The Portsmouth School Board has recently completed a first reading of a sustainability policy which will help to further the school system's support for sustainable beliefs and practices.
Clipper Farm to School Grant
The Clippers Farm to School Grant is a USDA grant which wishes "to cultivate a strong farm to school program in the Portsmouth School district by focusing on personal, community, an environmental wellness, through education, as well as growing and procuring healthy, fresh, and local foods for our classrooms, cafes, and consciousness. The School Department currently has the planning grant.
For information can be found at NHFarmToSchool.org
All three elementary schools have recycling and composting in their cafeterias. Bike racks and school gardens are also located on school grounds. All have also incorporated try-its into the lunch menu from The Clipper Farm to School Grant.
Portsmouth Middle School
The Portsmouth Middle School was recently rebuilt it was constructed as a green building, making it more sustainable than it was previously. Made with green materials, the middle school has improved its water efficiency and uses renewable energy whenever possible. Improvements to air quality in the school has improved the indoor air quality and environment for students and staff which has increased its opportunities for a positive learning environment. The Middle School project followed the guidelines of the Northeast Collaborative for High-Performance Schools, a green building approach comparable to LEED certification, the most widely used green building rating system, for other buildings. In addition, Portsmouth Middle School has implemented eco-friendly automatic shutoff lights, Green Building Floor Tiles which are healthier for the environment, and eco-friendly automatic shut off faucets. Like the PHS, PMS has replaced disposable utensils and trays with reusable plastic and metal materials. The school’s gardens are growing each year to contribute more produce to the school lunches which are composted through Mr. Fox Composting. The school is now certified with the Collaborative for High-Performance Schools as a green building.
Portsmouth High School
In 2006 Portsmouth High School was rated as an energy smart school by the EPA, and from there only more good things have occurred. Portsmouth High School’s Environmental Change Organization (PHS ECO Club) has been working hard to ensure the school continues to increase its collective sustainability efforts. PHS ECO Club was established in 2004 with the unchanged mission to promote environmental awareness in a more sustainable high school. The club has approximately fifty members and is advised by science teacher, Kim McGlinchey. Thanks to the ECO Club, PHS has purchased and installed solar panels on the roof of the school that provide up to 30% of the building’s electricity. The array of 50 solar panels were acquired with the help of a grant from the Public Utilities Commission. As of last May, ECO Club was able to convince the school department to replace the styrofoam lunch trays with 100% compostable lunch trays. Compost bins have been set up around the school to reduce the amount of landfill waste generated by the school. The club also implemented three eco friendly hydration station water fountains that help to reduce the use of single use water bottles. ECO Club has been working alongside the gardening club to maintain and foster 12 garden beds located just outside the Clipper Library. Today, ECO Club is fundraising and accepting all donations for a $20,000 Permaculture Greenhouse that will be accompanied by a hydroponic irrigation system known as aquaponics. Donations to support this cause can be made payable to PHS, 50 Andrew Jarvis Drive, Portsmouth, NH; attention ECO Club.