Emile Lauzzana, AIA, LEED AP
Detroit Public Schools
1601 Farnsworth, Detroit, MI 48207
Phone: (313) 578-7135
Is your organization interested in helping DPS Go Green? Contact us to see how you can help!
DPS Go Green needs your help! Donate now and help pay for project supplies like light meters watt meter, food for events, and t-shirts. Contact Emile Lauzzana for more details!
The Office of Energy and Sustainability oversees utility accounts with vendors for electricity, natural gas, district steam, water and sewer. Management of these accounts includes tracking usage and cost, auditing, rate optimization, and vendor negotiations. The Office of Energy and Sustainability is also engaged in energy savings initiatives in our schools including the DPS Go Green Challenge.
Impact of Green Schools
How we use energy in our schools greatly impacts the district’s bottom line, which includes not just financial stability, but also student achievement and community well-being. By working to improve environmental factors—including thermal comfort, lighting, sound, and air quality – our students will be more comfortable in class and better able to concentrate on learning.
Not only does the school environment effect learning outcomes, but it also effects student health. When our students are healthier, our communities are healthier.
To learn more about how green buildings can improve student achievement, click on the American Federation of Teachers report: Building Minds Minding Buildings: Our Union’s Roadmap to Green and Sustainable Schools.
Sustainability Management Plan
Detroit Public Schools is developing a comprehensive Sustainability Management Plan (SMP). As the plan is developed, we are concurrently implementing best-practices in green and sustainable school management. There are many challenges in greening our schools – but for the sake of our students we need to move ahead now implementing best-practices that reduce costs, benefit our community, boost student achievement and prepare our students for the jobs of the future.
The DPS SMP focuses on six areas:
- Energy and Water
- Waste and Recycling
- Outdoor Environment
- Indoor Environment
Some of our current sustainability initiatives include:
- The construction of 7 new schools to LEED green building standards. These schools use less energy and water and provide more natural daylight, healthier indoor air quality and better acoustics for learning.
- Launching the DPS Go Green Challenge a voluntary opportunity for schools to reduce their energy costs and share in the savings through engaging students, faculty and staff in best-practice energy management.
- Negotiating with Detroit Edison to operate 800 kW of solar energy facilities at 2 DPS schools. The solar leases will generate $480,000 in lease payments to DPS and generate enough green electricity for over 150 Detroit households for 20 years.
- School Nutrition Improvements recognize that healthy bodies make healthy minds. Some key aspects of these improvements include: no fried foods, no pork, whole grains, local produce, and meatless days.
- Office of Energy Management has recovered $195,000 in billing errors from utilities and is constructing a robust tracking and auditing systems with EnergyCAP utility management software. EnergyCAP has twice been recognized by the US Department of Energy as an Energy Star Partner of the Year.
DPS Go Green Challenge
The DPS Go Green Challenge is a voluntary opportunity for schools to reduce their energy costs and share in the savings through engaging students, faculty and staff in best-practice energy management.
This savings could translate to over $1 million annually for DPS, providing additional resources for education. This is equivalent to over 10 new teachers!
See who’s In!
The 70-plus DPS schools participating in the DPS Go Green Challenge have nominated a school Sustainability Coordinator and formed a Green Team comprised of students, faculty and staff.
The Challenge encourages participants to engage sustainable and green practices that boost student achievement, increase the district’s financial stability, and have a positive community impact.
All schools have created a unique name for their Green Team.
Non-Profit Partnership Support
During the 2012-2013 DPS Go Green Challenge, DPS partnered with the Detroit non-profit WARM Training Center.
Through this partnership, DPS Go Green Challenge Schools had the opportunity to be supported by AmeriCorps Green School Coordinators. Each DPS Go Green School was assigned two AmeriCorps Green School Coordinators to guide and support them throughout the Challenge.
Learn more the AmeriCorps Green School Coordinators serving at DPS.
The 45-minute workshops provided participants an opportunity to learn how to take control of their energy bills. The workshops were led by professional Energy Educators and AmeriCorps members from WARM Training Center.
DPS Go Green Challenge Projects
The DPS Go Green Challenge Projects serve as a framework to help schools lower their overall energy use. Each project addresses occupant behavior and buildings systems – fostering a holistic energy management approach.
In the spirit of promoting sustainable and green education for everyone, DPS has chosen to share these materials under the Creative Commons Copyright License Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike. Read the Copyright License.
Go Green Week: Nov. 26-30, 2012
With an emphasis on projects that have a positive fiscal impact but also contribute constructively to student achievement and community health and well-being, Detroit Public Schools is designing and implementing a comprehensive Sustainability Management Plan encompassing energy, waste management, transportation, nutrition, and indoor and outdoor site environments that involves educators, students and parents as well as an array of partners.
A week-long series of project launches, activities and public tours occurred November 26 – 30 to showcase the green initiatives!
2012-13 Green Week Activities:
- Green Apple Community Fair including group tours of new East English Village Preparatory Academy.
- Meatless Monday lunch for all DPS students
- Home weatherization demos by Detroit’s WARM Training Center in conjunction with DPS and Detroit Parent Network.
- Drew Transition Center Community Garden and Hoop House Tours with healthy salad cooking demonstration.
- Randolph Career and Technical Center students held a a DIY home improvement demonstration. More details: Build a Raised Garden Bed Class.
- Golightly Career and Technical Center’s Mass Media Program offered an ink cartridge drop off.
- Weeklong: Student Scavenger Hunts with Green themes.
Go Green News
DPS goes Green with projects that reduce energy costs, help students achieve and improve health
District representatives, Energy Educators and AmeriCorps members from WARM Training Center, as well as students, spoke about DPS’ Green initiatives.
“As we develop DPS’ Sustainability Management Plan, we are also implementing best-practices in green and sustainable school management,” said Emergency Financial Manager Roy S. Roberts. “These best-practices help boost student achievement and help prepare our next generation for the jobs of the future by teaching them about sustainability and the role it plays in preserving our future.”
In partnership with the Detroit-based WARM Training Center, 10 full-time AmeriCorps National Service members will serve at DPS schools supporting the DPS Go Green Challenge. AmeriCorps members will work with school Green Teams to implement energy saving projects, assist with utility bill audits and energy audits and conduct community outreach. The program also includes 36 scholarships for DPS high school seniors with 36 part-time summer jobs weatherizing low-income homes in Detroit. The WARM partnership programs are funded with a $242,000 grant from the AmeriCorps National Service Program and this is the first year that all resources are being dedicated to DPS students.
“WARM is happy to work with DPS on its Go Green Challenge,” said Bob Chapman, WARM’s Executive Director. “This innovative program will educate students while it saves the school system money over the long run and is good for the environment as well. That’s a triple win!”
Science educators across the district are also working to develop daily PA announcements regarding green programs and energy savings and materials re-use tips that can be undertaken in each school in conjunction with student research projects.
Each program in the sustainability plan is designed to have financial, academic, and community health benefits. A Student Transportation bus route efficiency/anti-idling program is designed to cut fuel costs, as well as reduce asthma-related illnesses by reducing emissions. A cost-effective integrated green cleaning and pest-management approach will eliminate use of herbicides and reduce toxins indoors, while helping students and their parents learn about air quality best practices and reducing the overall amount of toxins entering ground water.
View the full story with photos: Go Green Week Kick-Off
View a fun Go Green Slideshow from Burton International Academy
November 13, 2012 – Lansing, MI – Students from the Detroit Institute of Technology at Cody High School presented findings from an energy assessment of their school at the Great Lakes Place-Based Education Conference on November 13, 2012.
With guidance from teacher Ramona Gligor and AmeriCorps members from WARM Training Center, a team of 10 students completed an energy audit of their building during Spring 2012. The team analyzed lighting and appliance efficiency, computer energy usage, cleaning product safety, recycled product usage and overall indoor environmental quality. After completing their analysis, they presented findings to Principal Mary Kovari, the DPS Board of Education, and the school building’s architect.
Upon seeing an opportunity to give her students another chance to share their process and findings at the Great Lakes Place-Based Education Conference, Gligor submitted a proposal for the team to present. Once accepted, five students from the original audit team began to rehearse and master their group presentation. On the day of their workshop, despite some pre-presentation jitters, Nakeeta Stanley, Mary Lindsey, Da’Marr Byrd, Keymari Eddings and Antonio Williams delivered a moving and memorable session to workshop attendees.
Reflecting on the outcomes of the energy audit process, Gligor noted how the impact of the student learning extended far beyond the boundaries of the project.
“Based on student surveys and on teacher observation, we figured out that participating in this type of program, place-based education, something that is really meaningful for them…increased their motivation for science. It inspired a huge increase in their interest and motivation to learn more in science. It was amazing how they went home, and the first thing they did was to winterize their houses, and to learn more about how they can save on their home energy bill…”
The presentation was very well received by the audience members, leaving one in particular, thoroughly impressed. Ethan Lowenstein, Director of the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition in Ypsilanti and Professor at Eastern Michigan University, shared some of his impressions in a reflection interview.
“I have to say that this in one of the most inspiring presentations that I have seen at any conference, and I have probably been to over 200 conferences. I think it really shows, and Ramona pointed it out, that the students need to be put in the role of leaders and need to be given the skills to do meaningful work. What came through in the presentation was that the academic disciplines were used as tools for meaningful work (through the energy audit) and that was evident to the students. The other piece that I thought was incredibly impressive was the level of civic engagement. Not only (did they present) in front of the school board and the architect, but that sense of civic efficacy is now transferable It was clear from the presentation that if they faced a similar situation in the future, they would step up and they would present- they have the skills, they have the confidence, and they have the knowledge…”
In the question-and-answer session following the presentation, students all shared that they had increased their career knowledge, expanded job skills, and improved confidence for public speaking. Among the students, Nakeeta Stanley shared heart-fully about the learning that she transferred to family, friends, and neighbors as she took her new knowledge out to the community following participation in her school audit.
“My family liked what I was doing because they knew that I was really, really caring for my environment. They also knew that I had the faith to do, what other people, what other kids couldn’t do. Instead of hanging out and trying to do other things…I actually went to homes because I was concerned about them, as well. I did this because I want to help other people…”