— Clean Energy at Sea Crest

Solar Panels Clean Energy at Sea Crest

Solar Panels Clean Energy at Sea Crest

Solar Panels Clean Energy at Sea Crest

“We are thrilled to see our solar panels being installed and another step was taken toward reducing our carbon footprint. It ties our goals together: environmental stewardship and the importance of role models. We want to show our pupils this was the responsible thing to do and we are not just thinking of today, but preparing for the future.

Ryan Popple, a board member and Sea Crest parent who is very passionate about the environment, spearheaded a task force last year for our solar panels. This board committee, comprised of parents and administrators, looked at various companies and long-term costs, always seeking the best for the environment, school and pupils.

After this strategic and rigorous process, we made the right decision: generate our own, clean energy and make a positive impact on our planet. We are also looking forward to seeing this enhancing our curriculum and the excitement of innovative learning, which ultimately speaks to our mission.”

Dr. Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise
Head of School



Solar Panels Clean Energy at Sea Crest

Solar Panels Clean Energy Sea Crest School

“We had been looking into solar energy for several years when we connected with Mike Casterline, a Sea Crest parent who worked at Solar City, about a year ago. He was instrumental in helping us formulate our plan and find the right price point for us.

After researching our options, we made our decision and started taking the first steps. A few weeks ago our solar panels were successfully installed and are now being connected to the grid. Solar energy will soon represent about 80% of our consumption.

There is no doubt this project will greatly benefit our school in different ways: lowering our energy bill, decreasing our footprint, and most importantly, helping us educate our students. We will be able to track how much energy we are generating and we want to get our students involved in understanding the impact.”

Andrew Geller
Facilities Manager & Project Lead

Families Walk and Bike to Raise Awareness

In keeping with our focus on environmental stewardship, Sea Crest is proud to support National Bike to School Day. This year’s event took place on Wednesday, May 4th.

Twenty-five Sea Crest community members met early that morning to walk and bike to school together from a house on Poplar Street. In addition, many students and parents chose to bike to school that morning, and the school’s bike rack overflowed with bikes!

This was the second Walk/Bike to School Day event this school year. On October 7th, 2015, dozens of students, parents, and staff participated in National Walk to School Day (accompanied by local police). These safe and fun opportunities were coordinated by parent volunteers, including Heidi Gilman Bennett, Rick Hernandez, Hilary Stamper, and Katerina Hollblad-Fadiman.

Walking to school is important for many reasons: it’s healthy, it’s an opportunity for quality time, and it reduces traffic and pollution on our streets. In addition, events like this and the efforts of our families have helped raise awareness about the need for safer roads in our neighborhoods. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved, please email us.

Walk to School Day 2015

Walk to School Day 2015

Bike to School Day 2016

Bike to School Day 2016

Earth Day in the Bay: 2016 Events

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22nd! We’ll be celebrating on campus with fun Environmental Stewardship activities. Below are a number of local events being held this weekend in honor of Earth Day.

Friday, April 22nd

Earth Day Film Festival in San Francisco
Choose from a number of environmental film screenings at Global Consciousness Film Night.

Saturday, April 23rd

Aquarium of the Bay, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Embarcadero & Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
This aquarium’s mission is to protect, restore, and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed.

Aquatic Park Earth Day Beach Cleanup, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
499 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109

California Academy of Sciences, 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
Explore the incredible diversity of life on our planet at the California Academy of Sciences. In honor of Earth Day, check out Family Nature Crafts, a penguin feeding, 3D Earth: Rainforests, and the Coral Reef Dive.

Create-with-Nature Earth Day Celebration on Stinson Beach, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Celebrate Earth Day by creating art on the beach! Join in as community members, professional artists, and passers-by construct sculpture using sand, rocks, shells, seaweed and other beach treasures.

CuriOdyssey, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo, CA 94401
In honor of Earth Day, check out Backyard Science!

Earth Day Cleanup at Coyote Point, 9:00 a.m.
1701 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo, CA 94401

Earth Day @ Shoreway, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
This event, held in collaboration with Recology San Mateo County and South Bay Recycling, will include free compost, Tours of Shoreway, information booths, giveaways, arts and activities, a raffle, and more.

Earth Day Film Festival Screenings, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Merchants of Reality, 285 9th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Earth Day of Action, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Hosted by the Pacifica Beach Coalition
For the 12th year in a row, Pacifica Beach Coalition is organizing one of the largest eco-friendly events on the Peninsula, leading beach and neighborhood cleanups from Daly City to Half Moon Bay. Last year, more than 7,150 volunteers picked up and removed 5,000 pounds of trash, 650 pounds of recycling, and 11,000 pounds of greenwaste from over 75 sites.

Portola Valley / Woodside Earth Fair, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
This event at the Portola Valley Town Center includes an Alphabet Rockers hip hop show, Chaparral Ranch Petting Zoo with a pony, an Electric Vehicle Showcase, live jazz music by Charged Particles, Indian Soul Food, barbecue, water bottle filling stations, free compost, and more.

San Francisco Earth Day Street Festival, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Between Valencia and Mission Street on 22nd
This event brings together renowned speakers, eco-innovators, earth friendly products, green nonprofits, leading designers form the sustainable fashion industry, top brands from the electric vehicle industry, major solar and alternative energy companies, and many hands-on DIY projects for all ages.

Sunday, April 24th

Aquarium of the Bay, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Embarcadero & Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
This aquarium’s mission is to protect, restore, and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed.

California Academy of Sciences, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
Explore the incredible diversity of life on our planet at the California Academy of Sciences. In honor of Earth Day, check out the Ocean Action Project Lab and the Ssssnake Encounter!

CuriOdyssey, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo, CA 94401
In honor of Earth Day, check out Backyard Science!

Did we forget an Earth Day event? Email us!
For more information on local events, be sure to subscribe to our community newsletter.


Fourth Graders Team Up with Wildlife Associates to Design Safer Wind Turbines

As part of their recent unit on California raptors, Fourth Grade students investigated the impact of wind farms on birds’ ability to hunt, migrate, and survive.

“Over the course of three weeks, students learned about different California habitats, the species that live there, and how to better protect birds of prey,” said Fourth Grade Teacher Tyler Elliott. “Raptors are crucial to the diversity and sustainability of many ecosystems across the country. We want our students to understand humanity’s connection to other species and how we can preserve vital ecosystems, both locally and abroad.”

Wildlife AssociatesOne exciting aspect of this unit was the classes’ collaboration with Wildlife Associates, a 120-acre animal sanctuary in Half Moon Bay. A team of wildlife specialists came to Sea Crest with live birds of prey and worked with students in small groups to help teach them about raptors, conservation, and wind turbines.

“I was so impressed with the Sea Crest Fourth Graders,” said Michele Durant, Programs Manager at Wildlife Associates. “They embraced the opportunity to help local wildlife and eagerly accepted the challenge of learning to think like biologists and engineers.”

Wildlife AssociatesFourth Graders learned how hawks help manage prey populations to keep nature in balance, and they explored the challenges facing scientists as they work to maintain both wildlife and sustainable energy solutions.

Next, our students spent two weeks designing their own solutions to help wildlife and the wind power industry to better coexist. On the final day, representatives from Wildlife Associates returned to hear the presentations.

Students shared ideas such as…

  • Placing wire cages over wind turbines to let in wind but keep out birds;
  • Using sensors or lasers to detect birds before they get too close to a turbine, causing the turbine to stop spinning;
  • Projecting images and sounds of predators to scare birds away from turbine blades.

Wildlife Associates“These students were not only highly engaged on an academic level, but their kindness and concern towards the birds clearly motivated them,” said Ms. Durant. “It was so rewarding to see their excitement about having a chance to share their presentations. They demonstrated their creativity and compassion as well as their comprehension of the facts and curriculum of this unit.”

“They have built a sense of empathy and understanding about how we coexist with our environment, and they are making connections to how our lessons relate to alternative energies,” said Mr. Elliott.

Since many of the raptors the classes studied are native to our area, students have already been able to apply what they learned to real-life situations.

Wildlife Associates“One day after school, as I was closing up my room, three students came flying down the hall yelling, ‘Mr. Elliott, Mr. Elliott, come look! There’s a red-tailed hawk outside!’ There was a line of about 25 kids along the perimeter of the field, staring at what looked like a big chicken in the middle of the grass. When I walked closer, I saw it was a beautiful male hawk standing talon-deep in a puddle, sipping and arranging feathers, looking at us as we looked at him. Suddenly, he took off with two flaps, talons out, to the top of a 50-foot tree. The Fourth Graders spent the afternoon teaching all of the other students on the field about red-tailed hawks. I know they will never forget this experience.”


Watch a video clip of the Fourth Graders’ presentations:


Sea Crest Students at The HEAL Project

A number of Sea Crest students were featured in an article about the new Fall Harvest Camp in El Granada. In addition to our school-wide Environmental Stewardship initiative and our after-school gardening program, our community is grateful for the positive impact of outdoor education nonprofits such as The HEAL Project.

HEAL Project Executive Director Amy Bono-Kruckewitt said the organization thought of adding a fall camp to its slate of offerings in light of the fact that Sea Crest School and Cabrillo Unified schools were on break the entire week of Thanksgiving. In recent years, Cabrillo had only closed schools on the holiday itself and the day after.

Like its themed summer camps, the harvest camp included activities aimed at educating children about nature, healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. For example, campers learned about the Native American origins of popcorn and harvested vegetables to help make and eat a “plant part stew.”

“With kids, the more exposed they are to food, the more likely they are to consume it regularly,” Bono-Kruckewitt said. “Seeing their peers eating it and harvesting it makes it more normal to them.”

Read more in the Half Moon Bay Review:
“Celebrating autumn through education.”


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