The goal of the SEI K-12 schools division is to empower students, teachers, and administrators to become sustainability leaders who will transform their school communities. We strive to make it easy and affordable for schools to conserve resources, invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and engage students in project-based service-learning and leadership. Not only do we partner with districts to green buildings and facilities – we recognize and utilize these valuable opportunities to engage students in real-world learning, using their schools as learning laboratories. With an emphasis on fostering student leadership, our programs equip students with the knowledge and skills to become environmental leaders in their schools, homes, and communities. Our key services include education, conservation, and school facility support.
The SEI School team works collaboratively with schools and districts to support interdisciplinary, project-based sustainability education through curriculum, teacher training and direct instruction.
Greening our communities requires a dedicated workforce and we recognize the tremendous demand for qualified local professionals. By offering project-based curriculum aligned with the Common Core and Next Generation Science standards, as well as working together with industry and academic institutions, SEI is able to deliver green education programs and facilitate hands-on occupational training for high school and university students as well as un- and under-employed workers. Not only do we equip them with the skills they need to land jobs in the growing green sector, we offer them an opportunity to make a positive contribution to society with their work.
SEI provides teachers with hands-on technical training for sustainability education because we all learn better by doing! SEI offers in-person and online curriculum trainings to help teachers lead their students in applied service-learning projects such as conducting a School Energy Audit, School Solar Analysis, or Business Sustainability Assessment. Check out our News and Events for upcoming Teacher Trainings.
SUPPORT FOR TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION
SEI helps schools and teachers to provide technical sustainability instruction that is aligned with the state, Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards. SEI staff partners with teachers to deliver technical instruction in classrooms while providing on-the-job training for teachers.
At SEI we work with school communities to reduce their impact on the environment and operational costs through conservation campaigns. We facilitate the development of Green School Leadership Teams to set sustainability goals, design action plans, and implement conservation projects. We also host Energy Conservation Competitions and help schools plan and implement Sustainability Fairs.
GREEN SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAMS
SEI’s Green School Leadership Team model organizes teams of students, staff, and teachers to take action on resource reduction. The SEI Green School Leadership Team model was developed over a decade ago and has been refined with the feedback of hundreds participating school communities, generating significant outcomes: direct cost savings, quantifiable efficiency results, demonstrable changes in behavior, and empowered student leaders. Conservation initiatives led by Green School Leadership Teams have included school assemblies, conducting school energy audits, implementing school recycling and compost programs, student-made energy education videos, and more!
ENERGY CONSERVATION COMPETITIONS
In partnership with local utility companies and Lucid, SEI hosts three-week School Energy Conservation Competitions that engage students from all over California in reducing their school’s energy use. SEI provides schools with tools and other resources to monitor their real-time energy use, so that student environmental leaders can craft and test effective, measureable strategies for energy reduction. For example, in past Competitions, students were able to raise school-wide awareness through creative posters, PA announcements, and outreach to teachers to achieve a 6% reduction in their High School’s energy use.
SCHOOL-WIDE SUSTAINABILITY FAIRS
Sustainability Fairs are a great way to introduce students to the many facets of sustainability through diverse booths and activities. SEI has created a practical Sustainability Fair Guide that leads a student/teacher team in planning for and running a School-wide Sustainability Fair.
SCHOOL FACILITY UPGRADES
SEI works with school districts throughout California to make wise investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, helping to increase the cost-effectiveness and ease of planning these projects. SEI support districts with Proposition 39 planning in partnership with 3 other non-profits, acting as a consultant to schools and districts to access the most affordable and highest quality technical, administrative, financial, and procurement support at a subsidized cost. We also leverage this opportunity to enhance student learning by providing project-based curriculum, teacher training, direct instruction, and conservation support that utilizes schools as a learning laboratory for clean energy career skills development.
SEI provides curriculum and teacher training in the areas of energy and resource efficiency, climate change science, renewable energy, green transportation and green careers.
SEI and San Diego Gas & Electric® (SDG&E®) have partnered to provide high schools and districts with support to help reduce their energy bills and empower their students in the process. Energize Schools - San Diego provides holistic services to help high school communities green their facilities, conserve resources, and engage students in service-learning and environmental leadership.
MarinSEL is comprised of students, parents and educators from Marin County and beyond who are committed to building a vibrant community school within Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, California. MarinSEL provides youth with real world, field-based opportunities to build leadership skills while they become stewards of the environment.