Sustainable Schools

Group of students explain the importance of conserving resources and protecting our environment. In the Dirt Teacher and Student watering a plant in the school garden.

As the largest school division in the region, Virginia Beach City Public Schools understands the importance of conserving resources and protecting our environment. Testimony to our commitment, among the nearly 70,000 students and approximately 15,000 full and part-time employees, are the often unique and innovative conservation efforts that can be found in every office and school in the division.

Group of elementary students about to plant a tree.

Our Three Sustainable Goals

Goal 1: Develop a sustainable building infrastructure.
Any new or renovated building will be designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver rating at a minimum. To date, buildings that have earned or are projected to earn a LEED rating include:

Goal 2: Integrate sustainable practices throughout the school division.
In 2006, a Sustainable School Committee (SSC) was formed to meet on a regular basis for the purpose of monitoring and making recommendations regarding sustainability within the school division. Members serving on this committee are from various departments throughout the division and are committed to fostering the principles of environmental, economic and social stewardship through the incorporation of sustainable practices. Read more about our Environmentally Sustainable Practices policy.

Goal 3: Educate the public about the importance of sustainability.
Each school has a Sustainable School Liaison (SSL) tasked with increasing sustainability awareness throughout the school division. Through their leadership, many of our elementary, middle and high schools have developed programs or clubs addressing the issue of sustainability.

Making a Difference

Recycling material is collected at each school. Every classroom and every office has a blue bin for recycling. Recycling is tracked at each school and listed on an excel spread sheet. Since September 2008, the school division has diverted more than 11,386 tons from the waste stream which is equivalent to saving:

  • 193,562 trees
  • 4.3 million gallons of oil
  • 34,152 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 45.5 million kilowatts of energy (enough to power 5,693 homes for one year)
  • 79.7 million gallons of water

Get Involved

Have an idea for Virginia Beach City Public Schools that will save energy, conserve resources, or protect our environment?