Responsible world citizenship is a core value of Mark Day School. Good citizens need to be knowledgable stewards of local, national, and global resources and ecosystems. For our students to become effective stewards of the planet, they need to be able to apply informed decision-making to supporting a sustainable lifestyle. Our goal is to develop environmentally literate students who understand the environment in total—both its natural and human-made aspects.
Our environmental education addresses the Earth as an interconnected set of systems, natural and social. Students engage in an exploration of the relationships between these complex systems, an interdisciplinary process of inquiry, problem solving, decision-making, and action.
Numerous units and activities support the development of ecological literacy. Lower Division students not only develop a love of nature in our gardens: They learn about the life cycle of plants by growing and harvesting, gain basic knowledge about different ecosystems and weather patterns, and see interdependence in action with our vermiculture program. The lunch-composting project is handled by the Middle Division students, who collect food waste after lunch each day for our garden composter. Upper Division's Green Team builds awareness about environmental issues by completing power and trash audits, making announcements at assembly, PSAs, and posters. They also organize the Eco-Fest, which is an annual event held on Earth Day, with workshops on different topics (such as chemicals in makeup and body products), environmental art, and activities like making smoothies in a bike-powered blender.
Our outdoor education program begins in 3rd grade with an overnight trip to West Marin and concludes in 7th grade with a five-day backpacking trip in Yosemite. Naturalists accompany the students on all trips and educate them on their location. This program reinforces students' understanding of the resources of our state and our interconnectedness with nature.