Rainbow Community School, Asheville, NC

Rainbow Community School 

The first NC Green School of Excellence, 2013-14
Renewed NC Green School of Excellence, 2014-15
Lead Teacher: Cynthia Calhoun (2013-14)
Lead Administrator: Sandra McCassim (2014-15)

"Rainbow Community School has, as part of its mission, an academic program that revolves around integration of nature, science, and the environment.  From outdoor physical education classes and recycling, to water conservation and consciously cultivating a wildlife habitat, Rainbow Community School actively strives to build a compassionate and environmentally sustainable school."

Sustainable School features include: 
  • Butterfly Row building constructed using passive solar design with energy efficient lighting; no electricity using air conditioner
  • The school utilizes the trees to aid in its passive solar design: the trees provide lots of shade in the summer and reduce heat to campus buildings and let plenty of line through in the winter to help heat buildings
  • Rain barrels on campus irrigate campus gardens and reduce water consumption
  • 5th graders bring compostable materials (i.e. food) to round composting bin, the worm composting bins or to the regular composting bins 
  • Rainbow has received the “Treasure Tree Award” from the City of Asheville
  • The school uses “dead” trees to grow edible mushrooms
  • Built with mostly recycled materials, the “Gnome Village” provides a magical playspace for children
  • The playground design encourages students to play outdoors, even in cold weather
  • The school has dedicated outdoor space for physical education classes (making a conscious decision not to build a gym) that are held outdoors except in the most extreme weather
  • Rainbow’s 4th grade class does a botany unit and when the food is grown, makes a meal using the food from the garden
  • Rainbow Community School is a certified wildlife habitat
  • Every day is earth day: 5th grade students pick up trash along State Street in Asheville in October 

Check out the school's website to learn more about Rainbow!

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