Schools Get Funds for Going Green

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Several Newport-Mesa schools will be awarded a percent of the money they saved the district by participating in the Green Schools Program during the 2010-2011 school year.

The allocation of the funds was approved by the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board of education during their regular meeting on Tuesday.

The 14 schools that participated will receive a funds equaling 50 percent of the savings realized by the program, distributed on a pro rata basis, not to exceed $35.406. Among those being awarded are Eastbluff, Harbor View and Lincoln elementary, Ensign intermediate, and Newport Harbor high schools.

The total savings from the program was $70,812, the most being saved from a Newport Beach school, Newport Harbor High School, with $21,692. The schools will be awarded 50 percent of their savings, totaling $10,846 for NHHS.

Ensign, the only intermediate school participating in the program, saved $4,572. Sonora Elementary in Costa Mesa saved the most for the elementary schools, with $3,517. And the most saved from a Newport Beach elementary was $3,385 by Eastbluff Elementary.

The schools saved an average of 9.1 percent in energy costs, meeting the program‘s goal of between five and 15 percent in electricity savings compared to the 2009-2010 baseline year.

“This is an impressive amount of savings,” the staff report from Tuesday’s meeting stated.

Upon authorizing the program, the board approved the 50 percent return incentive for the participating schools.

The Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Schools Program is an incentive program funded by Southern California Edison ratepayers. The program has been around since 1999, but last year was the first year the district participated.

“The Green Schools Program strives to: Educate K-12 students, trains students about the importance of energy efficiency through hands on learning activities and STEM lessons correlated to CA standards, raise awareness and interest in green careers, and save schools energy and money,” according to the staff report.

For over four years, the board has promoted ways in which the district can positively demonstrate and shape constructive behaviors related to energy management and efficient resource allocation through the Conservation and Management Policy, according to the report, and the Green Schools program is just one way it can do that.

The board also approved a settlement with a former principal during the Tuesday meeting.

The settlement included $109,537.91 for permanent disability with a provision for future medical care, $8,500.00 for the out-of-pocket expenses and $40,000.00 for the retroactive temporary disability.

The now 60-year-old former NMUSD employee filed a continuous trauma injury from June 2002 through May 28, 2006, to the back, both knees, fibromyalgia, psych and internal from repetitive stress and strain. The employee was released as permanent and stationary on July 18, 2007 and July 10, 2008.

The funds will come from the workers’ compensation budget.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda was a contract and software license agreement with Transfinder, software that allows the district to track fleet management, work order scheduling, inventory tracking, vehicle maintenance management, and inventory reporting.

The agreement was approved, not to exceed $7,000, and will be effective from Sept. 29, 2011, until Sept. 28, 2012. The funds will come out of the transportation budget.

According to the staff report, the existing software no longer met the district’s needs.

The Transfinder Servicefinder Unlimited User Software License offers browser-based fleet management and inventory software, unlimited site license, work order scheduling, inventory tracking, vehicle maintenance management, maintenance and inventory reporting, and custom conversion. It also offers Software Training including unlimited online training for 12 months from the date of the agreement execution.

The System Maintenance and Support for the First Year includes unlimited technical support, software upgrades and program enhancements, unlimited custom report creation, and access to MyTransfinder – an exclusive training website.

Another agreement the board approved on Tuesday night involves armored car service with Brinks.

Previously, the Orange County Treasurers Office has handled the contracts for this type of service, and more recently, Orange County Business Bank, the district’s bank, has dealt with it.

The bank has requested the district to contract directly with Brinks for armored car service due to an internal risk management business decision by the bank and reasonable considering contracting best practices. Although Orange County Business Bank will still incur the charges for the service, the contract will reflect the District as a party to the contract.

The costs for Brinks is $99.59 per month, per safe for one pick up per week. The district operates five safes with one safe getting two pick-ups per week; the extra pick-up is $23 per pick-up. There is also a sliding scale fuel surcharge that ranges between 6.25 percent and 13.75 percent. The total monthly cost is expected to be about $650 per month, but will vary according to the price of fuel.

The board also approved the memorandum of understanding between the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the district.

The foundation has been a critical partner to the Newport Harbor High School culinary program for many years, according to the staff report. They have provided the program with student apprenticeships, scholarships, field trip funding and industry certifications.

CRAEF also provides the ProStart curriculum used in the culinary classes at the high school.

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