Boulder Valley School District

New digital tool provides a snapshot of BVSD’s sustainability efforts to spur action and learning

Susan Cousins

En Español

This past fall, BVSD’s Office of Sustainability introduced the Sustainability Dashboard, a new tool for tracking and viewing data related to the district’s sustainability efforts. The digital dashboard shows what sustainability efforts are happening at schools across the district, along with the utility use for each school, and how each school compares to other BVSD schools. 

The dashboard has been available to schools since the fall, and recently became available to parents and the public on BVSD’s website. A short video on the welcome page teaches users how to navigate the website. 

“Our goal with the dashboard is to recognize and celebrate all of the sustainability work happening at the schools,” Sustainability and Energy Officer, Dr. Ghita Carroll explained. 

“The tool shows how the actions schools are taking connect to BVSD’s sustainability plan and which metrics we are tracking to report on progress.” 

According to Carroll, the dashboard is connected to the greenBVSD Action Plan and is specifically linked to the leadership goal of collecting and reporting consistent data related to healthy, equitable, and sustainable schools best practices.

The action plan, which launched in 2021, builds on previous sustainability efforts and sets the course for the district’s work around sustainability for the next five years. The plan focuses on taking action and creating the systems needed to collect data to assess progress and make decisions in four strategic priority areas: leadership; facilities and operations; curriculum and instruction, and climate and culture. 

The action plan identifies long-term overarching goals; as well as indicators and measures that will be used to assess progress. To align with the plan, the Sustainability Dashboard is organized to report on efforts in the priority areas.

The data reports progress in metrics such as utility usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste diversion as well as the status of other sustainability efforts such as participation in the annual energy challenge, use of sustainable transportation, or having an active green team. 

“We hope that seeing quantifiable outcomes of their efforts will inspire students and schools to take action to move the needle on specific metrics,” Carroll commented. 

Under the curriculum and instruction focus of the action plan, BVSD is working to identify how and where sustainability topics can be integrated into common instructional units at each grade level. This work is just beginning and is not yet reported in the Sustainability Dashboard.

“This is a great opportunity to think about how we can design learning around the data we are collecting at all levels,” explained Erin Greenwood, BVSD PK-12 Science Coordinator.

According to Greenwood, although the Dashboard is still fairly new, a few schools have reached out to inquire about how they might use it to create lessons. The easily-accessible data supports not only learning about sustainability, but also how to interpret and work with data. 

Learn more about BVSD’s sustainability efforts on the greenBVSD website


Recent Stories