Tuesday, December 07, 2010
APS looking for ways to save on energy use
By Hailey Heinz
Journal Staff Writer
As temperatures drop and winter closes in, Albuquerque Public Schools is preparing for the weather in several ways.
In the district's weekly newsletter, Superintendent Winston Brooks urged teachers and other staff to be mindful of their energy use in schools.
"Please be clear that I don't mean that I'm asking everyone to dial down to 63 degrees," Brooks wrote. "I'm saying this is one area where we can make meaningful, conscious changes to the way we do things, and there can be benefit beyond the bottom line."
APS is soliciting bids for a contractor to examine the district's energy practices and look for ways to save. The contractor's pay will be based on how much APS saves in energy costs.
Brooks urged staff and others to e-mail him with ideas about how the district can be more energy efficient.
APS already participates in STARS, a program in which schools teach students about energy conservation and receive rebates based on their energy use.
In addition to being energy conscious, the newsletter reminded staff of the district's protocols for snow days.
Teams from APS police and transportation services hit the roads as early as 2:30 a.m. to determine whether roads are clear enough for buses.
Scouts travel as far east as Chilili and west toward Tohajiilee, areas typically hit hardest by storms. The decision about whether school will be delayed must be made by 5:30 a.m., before the first school buses leave to pick up students.
Inclement weather can either lead to an "abbreviated day," which begins two hours later than usual and ends at the usual time, or a canceled day.
Students may be dismissed early if severe weather materializes during the school day. The district tries to make such decisions before 11:30 a.m., and this can affect some parts of APS but not others.