Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches made the grade in going “green” and earned the distinction of “Green School of Excellence” from the Florida Atlantic University Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. It was one of 66 public and private K-12 schools in Palm Beach County to receive the highest level of recognition for its green-friendly practices.
Oxbridge Academy science teachers Kate Kilian and Teresa Thornton accepted the award on the school’s behalf during the annual Green Schools Awards luncheon on Wednesday, May 1 at the Kravis Center. In addition to the honor, Oxbridge Academy received the Judge’s Choice Award and $250 “green seed money” prize.
The Green Schools Recognition Program honors schools for taking holistic and innovative approaches to going “green” by incorporating school ground enhancement, resource conservation, curriculum connections and community involvement with a school-wide commitment and focus on sustainability.
Over the past year, enhancements have been made to the 56-acre Oxbridge campus to make it more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Students studied the school’s energy efficiency and environmental stewardship and initiated a number of improvements, from replacing the florescent light bulbs to eliminating plastic water bottles in the cafeteria.
In addition to the campus improvements, Oxbridge has promoted students’ deeper understanding of environmental concepts through guest lectures, field trips and hands-on projects.
The school has hosted experts from FPL, Oxbow and the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, in addition to engaging students in various research projects at the Grassy Waters Preserve, the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, MacArthur State Park, the Pine Jog Youth Conservation Camp, the Everglades, the Lake Worth Lagoon and more.
The school also aims to reduce paper use. Students are issued personal computers, which they use to access online textbooks, check calendars for upcoming assignments or school events, view grades and report cards, and e-mail or video chat questions to teachers. Assignments are submitted, graded and returned online, and many teachers have students take tests online.
For more information about Oxbridge, call (561) 972-9600 or visit www.oapb.org.
ABOVE: Biology and environmental science teacher Teresa Thornton, sophomore Isabella Bergonzoli and chemistry teacher Kate Kilian.