Juniata Valley School District
The Juniata Valley School District in Alexandria, PA is a small, rural school district located in Huntingdon County. During the past several years, the district has greatly increased its Ecology instruction and curriculum and has worked diligently to become a more ecologically friendly school. Because of these things, the district has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a model site for Ecology and Environment instruction.
Major efforts, including the creation of a high school sustainability club and a k-12 ecology curriculum, have supported the district in this endeavor. Additionally, the district recently went through an extensive building project at the high school which has netted many ecologically friendly practices and structures. Last year, the high school and elementary schools recycled thousands of pounds of paper, plastic, metal and glass as part of the sustainability club's initiative to increase recycling. Students in the club collected bins of recycling from all classrooms and offices and moved them to a central location from which they were taken to a recycling center.
During a recent building renovation, the district utilized new technologies to greatly decrease the footprint of the high school. The district was awarded a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to pursue many options as part of the building project, and also worked with a consultant from the PennTAP program to ensure that best practices were used.
Porous pavement was used in the main parking lot to reduce storm water drainage issues. Electronic lighting was used in the building and the ceilings were lowered in many rooms and corridors to decrease the district's usage of electricity and fossil fuels.
While the district was not able to attain LEED certification due to the cost, they were able to utilize many tenets from an initial LEED evaluation in the final high school product. These changes have netted tens of thousands of dollars in savings annually for the district.
The district's mission statement says volumes about how the district approaches the environment as part of its curriculum and practices:
District Mission Statement:
Juniata Valley School District prepares our students for life by deepening intellectual understanding and fostering self-worth and respect for others consistent with the needs of our environment and the expectations of our ever-changing society.