Changes in behavior throughout the school include:
Reusable batteries placed in each classroom.
Motion-Sensing Lights are installed in bathrooms, the Sabbath Room, and the Teacher Workroom to reduce electricity waste.
Using daylight wherever possible. Skylights are installed in our hallways and cafeteria.
Giving students the responsibility of turning off the lights as they leave the classroom.
Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in the classrooms, negating the need for individual plastic bottles of sanitizer.
Our HVAC system has been designed to run at maximum energy efficiency, as well as maintain comfortable temperature ranges. The system is under constant supervision both onsite and remotely to ensure that is is kept at peack efficiency. We now have the capability to shut down areas not in use. The system has also eliminated the need for a hot water heating "loop" to heat the school, which reduces water usage as well.
Paper recycling bins are located throughout the school and in each classroom.
We recycle ink and toner cartridges from school use and also accept cartridges from the community.
Our entire staff is commited to helping our students be good stewards of God's gifts to us. We often discuss our Green Mission at staff meetings, which are attended by all teachers.
Audrey Hillman from the Adams County Master Gardeners presented a program on the importance of pollinators to our entire teaching faculty.
Members of the Frederick County Master Gardeners presented a composting program to our entire teaching faculty in March of 2017. We also invited any interested members of our school community.
Earth Day (April 22) is always a schoolwide celebration, with each class designing their own way to celebrate and share our efforts to take care of the Earth. Past celebrations include Great Gardeners Preschool Earth Day Activity and Every Day is Earth Day: the Musical!, performed by the school chorus.
Blessing of the Animals
An annual tradition at Mother Seton School is the Blessing of the Animals Service. Members of our school community
bring their pets to be blessed and celebrated. Taking care of God's creatures is another way that we can be good
stewards of the Earth!
Solar Eclipse Party
Catholic Schools Week
Each spring, our Pre-K students plant seeds as part of a unit on plants. Students learn about what a seed needs in order to grow into a flower or plant.
Students learn about the seasons at the Renfrew Institute for Cultural and Environmental Studies as they participate in the EarthSeekers program, a "year-long environmental education pgoram which ties the nature center, school, and home together to create a comprehensice learning experience." (Renfrew brochure)
Each year as first grade students learn about owls and seventh grade students learn about methods to gauge the health of ecosystems, they join together to identify animal bones found in owl pellets and create a display of the bones.
First graders also learn about endangered species, habitats, ecosystems, and the role we play in helping aniumals by caring for adopted manatees Howie and Jemp.
Students brainstormed ways to help the Earth prior to their Earth Day activities. Methods they thought of included recycling, saving energy, conserving water, and cleaning up trash. They then wrote a persuasuve paragraph on why the Earth is important to save and ways that this can be done.
Second graders also plant small gardens during Lent to take home. These Resurrection Gardens demonstrate the wonder of the Resurrection.
The Butterfly Garden and Monarch Waystation are important responsibilities of the second grade. Each year, students learn about life cycles as they hatch Monarch butterflies. Students keep journals as they watch the process of the life cycle occur.
Students visit Strawberry Hill Nature Center each year to participate in an interactive aquatic ecology program which introduces them to the tiny insects living in mud and under rocks in the water. Half of the pgoram is spent on the banks of the teaching pond with nets and identification guides, catching macro-invertebrates for up-close viewing on the ever popular "Bug TV."
The other half of the pgoram is spent on a stream study of Middle Creek or Swamp Creek where students will actually have a chance to get in the water. They also investigate who lives in the forests and elds of Strawberry Hill, waht roles the different species play in the econsystem, and what hapens whe they disappear through a guided expoloration of the Preserve's habitats.
Third grade students also plant and harvest pumpkins in a garden behind our school. After the harvest, students use them to explore mass, density, and circumference, as well as estimating and counting seeds. They then decorate them before bringing them home.
Students also study food chains as part of their science curriculum, learning about producers, consumers and decomposers.
Students visit the Rnfrew Institute for Cultural and Environmental Studies every year to participate in environment education programs. In the Home Sweet Home program, they take on the roles of various plants and animals as they learn about the three natural ecosystems of the park, eld, forest, and marsh. After learning and visiting those ecosystems, the students must decide which one is best for them to live in.
Students also participate in a program titled Four Squares: The Pennsylvania German Garden, where they learn all about what life was like on a farm in the 1800s. They spend hands on time in the garden while learning about the design and purpose of a four square.
Fifth grade students make Christmas ornaments using repurposed Christmas cards to learn about the difference between recycling and repurposing.
Students also learn about water conservaation in a cross-curricular unit, where they research and write about water conservation. They also create posters to hang near water fountains and sinks to remind everyone to not waste water.
Students learn about aquatic communities during their annual field trip to Stawberry Hill Nature Preserve. After collecting macro-invertebrates in the lake and in the stream, students get an up close look on the "Bug TV" so that they can identify what they found and learn about the health of the water that supports these little life forms.
Sixth graders also perform soil studies, bringing soil from home to compare with one another. Our school community is fairly geographically diverse, so soils are quite different. Students plant seeds to compare the soils, as well as conduct soul analysis to measure pH, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, as we study the importance of soil conservation.
Students learn to be good steweards of our creeks and streams by raising trout from eggs as participants in the Trout in the Classroom program. Mother Seton School has been raising trouts since 2011 as part of our ongoing commitment to helping our students understand our responsibilities as caretakers of God's creation.
They also study animal behavior, using worms from our Worm Farm to conduct simple experiments.
Students are invited to Mount St. Mary's University each year to participate in a Science Careers program where they explore Environmental Sciences as well as Chemistry and Biology.
The Eighth Grade Class also helps tend the rain garden that keeps oil and gas from the parking lot from reaching Willow Rill and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.