Sustainability

Limestone Learning Foundation

The Limestone District School Board is committed to reducing our ecological footprint in a fiscally and socially responsible manner through various initiatives. It is critical that we help students and staff understand how our individual and collective behaviour affects the environment, and how environmentally responsible lifestyles can contribute to healthy, sustainable ecosystems.

Environmental education is a vital tool that helps young people understand the nature and complexity of environmental challenges and builds their capacity to take appropriate action. In our work toward fostering understanding of environmental education and a sustainable school system, we strive to provide leadership to our broader community and to seek leadership within the same. 

The Board has undertaken several system changes (in both curriculum and facilities) to help progress environmental education and action in the Board, and plan for long-term environmental sustainability. The Board also has an Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) that provides an avenue for community involvement and receives advice and input from the community. The committee may make recommendations to the Board regarding the establishment and development of education programs and practices of the Board that are related to environmental sustainability.

Eco Schools

Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education program building on student success in academics and environmentally responsible actions to save energy, minimize waste, and green school grounds. The certification component of the program gives schools a means to establish environmental benchmarks and a scoring system to assess their environmental performance.

To become certified, a school must complete an application and provide supporting documents that demonstrate achievement in at least four key areas: ecological literacy, energy conservation, waste minimization and school ground greening. Schools apply for certification annually. Schools that successfully complete a certification application may be visited by an auditor to verify their application. Both elementary and secondary schools may become certified EcoSchools.

Energy

The Board has taken several steps to reduce its overall energy consumption and electrical demand.

Where possible, Facility Services has installed energy efficient lighting in all schools and sites. The Board has several energy efficient initiatives in place including the use of biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps, solar thermal systems and solar panels. Several schools also feature power monitoring equipment that allows users to view live and historical electrical data in attempts to reduce use where possible.


All newly constructed schools feature: state-of-the-art ventilation with air conditioning and heat recovery systems to reduce lost energy; high levels of insulation and high performance glazing systems; improvement of natural daylight and reduce reliance on artificial lighting; lighting sensors and occupancy sensors throughout; building automation systems to optimize energy use; use of low VOC paints and adhesives to improve indoor air quality; and high use of local and recyclable building materials.

The Board also takes part in awareness initiatives such as Earth Hour every March to help raise awareness of climate change and the importance of energy conservation. Typically, about half our schools participate by turning off any unnecessary lights for the duration of their lunch hour or at the end of the school day.

Energy Conservation Demand Management Plan

The Limestone District Schools Board’s 2019 five-year Energy Conservation Demand Management Plan has been created using Ministry guidelines. The Green Energy Act mandates all broader public service entities to submit an Energy Conservation Demand Management Plans (ECDMP) every five years. The 2019 plan outlines the changes in utility usage, such as electricity, natural gas, propane and oil over the past five years across all school and board operated facilities. 

Outdoor Play and Learning Environment 

Everyone benefits from a well-designed school ground. As such, the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) has partnered with Evergreen to develop guidelines and an approvals process to assist schools in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of school ground enhancements. 

These guidelines give school communities, including administrators, teachers, custodians, parents and design professionals, a common understanding for discussing, planning, and implementing outdoor play-learning environments. Based on a set of design principles centered on meeting children’s developmental needs—physical, cognitive, social, and emotional – the guidelines encompass design ideas, construction details, and site management practices that incorporate innovation and long-term sustainability. While specific sections target specific developmental stages, the documents contain broad lessons that should be applied to a general planning and implementation process.

Schools interested in undertaking school ground improvements must submit an outdoor project request to their LDSB Facility Services Operational Supervisor prior to planning any work on their school grounds. Once received, LDSB and Evergreen will support  the planning and implementation of their school ground projects.


Recycling

Recycling signs and systems are available to help increase recycling within the Limestone school system. Schools currently recycle plastic, metal, cardboard, paper and various food packaging such as juice boxes and milk cartons.

In 2012, the Board also completed an organic waste collection pilot at Lancaster Drive Public School. Through a partnership with the City of Kingston, students collected the school’s organic waste using the existing residential green bin program. Because of the success of the pilot, all schools within the City of Kingston area able to participate in green bin collection year-round.


In an effort to reduce the use of single-use water bottles, the Board has installed at least one water bottle filling station at most every school in the district. Students and staff at schools are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to school.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.