Initial evaluation of the sustainable Jersey for Schools Program and certifications achieved by new Jersey public schools, 2014–2018

Derek G. Shendell, Nimit Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sustainable Jersey for Schools (SJS) includes free and voluntary certification for New Jersey (NJ) public K-12 districts (SD) and schools. SJS promotes increased awareness for waste and greenhouse gas emissions reductions via energy efficiency and conservation measures; environmental education; equity; etc. SD first register with SJS; school(s) then register and pursue one of two current certification levels, bronze or silver. We conducted an initial external evaluation of successes, challenges and potential barriers faced by SJS registered schools pursuing certification 2014–2018. We also assessed potential associations between registered, certified schools in registered SD—compared to registered, uncertified schools and non-registered schools—and available socio-economic status and socio-demographic indicators using other State of NJ agencies data for five school years within 2014–2019. These included per student costs, number of students per teacher and per administrator, number of teachers per administrator, and average daily enrollment. Future SJS successes and challenges may be determined by political will of registered, certified participants; available paid human resources and contributions of unpaid volunteers; financial and technical resources available. Future evaluation research should expand on our initial non-statistically significant regression analyses on factors influencing SJS re-certification and expired certifications plus challenges in rural and relatively sparsely populated counties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109399
JournalEnvironmental research
Volume185
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Keywords

  • Certification programs
  • Energy conservation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Environmental education
  • Public schools
  • School districts
  • Sustainability education

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