Green Schools Initiative

Kearney Public Schools is committed to going GREEN!

In January 2014, KPS established the Green Schools Initiative, representing the district's collective efforts to be a good environmental steward and use resources in a wise and sustainable manner. The Green Schools Initiative began with the development of the KPS Sustainability Master Plan, which identified goals and strategies in four key areas: energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction + recycling, and employee engagement.

Via the Green Schools Initiative and the implementation of the identified strategies, KPS will become a "greener," more sustainable school district. A district that is fiscally responsible and maintains an excellent learning environment, while generating less waste, being more energy and water efficient, limiting the use of toxic chemicals, and demonstrating a culture committed to environmental responsibility.

Leadership Support

Kearney Public Schools
Board of Education Sustainability Statement

Embodied within the mission of Kearney Public Schools is a dedication to help our students develop into good citizens that are responsible, contributing members of our society. And part of what defines a good citizen is one that uses resources in a wise and efficient manner, otherwise defined as using our resources in a sustainable way.

The actions we pursue are a collection of focused efforts to help meet our educational goals by wisely using our resources and concurrently demonstrating environmental stewardship to our students, staff, and community.

Kearney Public Schools seeks to serve as a positive role model for our community and our students; our efforts to be resource efficient further solidify our stature as a community leader, as well as demonstrate the type of behaviors and commitment to environmental stewardship that will help students develop into responsible and contributing members of our community.

"As it aligns with our system's mission, KPS will continue to serve as a good role model for our community and our students, and the Green Schools Initiative presents an exemplary opportunity for us to do this while also reducing our environmental impact and saving financial resources."  Dr. Kent Edwards, KPS Superintendent



Green Teams

School-based Green Teams play a vital role in the KPS Green Schools Initiative. Fortunately, almost every KPS school has a Green Team, which are led by talented Green Team Champions (volunteer co-coordinators) who help facilitate the team and coordinate activities. The activities can vary from school to school, but they often involve students and contribute to reducing energy use, water use, and/or waste production. As a result of these activities, Green Teams help their respective schools limit their environmental impact and demonstrate good environmental stewardship.

A contact list for the KPS Green Team Champion was updated in fall of 2016. For additional information on KPS Green Teams, please email

KPS Cares!

87% of recently surveyed KPS employees indicated that it is important to them that the district is committed to environmental stewardship and conserving energy and resources. KPS employees indicated that it is important to them that the district is committed to environmental stewardship and conserving energy and resources.

KPS Green Schools Challenge

The 2016-2017 KPS Green Schools Challenge (GSC) involves completing various activities that help individual buildings and the district as a whole be more environmentally responsible. The activities provide the opportunity for staff and student involvement and primarily focus on simple changes that reduce energy waste and material waste and increase staff and student sustainability engagement.

Three recognition/incentive levels are incorporated into the GSC to reward schools for their active involvement. Schools achieve these levels of recognition by completing activities and earning participation points.
  • Level 1 (Green Performance) = 20-40 points. The school earns a framed certificate of recognition.
  • Level 2 (Green Achievement) = 41-60 points. School earns a small award banner and $150 for Green Team activities next school year
  • Level 3 (Green Excellence) = 61+ points. The school earns a large award banner and $350 for Green Team activities next school year. The Green Team's efforts may also be highlighted on an NTV segment/commercial. Additionally, all schools that achieve Green Excellence are entered into a drawing for $650 to spend on district-approved items that help reduce waste or energy (e.g., recycling containers, energy smart power strips, etc.).
Visit the GSC webpage to learn more about the resources and details of the 2016-2017 KPS Green Schools Challenge.

Tracking the District's Overall Progress

Monthly Green Progress Report -- A report that displays each school's progress with the goals/categories of the overall KPS Green Schools Initiative (energy efficiency, waste/recycling, and water consumption).

The KPS dashboard shown below helps the district track progress toward its overall sustainability goals, which were adopted in January 2014. Click on the tabs/icons below to see the district's progress in the areas of recycling, waste reduction, energy use, water use, and sustainability engagement.


Energy Star

As shown in the dashboard above, KPS uses the EPA's Energy Star program to assess and communicate how energy-efficient the district's buildings are. Energy Star provides a rating from 1 to 100. Higher scores are better, and a rating of 75 or above makes a K12 school eligible to apply for a national Energy Star award. Energy Star also accounts for variables such as weather, building size, and hours of operation. In doing so, it allows KPS to not only compare its buildings, but it also allows for national comparison with other schools and districts.

The Energy Star rating for the KPS district is 75.7 as of March 2017. The goal is to achieve a rating of 85. The new KHS will have a rating in late 2017. 

To view the Energy Star ratings for specific KPS schools, please click here.



KPS Green Schools Challenge & Related Resources: This webpage explains the details, awards, and resources connected to the 2016-2017 KPS Green Schools Challenge.

KPS Energy, Waste, & Water Conservation Guidelines: This comprehensive document outlines the best practices for operating a resource-efficient building.

KPS Sustainability Master Plan: This plan explains the district's sustainability goals and strategies covering 2013-2018.


  • Pesky Plug Load: A Guide for Turning Off & Unplugging Devices: This resource explains which devices should be turned off or unplugged when not in use. If printing, please note that this poster is 11"x17". 
  • KPS Small Appliance Guidelines: This document provides strategies for helping reduce the use of certain appliances (e.g., space heaters) and guidelines for their use when they are necessary.
  • KPS Energy Savings Incentive: This document is for school administrators and explains the KPS Energy Savings Incentive program, which entails a school keeping a percentage of the financial savings achieved if weather-normalized energy use is reduced over the course of the fiscal year.

Waste Reduction & Recycling


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