Going Green

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

FSK was recognized as a “Green School”

tree swallow

FSK Green School Initiative.


At FSK High we are committed to including environmental awareness as a context for learning in all content areas. As a modern day high school we are divided into different disciplines. This Green initiative seeks to transcend that division and integrate the environmental awareness and activism into each classroom at each level. Earlier this year, ecology teacher Gina Felter delivered a professional development seminar to faculty on how to use the environment as a context for learning. She talked about the many positive effects the environment has on student behavior how it impacts student’s attendance and achievement.

Following this seminar, teachers at FSK began to infuse their curriculum with real life environmental applications. For example, in art classes, students create “junk” sculptures as they learn the importance of re-using materials in our society. The World Languages Department examines environmental issues to practice vocabulary and use commands in their language lessons. Other classes are using the environment to provide relevance in the curriculum. Many classes use the environmental investigation model to examine such issues as wildlife population ecology, the health of the Chesapeake Bay, stream ecology, and schoolyard habitat improvement.

Beyond delving into environmental topics in the classroom, FSK classes have worked on projects around the school, both in the building and on the campus grounds. Water conservation is practiced by students through the design of water faucets and posted signs of encouragement. The energy conservation measures at FSK have increased through the efforts of the Student Government Association and the Environmental Conservation Club. They have instituted a policy known as “black out Fridays.”

“Black out Fridays” is where teachers are encouraged to turn out at least one set of lights, if not both, without disrupting class work to conserve the energy usage in the building. FSK solid waste reduction project is centered on paper recycling in all classrooms and offices throughout the school. Every room has at least one recycling container of some sort, and there are several plastic bottle and can receptacles placed around the school.

Other efforts are made through announcements to educate the FSK community on the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Ecology and landscaping habitats have been designed and constructed by FSK students, faculty and community members. Examples of these include a bluebird trail, courtyard pond, butterfly garden, songbird habitat and others. These habitats educate people throughout the school community on the need to restore natural habitats, protect biodiversity of species and in the case of the preschool lessons to teach our young pre school children about animal life cycles.

FSK’s connection to the outside community includes a variety of service learning projects currently underway at Carroll County Parks Hashawha Environmental Center. This connection also enhances the instruction of FSK students by input from the Carroll County Outdoor School teacher unit. We have many environmentally conscious community partners affiliated with our school. FSK environmental education program uses community businesses like Wakefield Valley Nursery for purchasing supplies for the habitat restoration process. Mr. Granville Hibberd conducted sessions dealing with the history of natural environment during the stream assessment trips. Such community connections are an important component of our environmental success at Francis Scott Key High School.

Please consider joining us in the FSK Green School cause! You can help by reducing your water use, reusing the backs of paper, and recycling paper and plastic products – all move us toward ensuring our ecosystems health. 

For more information on this statewide educational inititiative you may visit the following site:

Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.