Skip To Main Content



Latest News

District 65 is fortunate to be part of a community that is deeply committed to climate justice and creating a healthier, more sustainable world for generations to come. The District shares in this commitment and wants to ensure we are doing more than just our part by being truly proactive, thoughtful, and collaborative.

As such, District 65 is doubling down on its sustainability commitments. In addition to embedding climate action responsibilities within buildings and grounds and nutrition services teams, Karen Bireta will continue to serve as sustainability coordinator. 

“We are deeply grateful for her expertise and leadership,” Superintendent Dr. Angel Turner said. “When it comes to sustainability, we need to ensure we are making systemic, actionable change within ALL of our schools.”

This spring District 65 made very difficult decisions to improve its financial trajectory and reduce overall expenses. Identifying ways to operate more efficiently in alignment with organizational goals and priorities is a continuous process. This led to this decision, which remains aligned to the budget reduction plan and is cost neutral.

This July, Carla Shortino will join District 65 as Science and Sustainability Education Coordinator. This reimagined position is a meaningful complement to Ms. Bireta’s role in ensuring a more proactive embedded approach to our sustainability and climate action curriculum, ensuring student growth and learning is at the forefront. Ms. Shortino has extensive experience teaching, coaching, and facilitating professional learning around the Next Generation Science Standards across the elementary and middle school grade levels. She most recently served as an Elementary Science Content Specialist at Chicago Public Schools. 

Our schools approach sustainability from many lenses so that our students can learn about climate action AND put practices into action.

  • In the classroom, science curriculum is aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, which means students are receiving the most updated, rigorous science instruction with a focus on going beyond memorization to becoming critical thinkers.
  • In school communities, students engage in gardening, climate clubs, and daily composting at lunchtime. In this past school year alone, they composted over 204,915 pounds of waste. Schools avoided 66.4 metric tons of carbon emissions by composting, which is equal to 1,098 tree seedlings growing for 10 years! This practice is embraced by all members of the District 65 school community — including one kindergartener nicknamed Miss Compost!

In the coming school year, District 65 will work to foster a deeper culture of sustainability in ways that align with Evanston’s Climate Action Resilience Plan (CARP). This includes continued efforts towards ensuring our new Fifth Ward School is designed with LEED Silver sustainability features.

“When it comes to climate action, we can’t just talk the talk,” Dr. Turner said. “I encourage individuals to join our Climate Action Community and follow along with our sustainability efforts in our Fast Five newsletter, social media, and on our D65 sustainability webpage.”