SFUSD Showcases Climate Solutions in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Strides Tour
SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne and John O'Connell Construction Trades students and staff talk about climate solutions.
SFUSD schools were the first two stops on the 2023 Climate Solutions Green Strides Tour, which visited schools and districts in Northern and Central California Sept. 19-21 to highlight the innovative practices of honorees of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. SFUSD was named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School district in 2016.
A.P. Giannini Middle School hosted the launch event featuring speakers from SFUSD, the U.S. Department of Education, and California Department of Education. Guests enjoyed learning about the school’s green schoolyard, garden, and chicken coop thanks to APG student garden tour guides. Student solutionaries from Lincoln High School’s Green Academy and Youth vs. Apocalypse club, O’Connell High’s Construction Trades program and Lowell inspired attendees with their climate solutions projects such as portable solar charging stations for energy-insecure communities, bike-blended smoothies, a campaign to divest CalSTRS from fossil fuels, rainwater harvesting systems on campuses throughout the district, no idling zones, and more. District teams including the Environmental Science Center shared their work to increase access to local parks and traditional ecological knowledge while Student Nutrition Services served a tasting menu and elevated their goal for locally sourced scratch cooking with all reusable plates and cutlery. SFUSD students and alum represented community-based partner Foodwise as staff with hands-on activities and food security education. Other partners in attendance included SF Environment, SFPUC and SEI who support climate resilience education and facilities efforts in SFUSD.
A glimpse of A.P. Giannni's school garden
Students from Abraham Lincoln High School's Green Academy make smoothies on a bike.
Attendees walked down the block to Sunset Elementary where students showcased food from their garden, an outdoor learning space, and irrigation systems.
SFUSD has one of the highest diversion rates of any public school district in the country at 75%, thanks to its partnership with the SF Department of the Environment and Recology. Schools are working toward a diversion rate of over 85 percent by 2025. The district promotes green transportation alternatives via its Safe Routes to School program at 37 school sites. Middle-school biking rates are up 600 percent over the past six years, and over 60 percent of high schoolers take public transit.
Sunset Elementary students talk about the irrigation system in their schoolyard.
Since 2010, the district has decreased water use by 35%. In partnership with the PUC, SFUSD has installed solar technology on eight schools. Another three schools are Zero Net Emission Ready. SFUSD reallocated $14 million of 2016 General Obligation Bond funds to improve schoolyards and expand Outdoor Learning Classrooms at almost 60 schools. In Bond funding alone, the district has invested $34 million to build climate resilient schoolyards, creating green spaces at over 90% of schools.
SFUSD’s commitment to Climate Resilience encourages students to activate their agency through climate action which reduces carbon emissions, mitigates eco-anxiety, increases academic achievement, prepares them for innovative climate-professions, and gets the district’s communities closer to climate justice.
SFUSD's Environmental Science Center shared their work to increase access to local parks and traditional ecological knowledge.
Learn more from SFUSD students and staff at the Green Strides Tour in this KCBS Radio story, and in Local News Matters.
This page was last updated on September 25, 2023