A U.S. Department of Education official toured Grand View Elementary in Manhattan Beach Monday as part of its California leg of “Education Built to Last” Facilities Best Practices Tour, which features public Green Ribbon Award Schools that exhibit best practices in school building and grounds design, construction, operations and management to support health, environmental literacy, energy efficiency and cost savings.
Members of the Manhattan Beach City Council, district board of trustees and local environmental education groups joined the hourlong tour through campus, featuring highlights such as the garden, a composting station and a recycled lost-and-found station.
Grand View Elementary was one of five schools in California visited by the department. Other stops included Journey School in Aliso Viejo, Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale, Longfellow Elementary School in Long Beach and Charles Evans Hughes Middle School in Long Beach.
Grand View Elementary principal Rhonda Steinberg leads the group, including Manhattan Beach Unified School District board clerk Penny Bordokas, board president Ida VanderPoorte and Mayor David Lesser, on a tour through campus.
Grand View fifth graders Olivia Arensdorf, Sarah Fong and Colin Tournat illustrate how to pack a trash-free lunch.
U.S. Department of Education’s ED-Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken (center) and the group engage in the “green” fifth graders’ presentation.
Fifth grader Colin Tournat illustrates how to sort trash after a meal.
Inside the school, Principal Rhonda Steinberg shows a lost-and-found closet built by a parent. Every three months, unclaimed items are recycled into Good Will.
Pamela Salzman of Growing Great explains that students plant the garden twice a year. Produce is sold at the school’s farmers market, from which profit goes right back into cultivating the garden.
The tour group visits Mrs. Mushet’s first grade classroom, where non-toxic cleaning supplies and brown compostable paper towels are discussed.
First grader Neve Gebhardt illustrates the compost area, where fruits, vegetables and brown paper towels are turned into soil.
Members of Grand View’s Earth Club, which includes 40 fifth graders, discuss lunch time recycling.
Principal Steinberg explains that since the walking school bus began three years ago, 85 percent of students–an increase of some 35 percent–now opt to walk, bike or scooter to school.