Our Upper School building has been awarded LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Opened in the spring of 2009, the 45,000 square-foot building features state-of-the-art classroom space, university-level science labs, a great room and a music center. Future building projects on campus will be based on LEED standards.
The Jane Paterson Memorial Gardens includes two distinct areas. The wildlife habitat section includes established plants, with a growing native plant population. The goal of this area is to provide students with an outdoor learning environment that focuses on ecological issues such as native habitats, biodiversity and food chains. The vegetation provides shelter and food sources for campus wildlife and the various birds and butterflies who migrate through our area. Students from all grade levels utilize this area for scientific study.
Separate from this is the fenced-in food garden. Students explore plant life cycles, pollination, and food production. The girls start seedlings indoors to be transferred outside in the spring. Of note is the Three Sisters' section of the garden. Here, second graders plant corn, beans, and squash in the spring and then harvest it as third graders as part of their Native American studies. Other grades plant herbs, lettuce, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers and other crops some of which are harvested throughout the growing season and used in our dining hall. Every class gets to participate in food tasting events when they harvest a crop. This garden-to-table experience brings the importance and convection of natural resources and scientific knowledge full circle.
Kent Place School uses Enviro Solutions products for its janitorial cleaning and maintenance. These products greatly improve the health and safety of the occupants, buildings and environment. All of these products are Green Seal certified and most are also Environmental Choice certified. All staff members are trained on dispensing procedures and use of these products and appropriate hardware. KPS also uses 100% non-V.O.C. paints in all buildings.
KPS is in the middle of an on-going project to convert campus lighting from incandescent and CFLs to high efficiency LED lighting. Major projects completed or underway include the Field House, Dining Hall, Mabie House and exterior campus lighting.
Kent Place has an ongoing relationship with Alstede Farms of Chester, New Jersey. This farm delivers fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to campus, which we then use in our food service program. This partnership also enables faculty and staff to participate in Alstede's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Through this arrangement, Kent Place students, faculty and staff benefit from healthy food while supporting a local, family-owned farm.
Kent Place recently joined 28 other schools across the nation to become a charter member of the EPA’s Green School Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium. The consortium is a collaborative effort between the Green School Alliance and U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership. KPS has been purchasing renewable energy for five years. In addition to these clean energy purchases we have a number of campus initiatives underway reduce our energy consumption and our carbon footprint. Science curriculum in our Middle and Upper Schools include sections on sustainability and sustainable energy.
Kent Place has transitioned from disposable products to reusable china, silverware and tumblers to reduce the amount of waste produced in our dining hall. A high efficiency commercial dishwashing system was installed, and necessary safety procedures were implemented to accomplish this effort. Batch cooking procedures are used to further reduce food waste, while also increasing freshness. In addition, a comprehensive composting program has been implemented to repurpose dining hall food waste as compost. Monthly composting reports are prepared and reviewed in order to minimize and reduce food waste.
Kent Place uses single stream recycling and bio-waste recycling in all campus operations. All glass, plastic and paper products are co-mingled and removed from campus for recycling. All food and biodegradable waste is combined and removed from campus to a recycling facility where it is made in to high grade top soil and mulch. Performance reports are shared with the entire school community to raise awareness and improve performance.
Walking the Walk is a group of faculty and staff who believes that true global awareness involves recognition of our use of Earth’s finite resources. The group works to educate and encourage best practices in such areas of sustainability as energy conservation, recycling, composting and water conservation. Walking the Walk recognizes that a key component to teaching students to be environmentally aware is maintaining integrity in our campus sustainability practices. Our goal is to encourage every member of the community to participate in this cause in her or his own way.
Environmental Club is a student-directed Upper School club with the goal of educating its members and the community about environmental issues, conservation and environmental initiatives on the KPS campus. The club meets on a bi-weekly basis during school hours in which student leaders lead discussions, organize events, collaborate with other clubs across divisions, and enjoy nature together. Past events include the Eco-boutique, Earth Day fair, composting and gardening, movie nights and designing and selling reusable water bottles to fund the installation of a Britta water bottle refilling station. The Environmental Club recently designed and installed a pollinator garden on campus.
Members of the Eco-Team participate first-hand in the sustainability initiatives of the Kent Place community. Students deepen their awareness of current ecological issues and develop a sense of empowerment as they brainstorm and design ways to give back to the earth and promote conservation efforts.
The Primary School Eco-Team is made up of dedicated fourth- and fifth-grade students, with interested third-grade students joining later in the school year. The girls help care for the science room animals, fill the outdoor bird feeders and work on the school's recycling commitments. They have also led the Green Cup Challenge and participated in local cleanups. The Eco-Team are members of the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots organization and are aware of local and global environmental groups and initiatives.
A college-level course focusing on the study of ecology, energy, resources, population and pollution, this course uses the basic concepts from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and geology to examine environmental problems. Students research the current status of many environmental issues and quantify their own energy and resource use. This course involves extensive field and lab work with environmental professionals and puts these concepts into a real world context.
That's our mantra in robotics. Try crazy things, be free with your ideas, and see what happens. If you're going to build the future, you'll need to be a pioneer. –Emma, seventh grade
LEAN INTO DIFFICULTY.
When it comes to academics, it pays to challenge yourself. I'm in the Bioethics Symposium, presenting research on the ethics of genetically-enhanced intelligence. At times it's daunting—research, deadlines, time management—but it's also a whole new way of thinking. Very independent and "you-driven." –Isabella, sophomore
OWN YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
It's one of the "conversation norms" we have at Kent Place, and it's always resonated with me. Everyone has a different and equally valid perspective to bring to the table—so put yourself out there. –Mary, senior
DON’T THINK YOU’RE GOING TO GET A LABEL.
There are no jocks here at Kent Place, no science geeks, no theater nerds. Last month a varsity athlete went to sing at the Vatican. Everyone here has some unique quality — and they’re amazing at what they do. –Claire, senior
MATH COMES FROM YOU
When you've computed something for yourself, the story is different. The girls here feel like the math is coming from them, rather than from a textbook. You won't hear a Kent Place girl ask, "What answer are they looking for?" The girls are looking for their own answers, and they're on their own path. –Dr. Ralph Pantozzi, Mathematics Department Chair
GET READY FOR RIGOROUS WORK.
And multiple extracurricular activities. Busy days, and a few late nights. But through it all, don’t lose your sense of fun. –Alessandra, junior
KPS alumnae are amazing. I met one alumna after a math and science panel who works in retail architecture. That made me think about a cool way to combine two of my interests — math and fashion. –Amber, junior
YOUR TIME AT KPS IS GOING TO OPEN UP OPTIONS YOU HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT.
And when it's time to choose, you're going to know yourself so well, you'll pick the college that's the best fit for you—academically, socially, personally. So don't get tunnel vision. This is your process. Just know that you'll be ready! –Jennifer Simpson, Director of College Advising
SOLVING PROBLEMS IS A JOURNEY, ENJOY THE RIDE!
In the Middle School we do a Science Expo—either two or four people work on a science project for a couple of months and then present it to the entire class. We go into some in-depth projects and it’s incredible what we learn along the way, and how willing our teachers are to help us through the tough parts. –Toni Ann, eighth grade
SPEAK YOUR MIND.
Every girl here learns from an early age how to speak up and speak to adults. You never feel silly raising your hand, and you’re given lots of opportunities to speak publicly. I’m never shy about saying what’s on my mind. –Vittoria, fourth grade
ETHICS WILL CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE OUTLOOK.
Right away, we tackled questions of "right versus right." We're learning to look at every issue from both sides, which helps with everything from homework to friendships. –Elizabeth, eighth grade