National Recognition for Boise School District

Boise School District Named National Leader Twice In Efficient & Healthy Schools Program
Posted on 04/29/2024
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Boise School District Named National Leader Twice In

Efficient & Healthy Schools Program


Boise, ID -- 04/29/2024 -- Boise School District has been named one of the top schools in the nation for improving energy efficiency and for supporting healthy schools as part of the Efficient and Healthy Schools Program. The national program recognizes schools by highlighting best practices and exemplary solutions to improve energy performance and indoor air quality. Nationwide, only 13 K-12 school districts were honored, receiving 15 total awards. Of those 15 awards, Boise School District received two notable achievements in the Data Detective and Solutions Strategist categories.


Boise School District leaders applaud the efforts that led to today’s national recognition. “This recognition is a testament to our commitment to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students, as well as our dedication to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact, said Coby Dennis, superintendent, Boise School District. 


“The improvements made through our District’s sustainability efforts have not only driven down energy costs, but the results have positioned Boise Schools as a leader on a national scale. I congratulate and praise the hard work of our staff and students in achieving this national recognition. We are honored to be recognized for our efforts and will continue to strive towards creating a better future for our students and planet.” 


The Efficient and Healthy Schools Program is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Education that provides recognition and technical assistance to school districts across the nation seeking to implement high-impact indoor air quality and efficiency improvements that will reduce energy bills and improve student and teacher health. The program also engages supporters such as designers, engineers, consultants, manufacturers, and program implementers, to better support schools that are investing in efficient and healthy schools. 

Boise School District received recognition in the Data Detective category based on our demonstrated best practice to assess, benchmark, and utilize building data to prioritize school improvements. Boise Schools initiated a greenhouse gas study for 51 schools and 82 buildings. The study was initiated with a local environmental consulting firm, Warm Springs Consulting, and was supported by advisory groups. (The adjacent photo shows district Green Team Leads receiving professional development in the process and results of the greenhouse gas audit.) 


“By conducting comprehensive greenhouse gas inventories and implementing sustainability initiatives, we are not only reducing our carbon footprint but also enhancing the well-being of our students and staff,” said Boise School District Sustainability Supervisor Alison Ward. “Improved energy efficiency measures such as upgrading lighting systems and optimizing building insulation, contribute to better indoor air quality and thermal comfort, creating spaces conducive for students and staff to thrive.” 


Boise Schools also shined in the Solutions Strategist category, where we gained national recognition for plans and committed goals to achieve sustained and long-term improvements of our school buildings. The District has tracked significant energy conservation and has leveraged incentives for energy upgrades for nearly six years. Through a partnership with Idaho Power, the District now tracks energy savings and works with facilities managers, custodians, and teams of students known as “green teams” to implement best practices. In addition, nine of our District’s secondary school campuses have received the U.S. Department of Energy’s 50001 Ready Program recognition, a widely regarded energy-management system. 

One of the ways Boise School District engages its internal network to conserve energy is during autumn and spring break periods, when most of our buildings are empty or have much lighter traffic. During these breaks, the District’s “Green Teams” encourage everyone at each location to help unplug and shut down energy usage thoroughly. The District tracked electricity savings of 246,326 kWh during spring break of 2024, compared to the week prior, when school was in session. That is an average of 40% savings across the District's campuses and is equivalent to the average annual electricity usage of approximately 23 U.S. homes. (The adjacent photo shows Green Team members from Hawthorne Elementary, who have dubbed themselves The Earth Nerds, analyzing hourly energy heat maps to help inform their team and staff about the opportunity to do a better shutdown before weekends and breaks. Photo Credit: Misha Smith, 6th grade teacher, Hawthorne Elementary)


In 2021, the Boise School Board of Trustees passed a Collective Commitment to Clean Energy, and has been involved in moving forward the District’s sustainability efforts. 


“Our School Board feels like we need to be a responsible member of the community and that means we need to use resources responsibly,” said Trustee Nancy Gregory. “We need to be mindful, number one, of the budgetary impact of not being more sustainable. We use taxpayer dollars and we want to be responsible for those dollars in a way that creates a climate of learning and teaching so that students understand what we’re doing. We’re making our world a better place together.”


Sustainability efforts are continuing in the Boise School District, where just this month, a Sustainability Leadership Summit was held to plan out a five-year roadmap of new and continuing efforts districtwide. The District’s work is supported by the Center for Green Schools and the Green Schools National Network. 


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Efficient and Healthy Schools Program was a highlight in the White House Summit for Sustainable and Healthy K-12 School Buildings and Grounds, livestreamed on Friday, April 26, 2024. 


Boise School District is a high-performing, nationally-recognized, comprehensive public school system committed to academic excellence, student well-being, and preparing students for success in college, career and citizenship. With a diverse range of programs and a dedicated team of educators, Boise School District strives to empower every student to reach their full potential.


Boise School District serves approximately 22,400 students and employs 4,300 people, of whom 1,700 are certified staff. In the district, there are 33 elementary schools, 8 junior high schools, and 5 senior high schools. We offer a variety of specialized programs, from Montessori, Dual Language, Full-Day and Highly Gifted programs at elementary, District-wide Full-Day Kindergarten, to the Treasure Valley Math and Science Center, Dennis Career & Technical Center, and the state’s preeminent Advanced Placement program at the secondary level. Boise Schools offer the educational access and experience students need to be successful.

The results are impressive:


  • Boise, Borah, Capital and Timberline High Schools recognized as being among our nation’s top high schools by U.S. News & World Reports and Jay Mathews High School Challenge Index (formerly known as the the Newsweek & Washington Post list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools).
  • Our students outperform Idaho and the nation on standardized tests, college entrance exams and Advanced Placement testing.
  • Our college-going rate (73%) is one of the highest in the state and exceeds the state.
  • More National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists than any other District in the state.
  • Nationally recognized music program.
  • Nationally recognized career and technical education program.
  • Nationally accredited AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Demonstration School.
  • Some of the state's highest performing elementary & secondary schools.
  • Countless statewide and national recognitions for individual schools, students and staff.
  • 25 Advanced Placement course offerings, providing thousands of secondary students with rigorous and relevant coursework to prepare them for college and career success.
  • Committed to preparing students for success in college, career and in life. 
  • High quality teaching staff - 75% of our teachers hold a Master’s Degree; and almost 50% of our teachers have 11 years of experience or more.  

Discover how Boise School District is Educating Today for a Better Tomorrow at