The Portsmouth School Board has recently completed a first reading of a sustainability policy which will help to further the school system's support for sustainable beliefs and practices.
Clipper Farm to School Grant
The Clippers Farm to School Grant is a USDA grant which wishes "to cultivate a strong farm to school program in the Portsmouth School district by focusing on personal, community, an environmental wellness, through education, as well as growing and procuring healthy, fresh, and local foods for our classrooms, cafes, and consciousness. The School Department currently has the planning grant.
For information can be found at NHFarmToSchool.org
All three elementary schools have recycling and composting in their cafeterias. Bike racks and school gardens are also located on school grounds. All have also incorporated try-its into the lunch menu from The Clipper Farm to School Grant.
Portsmouth Middle School
When the Portsmouth Middle School was completed, the school became more sustainable than it was previously. Made with green materials, the middle school has improved its water efficiency, and uses renewable energy whenever possible. By doing so, the indoor environment for students' and staff has increased its opportunities for a positive learning environment. The project follows the guidelines of the Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools, which is comparable to LEED certification for other buildings. The School Department is currently pursuing a certification with the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.
Portsmouth High School
In 2006 Portsmouth High School was rated as an energy smart school by the EPA, and from there only more good things have occurred. The high school's Environmental Change Organization or ECO Club has completed a fundraising campaign and purchased solar panels (not yet installed), received funding from the Piscataqua Region Estuary Partnership to build a rain garden, and it has begun a program dubbed "Trashless Tuesdays" where volunteers compost waste left over from student's lunches. The club also holds various fundraisers throughout the year, and is looking to create a bee and butterfly garden at PHS within the next year, along with the building of a greenhouse, which has been designed by a PHS student.