Facility Operations

Clean Energy Task Force

Seattle Public Schools is forming the Superintendent’s Clean Energy Task Force to help SPS chart a path to transition the district away from fossil fuel use for operations by 2040, and to transition to 100% carbon-free renewable energy while improving student health and supporting more sustainable and equitable communities. (The task force was identified in Board Resolution 2020/21-18)

SPS currently uses fossil fuels to heat buildings, prepare food, and power the district’s service, delivery, and transportation vehicles.  The Clean Energy Task Force will focus on strategies to identify and replace these fossil fuels with renewable electric energy sources between now and 2040.

SPS has hired a consultant team to collect and develop information about the carbon impacts of district operations and the opportunities to transition the district away from fossil fuel consumption.  This team will provide information about impacts, opportunities and strategies to reduce district carbon impacts, and will support the work of the Task Force.  The Task Force will be responsible for reviewing and discussing information and strategies presented by SPS and the consultants, and providing guidance on the development of a Climate Action Plan for the District to achieve these goals.  The final Climate Action Plan will be presented to the School Board in January 2023.

Topics which will likely be discussed by the Task Force include:

  • Building performance and operation to identify opportunities reduce energy use and convert facilities to electric fuel.
  • Strategies to transition fleet and transportation systems to electric vehicles, and to provide charging infrastructure for these vehicles.
  • Strategies to convert food preparation equipment and processes to electricity.
  • Role of school facilities in supporting community resiliency in case of emergencies
  • Opportunities to incorporate climate science and climate justice into school curriculum.
  • Strategies to prioritize racial, economic, and environmental justice into the implementation of these goals.

The Task Force is anticipated to meet monthly for 90-minute sessions using remote meeting tools.  Meetings will commence in early November 2021 and continue through January 2023.

The Task Force will include members of local community groups, educators and students, parents, community stakeholders, public representatives, clean energy experts, labor partners, tribal representatives, and other relevant professionals.

June 8, 2021

Clean Energy Task Force


Superintendent’s Task Force on Converting Seattle Public Schools to 100% Clean and Renewable Energy for Full Decarbonization by 2050


In February 2021, The Seattle School Board passed Resolution 2020/21-18, the Clean Energy Resolution, which provided that among other things, a Superintendent Task Force be establish in alignment with Board Policy 6810, Natural Resource Conservation, and its accompanying Superintendent Procedure 6810SP; Board Resolutions 2006/2007-18: Climate Partnership and 2012/2013-12: Green Resolution, which include commitments to long-range reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, management of our natural resources, energy conservations efforts and sustainability standards and goals.  The purpose of this Superintendent Task Force is to develop an implementation plan and accountability process to meet the goals of the Climate Change Resolution and all of the previous related resolutions and policies, and provide updates to the School Board on how to best manage construction and management of facilities, improve student performance and health, reduce overall costs of operations and management of district assets, and identify meaningful ways to explicitly include climate change into curriculum.

The Task Force will convene September 2021 to January 2023 to craft the roadmap to implementation for the life of the resolution, or 2040. In addition, the Task Force will provide periodic updates to the School Board, to use the expertise in the Task Force for future planning activities. Future updates to the District Strategic Plan would include findings and recommendations from the Task Force to support the mission, vision and theory of action supporting “Creating healthy, supportive, culturally responsive environments from the classroom to the central office.”


Seattle Public Schools operates and manages over 108 facilities, serves in excess of 53,000 students and over 8,000 teachers, administrative and support personnel and tradespersons. Given the large footprint of the District within the City of Seattle, the District is in a position to make substantial contributions to the City’s goal for a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the consumption of fossil fuels by 2030 and full decarbonization by 2050. The District uses two capital construction programs on alternating 6-year cycles – the Building Excellence (BEX) and Buildings, Technology, and Academics/Athletics (BTA) levies.  This cycle allows for incremental environmental improvements.

Science has established that student performance is directly impacted by student health.  The Clean Energy Resolution centers students most impacted by climate change, which are overwhelmingly students of color whose populations have been intentionally and systematically located in areas of high concentrations of air pollution, particulate exposure and poor environmental factors.

The Task Force will be responsible for development of a 10-year immediate roadmap for making significant strides toward reaching the goal of being 100% Clean Energy by 2040 and going forward to reach full decarbonization by 2050.  The Task Force will be responsible for making project recommendations that coordinate with the District’s adopted levy schedules so those projects can be included for future construction.

The School Board reserves the ability to use the findings of the Task Force at its own discretion and all documentation will be available for public review.


Seattle Public Schools (SPS) supports the City of Seattle‘s goals for decarbonization by 2050.  As an educational organization, SPS is uniquely qualified as a strategically aligned partner to influence the reduction of climate change and improve student health, especially in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, by building and maintaining clean and green facilities and developing a fleet of Electric Vehicles (EV) and zero emission vehicles and equipment. SPS can also provide education to students, staff and community on the benefits of decarbonization, green jobs and long-range strategies to create a more livable, healthy and equitable world.


The Task Force shall be appointed by the Superintendent and shall be a diverse and engaged association of District representatives and community members.  The District members will include representatives from resource conservation, budget, facilities, transportation, schools (teaching), custodial, and equity professionals. Community members will include students, parent representatives, community stakeholders, clean energy experts, labor partners, tribal representatives, and others helpful to realizing long term goals of the resolutions, including members of the BEX and BTA oversight committees involved with forward looking facilities master planning for the District’s future. Community members will be selected using an application process. District members will be appointed.


The order of the scope of work does not imply importance or priority.

The steps outlined in the Clean Energy Resolution are:

  1. Set Outcomes, Identify and Engage Stakeholders:
    1. a.     Provide roadmap for implementation of the resolution
    2. b.     Focus on highly climate-change-impacted students, including health improvements
    3. c.     Include diverse community stakeholders
    4. d.     Provide regular updates to the School Board
  2. Engage Stakeholders in Analyzing Data:
    1. a.     Utilize 2020 Sustainability Vision, Goals and Strategy for Seattle Public Schools report from McLennan Design
    2. b.     Utilize district provided operational and natural resources data, including energy, water, waste, and recycling information
  3. Ensure Educational and Racial Equity / Determine Benefit or Burden
    1. a.     Integrate findings into the yearly Continuous School Improvement Plans related resource conservation targets and goals
    2. b.     Identify unintended consequences of the concentration of resources as directed by this resolution and identify mitigations
    3. c.     Reduce inequities for all demographic groups
    4. d.     Identify areas where implementation could increase impacts to demographic groups and recommend mitigations


The Task Force will develop an implementation plan for a clean energy program that reduces the impact of pollution on the BIPOC population, eliminates dependency on fossil fuels, including diesel-powered buses, and improves resource conservation to lessen the impacts that contribute to climate change.

The Task Force will provide curricula recommendations to the District with regards to student health, science and environment, STEM and green jobs.


The Task Force findings will be valuable in informing levy planning and reallocation of district resources and finances.  The District aims to support mitigation of climate change, while advancing racial and educational equity and economic justice by prioritizing infrastructure investments in highest needs students and schools, supporting a strong labor and community workforce agreement for underserved communities, and exploring ways to improve resilience of communities due to climate change impacts. 

The Task Force charge shall include:

  1. Participate in all orientation, training and instruction sessions required by the facilitator for the Task Force, including robust anti-racism and implicit bias trainings.
  2. Follow meeting norms which will include preparing regular documentation, meeting minutes, maintenance of a Task Force website and development of public facing documents.  All documentation will be available for public review. All meetings will be open for the public to attend, however participation is limited to the Task Force members.
  3. Participate in meetings, including regular attendance and providing input and insight to the topics.
  4. Review and analyze the significant body of work the District has already completed and use it as a starting point for your work. Provision of additional data, expertise and opinion is encouraged as part of a positive program, including with leading environmental organizations, community leaders and tribal nations
  5. Identify any key partnerships and organizations that may be useful as part of the Task Force either as a member or as a presenting party.  Solicit additional expertise as needed but be mindful of the overall timeline of the Task Force charter.
  6. Utilize assessments provided by consultants, specialists and staff on the range of topics outlined in the Clean Energy Resolution.
  7. Organize findings and develop a reasonable and financially responsible prioritized plan to meet the District’s decarbonization milestones.  Identify areas of costs and savings and how they might offset.  Recommendations should be based on data and proven theory of action.  Documentation of support will be incorporated into the final report.
  8. Identify methodology for ensuring educational and racial equity in the delivery of identified projects, techniques and methodology.
  9. Prepare a final report and recommendation that include the following:
    1. a.     List of potential projects and timelines; methodology of becoming decarbonized and running on 100% clean and renewable energy by 2027
    2. b.     Educational and racial equity analysis that outlines how to mitigate the historically disproportionate impacts to BIPOC communities and populations
    3. c.     Methods to move away from fossil-fuel powered equipment and transportation vehicles including purchase of EV and zero emission vehicle
    4. d.     Curricular opportunities for environmental, climate science and resource conservation, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and green jobs
    5. e.     Additional best practices, resource conservation strategies and partnerships that are beneficial in reducing climate change.
  10. Present findings to the District Superintendent who will then forward it onto the School Board by January 2023.


Since 2006, the Seattle School Board and the District has proactively addressed Climate Change through a series of policies, procedures and resolutions.  The following is a list of those documents. The Task Force’s final recommendation should support and utilize the spirit and mechanisms expressed in past work: