KLSD is committed to Sustainability

KLSD sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Education with the mission of educating for a sustainable future by focusing on district campuses, community and curriculum. The committee's goals include: 

  • reducing the district's environmental impacts

  • promoting awareness of environmental and sustainability issues among our community

  • encouraging consideration of sustainability in individual and collective decision making.

2023-24 Sustainability Committee

Board of Education Members: Rory Burke, Chairperson, Julia Hadlock, Bill Swertfager

Community Members: Girish Behal, Steven Lichtin, Megan Oliver, Daniela Rapisardi, Kim Rosenberg, Mark Thielking. Steven Wysmuller

Administration: Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools; Julia Drake, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction; Lisa Herlihy, Assistant Superintendent of Business; Mike Lavoie, Director of Operations and Maintenance

Staff: Melissa Brady, Staff Developer

Recent Stories of Sustainability #KLgreen

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Presentation to Board of Education April 16, 2024

Presentation to Board of Education, April 25, 2023

A timeline of KLSD Sustainability Committee's Achievements

 KLGreen logo2007-2008: KLSD Board of Education appoints a Sustainability Committee to methodically move towards the goal of integrating sustainability into the curriculum K-12.

  • The district -wide composting initiative—one of the first in the county and state—is set in motion in individual classes at Katonah Elementary School (KES).

2008 - 2009:  The Sustainability Committee conducts a district-wide greenhouse gas inventory. KLSD is one of the first school districts in the nation to do so. 

  • The Board of Education approves the Committee's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the district by 20% by 2015. 
  • The district receives a grant from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to upgrade all school buses with particulate filters. 

2011 - 2012: The district commits to a seven million dollar, district-wide energy performance contract through summer of 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

  • KLSD hires an energy manager to implement the plan to replace the district's ancient power plant, upgrade windows, improve insulation, change to LED lightbulbs and install automatic light switches, as well as other initiatives. 
  • All classes at KES participate in food scrap composting. KES receives a Green Award from the Town of Bedford and is also selected for a grant from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling Green Schools Grant program.
  • The operations and maintenances staff is trained in caring for grass with a compost tea rather than pesticides and on using certified green cleaning products. 

2012 - 2013:  All KLSD elementary schools take their food scraps out of the waste stream. 

  • Other school districts take notice of the project and visit Katonah-Lewisboro to learn more about its sustainability practices. Two districts begin pilots based on the example provided by KLSD.

2013 - 2016: John Jay Middle School implements the food scrap composting program grade by grade.

  • John Jay High School's Sustainability Club was awarded a grant from NYSAR3 so that the club can expand on the programs that they have started. 
  • Town of Bedford Conservation Board announces that KES and KLSD will jointly receive the 2014 Green Award for the positive impact they make in Bedford. 

2016 - 2017: KLSD reduced its greenhouse gas by 24% and its paper use by about 40%. 

  • The district replaces water fountains with water bottle filling stations in each school.
  • John Jay High School begins composting--making school composting a district-wide program. 

2018-2019: KLSD composted 11 tons of food scraps and approximately 160 tons of single-stream recycling.

2019 - 2020: District reduces overall greenhouse gas inventory by 13% through shifting to wind-powered electricity.

  • District contracts to purchase 100 percent certified green electricity through participation in an energy purchasing cooperative.
  • John Jay High School's Sustainability Club hosts first-ever Sustainability Week.
  • School cafeterias use compostable utensils. 

2020 - 2021: District installs off-the-grid wind turbines that power street lamps in transportation parking lot. 

  • District installs off-the-grid wind turbines behind John Jay High School which power street lamps and provide teachable moments.
  • John Jay High School's Sustainability Club awarded second place at Bedford 2030's Greenlight Awards for advocacy campaign.
  • A team of administrators, teachers and Sustainability Committee members attend "NGSS, Science Literacies, and Activism: A Science, Education, and Climate Change Institute: Grades 3-12" presented by the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project