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Somerville Elementary School achieves Sustainability Certification

Somerville Elementary School in the Ridgewood school district has met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. This school forms part of a group of 147 schools that achieved the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2020.

“I am thrilled that we have earned a designation as a Sustainable School - Bronze Level, said Lorna Oates-Santos, principal of Somerville Elementary School. “The team of teachers and parents who worked hard to document the robust initiatives at Somerville School are committed to continuing to reflect on our practices and refine our work around how we both educate all in the community about the impact we have on the health of the environment and the power we have to make positive change around us! We believe that this work is not a temporary activity but, rather, planting seeds for lifelong practices that honor a healthy coexistence of humans and nature!”

Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for prekindergarten through 12th grade public schools in New Jersey, is voluntary, but achieving certification takes commitment and collaborative effort. Each school that is certified at the bronze level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced


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portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, attaining a minimum of 150 points. This year, six schools achieved certification at the more advanced silver level which requires a minimum of 350 points of sustainability actions.

Review the list of schools that achieved certification in 2020: 2020 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certified Schools. To see each school’s complete certification application, visit: Participating Districts and Schools. Currently, a total of 969 schools and 352 school districts are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program overall.

“We were not sure what to expect after this difficult year, but the response has been inspiring. We’ve seen an increase in the number of certified schools since last year,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “I commend the teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students for their commitment and vision for the future. Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement and these schools are leading the way to a more sustainable New Jersey, right when we need it the most.”

The Ridgewood Public Schools, committed to a tradition of excellence and innovation, deliver a high-quality education focusing on maximizing the potential of every learner. As the largest school system in Bergen County, the district comprises ten schools and serves over 5,600 students. The Ridgewood Public Schools are continually recognized on state and national levels for school and individual achievements.

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