We work to foster the development of a global consciousness that will build a better world. In each classroom, a NASA image of our planet suspended in the blackness of space is present to remind us that we are global citizens. We recognize that all life is one, and the photograph shows the interconnectedness of all creation prompting us to take action.
Protecting the Environment
In an effort to maximize energy efficiency and minimize energy demands and emissions, Ancillae-Assumpta Academy installed solar panels on all available roof space at the Academy in 2012. Energy production has enabled the Academy to purchase 10.5% of its total energy usage from renewable energy resulting in significantly less carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Our energy costs are reduced since we supply energy to the grid. As an educational institution, the Academy endeavors to provide the example of responsible use of resources and alternative energy to our students. The website provided by our installer measures the daily and accumulative energy generated by the panels as well as the amount of noxious gases that are avoided.
Ancillae-Assumpta Academy also promotes sustainable practices by actively recycling materials. Embodying Cheltenham Township's sustainability goal of waste reduction, Ancillae enlists all faculty, staff, and students to purposefully recycle cooking oil, plastic, glass, metal, cardboard, paper, electronic equipment, ink containers.
Beginning in fall 2016, students began to compost in the Student Dining Room. All student, faculty and staff diners dispose of their waste into one of three containers: Compost, Trash and Recycling. Our actions make a difference! Our trash consumption has been reduced from four large (55-gallon) bags down to one bag. Our food and organics recycling supplier comes in one time a week to remove the compost, which then gets converted to fuel and animal feed, among other things. By actively promoting these practices, we deepen the sense of responsibility and reverence for the environment in our school community.
Leading with Education
Classes utilize the Outdoor Classroom for scientific endeavors and investigations and engage in age-appropriate lessons on ecology and the environment. Some examples of the curriculum include the introduction of biomes in grade 3, exploration of alternative and renewable energy in grade 4, the 7th grade study of the impact of the Technology Age with a major project designing a “green school” from blueprints to a virtual model utilizing SketchUp software, and the 8th grade investigation of the impact of weathering and soil erosion.
Ancillae students maintain four large, raised garden beds. Our students have actively participated in choosing, designing, planting and harvesting any herbs and vegetables that come from the garden. The garden’s harvest is then immediately incorporated into the school lunch program. In addition, three tower gardens live in the dining room and are used to grow herbs and vegetables. This experience allows our students to develop an appreciation and understanding of nature and of the interdependence of plants and animals through first-hand observation and interaction. Students attending Ancillae-Assumpta Academy fully appreciate the delicate balance of the earth’s resources, the necessity to carefully nurture those resources, and the importance of minimizing the negative impact on the environment.