Environmental Stewardship Campus Initiatives

Environmental stewardship takes a unique personality on each of our three campuses, and each campus raises awareness of environmental stewardship through learning, action, and education within the campus community.

Lower School:
  • Natural Playground – This magical playground is comprised of all natural materials. Discovery, problem-solving, and creativity are encouraged by exploring with natural materials in this space. Most of the natural materials were collected from the Lower School campus, such as the seating logs, branches, bamboo posts, and stones.
  • Creation Trail – The 14-stop trail connects significant natural features of the campus in a prayerful, meditative journey. Designed by Clay Kane ’13, the trail is prayed by the students when they are in their religion classes and is available to all community members via a system of QR codes at each marked stop.
  • Bee Hives – Three bee hives find their home at a quiet corner of the Lower School campus. The bee hives are included in the science curriculum at the Lower School.
  • Kinder Garden and Pollinator Garden– These gardens attract pollinators to the Lower School grounds.  The two gardens features plants native to the Potomac valley and their blooms and berries provide interest year round.  Many of the perennials were germinated by fifth grade students in the Middle School greenhouse.
  • Plants Map– The Lower School is home to many notable trees, shrubs and perennials, which are mapped with QR codes. Photographs and more information on each plant are available on this online resource, which is accessible to the SSSAS learning community to understand the natural world surrounding the campus.

Middle School:
  • Eco-Squad - This environmental club engages students in understanding of the choices made by each individual. A garden allows club members to sow and harvest vegetables, and to grow plants that host pollinators.
  • Greenhouse - Science classes grow seedlings for the SSSAS campuses and to study botany and horticulture. Vegetables, flowers, and herbs are used in both our campus gardens that grow food for area food banks.
Upper School:
  • Perkins Courtyard - The organic garden and native plant collections in the central courtyard provide a laboratory, meditative, and spiritual space for the Upper School community. Food harvested in the courtyard is donated to a local food bank and students take an active role in planting and harvesting.
  • Green Leadership Council- The student council guides the student community in its goals to reduce the Upper School's carbon footprint. The student leaders examine the culture of the Upper School and suggests ways to improve effort to reduce waste, curb energy use, and reduce vehicle miles traveled.
  • Upper School Student Environmental Club - The environmental club promotes practices among students to reduce waste, encourage recycling, and to curb energy consumption at the Upper School. Its student members also host environmental film nights and take leading roles in the Students for Sustainability Conference (S4S).
  • Weather Station - The Upper School is the site of a WeatherBug weather station that measures temperature, wind speed, precipitation, radar, and weather history for the Upper School station.

Questions about environmental sustainability initiatives should be directed to Brian Kane, director of environmental stewardship, at bkane@sssas.org or 703-212-2912.

All-School Initiatives


•  Energy Dashboard 
SSSAS monitors the use of electricity on each campus in its seven major buildings. The energy dashboard compares building performance to the week, month and year prior in order for students and faculty to remain aware of daily habits related to electricity. Monthly reports for each buildings are shared with faculty and staff and real time monitors are displayed on each campus.

•  Environmental Awareness Week
The week in April raises awareness on individual and collective practices related to waste, energy, and transportation. Assemblies, activities, competitions, and tree plantings are held on each campus during the week.  Students and parents encourage families to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transport to school, as well as to be as waste-free as possible.

•  Recycling and Waste Reduction
Campus initiatives include single-stream recycling, composting in all dining halls, single-stream recycling systems, and long-term awareness raising with the help of teachers, students and families. Our goal is to match or surpass the 48% rate of recycling in the City of Alexandria.

 Students 4 Sustainability Conference

•  Linking Faith and Sustainability
Membership in Interfaith Power and Light (GWIPL) offers SSSAS faculty and staff professional development opportunities surrounding environmental sustainability and faith.
St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School is an independent, college-preparatory, coed, day, Episcopal Church School that educates students in junior kindergarten through grade 12. The school consists of three, age-appropriate campuses (Lower, Middle, and Upper School) in Alexandria, Virginia. SSSAS welcomes families of all faiths. We offer challenging academics, a state-of-the-art performing arts center, and championship athletics. SSSAS is regarded as one of the top private schools in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area.

Lower School

Grades: JK-5
400 Fontaine Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22302

Middle School

Grades: 6-8
4401 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304

Upper School

Grades: 9-12
1000 St. Stephen's Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304