GWC 4.0 K-12 Winning School


On Thursday, April 27, the Green Workplace Challenge team presented Central Catholic High School with the award for the K-12 Schools Competition!

With a total of 122 points, Central Catholic High School earned distinction as the winner of the GWC K-12 Competition. Congratulations on a strong finish and the collective effort among students and staff in engaging in a variety of actions!

Environmental Science/Biology Teacher, Cassandra Sirockman-Bell, shared some of the actions the students and staff have taken on:

"Central Catholic High School students began the GWC K-12 challenge by asking various members of the Central Catholic community to sign the “I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh” pledge. Students took the pledge a step further and wrote a sustainability pledge for the Central Catholic community. So far, 30% of the student body and faculty has agreed to live more sustainably inside and outside of school.

Various members of the Environmental Science course performed an energy audit and presented their findings to the administration. Other students worked together to encourage the student body to utilize the bike racks to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the Environmental Science Club has been focused on improving the amount of plastic, paper and cans recycled at Central Catholic.

Lastly, Central Catholic students scored highest in the areas of empathy and involvement. Students were eager to get the entire student body to participate in recycling programs throughout the competition, while being more conscious of the world around them and the diversity of the people on the earth!”

About The 2016-2017 K-12 Schools GWC 

The GWC for K-12 Schools is a brief 21-week challenge that empowers teachers, principals and students to participate in the Green Workplace Challenge. The 2016-2017 K-12 Schools Competition closed on February 28, 2017.

Thank You to the Participating Schools:

  • Central Catholic High School
  • Environmental Charter School
  • Gateway High School
  • Springdale Jr-Sr High School
  • West Allegheny School District
  • Woodland Hills Academy

What is the K-12 Schools GWC?

Just like the traditional Green Workplace Challenge, the K-12 GWC can be customized to your school, classroom and / or district’s needs. Choose from more than 150 actions to develop your individualized “game plan”. Actions are sorted into seven different categories:

  • Empathy, Inclusion and Social Equity
  • Employee & Student Engagement
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Materials Management
  • Transportation
  • Air Quality

School participants can focus on one category, or choose a few actions from each. Participants are welcome to focus only on the actions their group can complete (such as “Classroom Engagement & Education” actions for teachers and students), or participants can engage others in their school or district (such as your building’s Operations Manager) to complete even more actions. There are many ways to make a difference.

Why 21 weeks?

In many schools, each semester brings a whole new course schedule for students, making it difficult to continue some initiatives between semesters. Furthermore, schools typically have a very different level of building usage in the summer than during the school year. Our traditional year-long Green Workplace Challenge can be difficult for schools to engage with, because it doesn’t fit well with the academic calendar.

This year, Sustainable Pittsburgh created a special adaptation of the Green Workplace Challenge just for K-12 schools. While many actions are still related to building operations, the K-12 GWC also includes actions to engage teachers, students and the community around sustainability.