Barnesville is proud to be one of only four independent private schools in Montgomery County certified as a Maryland Green School by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). To receive this distinction, Barnesville demonstrated achievement in three areas – curriculum and instruction, community partnerships, and best management practices.
Since receiving our certification in 2011 and the recertification in 2015, we have continued to adhere to the letter and law of what it means to be a Green School by weaving environmental education into our curriculum, cultivating green spaces for learning, seeking and maintaining community partnerships with local environmental organizations, and following best management practices for recycling and energy conservation.
The School’s administration and faculty continue to build a curriculum that develops students as good stewards of the environment. The children enjoy learning in the outdoor classroom, getting dirty in the raised bed garden, and exploring on School grounds. There are many ways for children to discover life and connect with nature:
- Barnesville has a school-wide partnership with Black Hill Regional Park to enhance outdoor and environmental education across our curriculum. Every month, one grade takes a field trip to Black Hill, and naturalists from the Park visit Barnesville to share their expertise with students. Park naturalists are also advising the school on its multi-year bird study for the School’s Field Guide that documents campus wildlife. You can read more on our blog.
- Barnesville participates in the GREEN CUP CHALLENGE sponsored by Green Schools Initiative each January and February. A Green Cup Committee of middle school students leads the entire student body through an energy reduction challenge. Tips are given during Morning Meeting about ways to reduce energy consumption and students monitor overall usage by reading the electricity meters each week. Percentage of reduction is calculated and shared with the School.
- Buddy groups hold a garden day during which students and their buddies spend time working together planting in the Raised Bed Garden.
- As a lead-in to the school-wide Earth Week celebration, students have created a video or skits about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Videos and skits are shown to the entire student body during a morning meeting.
- Every fall students have “Apple Wednesdays.” A nearby orchard provides locally sourced fruit for students to have as a healthy snack. Students learn about composting their apple cores and composting bags are placed in different areas of the School.
A Private School on the Agricultural Reserve
The Barnesville School is in the unique position of being the only independent private school located on the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve. Our location provides the ideal setting for connecting our students to the outdoors. We are able to integrate nature into our everyday learning by using this beautiful space as another classroom. Follow the links below to learn more about our innovative programs on the Ag Reserve.
- An Independent Private School on the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve
- An Independent Private Preschool on the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve
- An Independent Private Elementary School on the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve
- An Independent Private Middle School on the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve