, but most of this is going to be, most of this will work for every school. So we’re looking for something like this to be at each school and so, it’s just uniform. It’s systematic. Kids know what they’re doing when they go from elementary to middle to high school. Yeah. And then, of course, we wanna get this developed, yes, and of course we wanted to roll this out this year. We think it’s imperative. We think it’s really important
Can we get you on the microphone? That within the two years- Can we get you on the microphone? Oh, I’m sorry. We think it’s really important to roll this out as soon as possible, we wanna start implementing it this school year and we think it’s really imperative that a sustainability coordinator is put in place with the district within the next two years, especially the way things are heading as the State of California, China not taking our recycling anymore. We’re pulling it up at warehouses. We are gonna be held accountable for our waste. So, anyway. Any questions that we can answer for you? Well it’s gonna cost money. Once again, Mr. Superintendent, how can donations be made to the Long Beach Education Foundation to help fund this project? So schools, so anyone can make a donation to the Long Beach Education Foundation at any time. You can actually go online and use your credit card. And if you wanted to just put green schools, you could just put it there. If you wanted to donate to a particular school, you would put the school’s name in there. So people could write checks. People can give money through credit cards. The Board has set aside quite a bit of money right now to get a start, to be honest with you, close to a million dollars. You weren’t too far off, Board Member Kerr. So it’s about $500000 for the recreation aides, and about, well we estimate depending on levels, we just don’t really know, around $200000 plus for the different pieces of equipment that schools may or may not need. And then other issues, you know, not counting the summit and other things. So it’s pretty exciting and so it’s a great first step. So I’m hoping, I can’t see everybody back there, the level offices, this really is going to take the support of the level offices to make sure that the 84 principals, they know that we’re behind this and we’re supportive of this. But I think the key message here is that no one’s expecting everyone to be a level four tomorrow. It’s where you’re at, it’s like reading recovery. You go from where you’re at and you build upon your strengths and you go forward. We have a lot of level fours right now, to be very honest with you, and I would highly encourage those schools who wanna do the National Green Competition to do that, or the Grades are Green and others. There’s great support out there. So I think it’s a great, great start. I can’t thank our colleagues enough for doing this. We will come back on an incentive plan, because we do want, just like we do for all the other things that we do in the district, both on the academic and non-academic side of the house, of how to do this. So, good deal. And on the idea of the sustainable coordinator, when we do budget development in the spring, we would look at that because what we always do, and I’ve shared this with Pamela and others, when we do things in the district for example, if we add this position, we wanna make sure that we’ve funded for at least five years because it does no good to start something and then have to pull it away. And I just can’t say enough of the dedication of these colleagues and others who have taken this on. You can see from this example of the thought that’s been put in here, on a very comprehensive level. So thank you so much. Great work, everyone. One final thing, and it’s a point for consideration. Given that China’s no longer taking our recyclables, are there any kind of, even conceptually, systems in place to make sure that, I mean, it could leave our schools, but then that it’s going to the right place afterwards? And or some accountability on how much, you know, cause we could put in all this work at the school site level, the district level, and then the collectors. I don’t know if you read the, it was three days in a row, piece in the LA Times regarding the state of our recycling right now. It’s something that the state is working on and individual cities are working on. Right now, we just need to keep on it because we are going to have to follow through with this. Right now, there’s a shift. And this shift is, how are we gonna fill that China void and how are we gonna clean up our mess? But we gotta continue the way we’ve had, because if we say oh, let’s put everything on hold, all those decades of training that we’ve done since the ’70s will go away. So right now, everything’s continuing and in some places, things are kinda being stored in warehouses until the solutions are found. So a lot is up in the air. But honestly, the solution is getting worked out because we have no other choice. So we just have to continue because to go back and say let’s put a hold, that would just undo decades of work. So, on Friday we’re going on a field trip to Potential Industries in Wilmington, which is where the city of Long Beach takes all of their recycling. So we’re meeting with the city, as well as people at Potential, and hopefully we’ll find out, we’ll get some more information so that we can bring that back and be able to, but the only solution is just to use less. And, I mean, part of it is we do have a few schools that have an environmental science or green team, so part of it is education. And if we could build that within our Green Summit, handing some information that schools can start training kids on just choices they can make. We know that not everybody can make every choice. It’s really hard to go through the day without getting something that you have to throw in the trash. Just starting to plant those seeds, again, of okay you don’t need to take a straw today or you could bring your water bottle. Those kind of things. So part of it will be education and getting that into our classrooms. So appreciative of the work that you all are doing. Thank you for letting us have the opportunity. More appreciative that you brought it to the Board. So yeah. Well one thing supporters can do, they can put their money where their mouth is. Here’s a hundred dollar check, made out to the Long Beach Education Foundation for Green Schools, and I’m not even running for office again. (group laughs) Look at Judy, Judy’s coming right up to write her check. Judy’s right there. She’s right there. Thank you, thank you. Oh, Dr. William, yes? Thank you again for continuing the work. I know we’re gonna schedule another follow up meeting to make sure some of those loose ends are tied up with training this week and how all of that works. One thing that I would ask you to consider. I know you do amazing work at Rogers and it’s a great example of a level three and a half, four, four and a half, ten school. But if our point is to be inclusive and to really bring schools that haven’t had the opportunity to do this work, or consider this work because they haven’t had a volunteer setter, they haven’t had a staff member with a particular passion for it, I would ask that you consider potentially locating it somewhere that is more accessible to the entire system. Hughes might be a good option. There’s public transportation options, but I’m thinking of our schools really far on the west side or the north. Rogers is difficult to get to if you have transportation issues. So I would ask that you, as you continue to do this work and realizing we’re wanting to include schools that haven’t had the opportunity to be included or have the training, that we do it in spaces that make it easy for those volunteers or parents or students, potentially, to get there. Thank you for the reminder. We appreciate it. We just wanted to make sure that they were able to see a sorting station and see things that we have up and running there, but absolutely, we’ll keep that in mind. Yeah, and I think for some of our schools that are at a zero, that seeing a picture of that station might be sufficient enough because to get to level one might be a big enough, a heavy enough lift for them. But that accessibility of the information in space might be a really important consideration. Well, and you know Hughes, we were like a ten, and now we’re a four. Just because we had a parent who was full time, who did it full time and that’s not, people don’t have that. But Hughes does have blue bins and purple bins and some of those other entry level things. It’s more realistic now to sustain it, and part of what we were saying is if somebody leaves, we then could train somebody else and it could continue. We don’t want it to completely fall apart. We want it to be something that’s sustainable because it takes a lot of work. And yeah, so I mean, Hughes, we are good but we’re striving to get to that next level, too. So, yes, we would be happy to host you. I will start cleaning my room. Thank you very much for a great presentation. Thank you. Thank you.

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