Healthy Schools/Environmental Hazards
Q: Do you support the creation of an interdepartmental task force to review and revise maintenance practices and materials policies to improve the health and safety of out students?
A: Yes. Not only do I support and "interdepartmental task force" I would like to see this group expanded to include members from outside the Loudoun County Pubic School system. It is my opinion that not only does the present school administration stifle creativity, innovation and resourcefulness; it dismisses input from parents, teachers, environmental experts and independent consultants. My candidacy is an attempt to call attention to their arrogance and incompetence.
A nice person by nature, Mrs. Godfrey, the current Chairwoman of the Construction, Finance and Site Acquisition committee has not demonstrated interest, awareness, or leadership in environmental prioritization and new school construction. Under her tenure, numerous schools have been designed or built. None really qualify as green. It is simply not a priority of the school administration and sadly therefore not an issue for Mrs. Godfrey. When Sym Van der Ryn said at the 2006 Green School Conference in Los Angles, that we have “lost connection between buildings and place, “ Mrs. Godfrey should have been there.
If I prevail in November election, I will request the School Board Chairman to appoint me as new Construction chair. In this seat I can begin to emphasize the 20 to 1 return on green school design. (Cap-e: Oct. 10, 2006 article from LCCSS links) From this seat, I can change the public and school administration misperceptions green schools cost more (68%), have few benefits (64%), and the benefits are vague (47%) (Turner: footnote 1).
Q: Please rank the following initiatives according to your priorities:
A: I inserted a few of my own. It appears to me they are just about in order already!
1. BAN sale of candy, soda, sweets (and ice cream) in schools. NPR had a nifty segment on childhood obesity Aug. 30.
2. Adopt a healthy snack policy. (including parents bringing in junk to give to other children. They cannot bring in tobacco or booze, so why should the distribution of processed sugars be permissible?)
3. Empower staff and faculty to guide students to eat healthy (LCPS policy is to refrain form suggesting eating habits. Staff and teachers should be empowered to guide students to better choices, and conversely, away from wasted calories. When I taught, I was admonished for asking a child to finish the lunch her mother made for her before buying ice cream. According to LCPS, I was out of line. This needs to change.)
4. Monitor food waste by students. Students should be educated about their food waste and the results of their decisions to throw away, visa-vie resulting insulin rebound and after school sugar cravings, and ethics when view via world hunger.
5. Initiate partnership with local farms and school food service. (cite: E Magazine, p.42 September/Oct. 2007 “The 100-Mile Diet”)
6. Incorporate in=school kitchen gardens and local economy education. (cite E Magazine, p.40 September/Oct. 2007 “Nature is the Best Medicine: More hospitals are incorporating healing gardens”)
7. Packaging literacy over remaining pair. (This is a terrific skill too few know how to use.)
8. Extend packaging literacy, in Spanish too, to parents.
9. meal preparation/selection workshop
Q.2 Will I initiate a review and follow-up to improve food services?
Yes. I worked as a lunch room monitor at Lincoln school and have spent many hours speaking with the food service staff. No one knows the frustration better than I about teaching healthy eating habits to elementary school children. It is at this level bad habits are cemented into their behavior. The waste and sugar addiction is mind boggling. I’ve taken out the trash.
Q.3 Yes, sustainability is a guiding principle to the food service curriculum.
Q: Would I support pro sustainable changes to the building standards to yield healthier environments (indoors and out)…..?
"Dear Mrs. Godfrey:
Please tell me how many schools (at all levels) have been designed, drawn, and constructed since 2004 in Loudoun County Virginia? How many are currently being built?
Which is the best example of a "green school"?
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "QBEEME@aol.com" <QBEEME@aol.com>
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 10:36:35 AM
Subject: Re: school question
Marti, I have forwarded your query to our construction department to make sure I have accurate information. The green school aspects of our current school models is being investigated by the Rehau company and we do not have the results as yet from that.
Mr. Randy Vlad will respond directly to you or I will get back to you.
Sustainable Schools Initiative
Q: Would I support the creation of a school system-wide sustainable schools initiative?
A: Yes. I would also include knowledgeable private sector parties to the table. It would take forever to re-tool the bureaucratic leviathan called LCPS to master this common sense issue. Farmers, planners, fishermen, sailors, hikers, (heck were on the AT) and recyclers could better express the needs, ways and fun in sustainable communities.
The greatest impediment is the bureaucracy. It is not the parents, they understand. It is not the corporation, they get it too. It is the school administration that would rather hold onto their control than be innovative. I am running for school board because the system is broke and broken. It is just as immoral and counter-productive for the school administrators to put their agenda above the community’s, as it is for industrialist to place their shareholders over their grandchildren.
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Thanks for reading all this. I invested considerable time responding. Let me know if I can clarify, or learn more. Appreciate the links you sent. They were very helpful. If I prevail, please help me become greener. We can do amazing things together.
School Board Candidate, Blue Ridge District
1.) Turner Construction Comp., 2005 Survey of Green Buildings: Cap-e.com website.