Electric school buses can be a valuable tool for engaging with students and teachers, as well as the broader community.
You could consider opportunities to develop Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curricula that involve electric school buses for students at your school. You could also look for opportunities to partner with workforce development programs or community colleges to help build a future pipeline of EV technicians.
Finally, you should communicate your results and experience with elected officials, local advocates, the press and with other school district peers who are looking to go electric. This can increase visibility of the benefits of electric vehicles and build support for future electric school bus deployments and for fleet electrification projects in neighboring districts and municipalities.
Things to do:
- Develop a communications plan to engage your community
- Hold a ribbon-cutting for community leadership and partners; invite the press to attend
- Hold an EV fleet day with other EV fleets in your area to share learnings
- Identify or develop an EV curriculum around electric school buses for students in your community
- Explore opportunities to integrate with local workforce development programs
- Share your experience with peer districts
- Engage students in these community events, for example through a student sustainability or other relevant school organization
Questions to consider:
- Who should be invited to a ribbon-cutting? How can you engage the press and elected officials?
- How can electric school buses support educational programming within your school and the broader community?
- Are there opportunities to partner around workforce development? Can you reach out to city government, regional economic development organizations or local community colleges to see how you might plug in?
- How might electric school buses support regional just transition issues and efforts?
- What opportunities do you have to share your experiences? Is there a State Association of Pupil Transportation or Clean Cities Coalition event where you could present?
- Are there opportunities to allow other districts to experience your electric school bus firsthand?
- District leadership
- District communications staff
- District transportation director
- Elected officials and school board
- City staff that manage sustainability, climate and/or clean energy programs
- Community organizations, including environmental organizations, environmental justice organizations and organizations that serve the populations around bus depot locations
- Students and organizations representing their voices
- Parents and organizations representing their voices
- Teachers and organizations representing their voices
- School District Learnings – 12 Tips on Electric School Bus Adoption — WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative: This site includes stories from districts across the country, including how they are leveraging their projects for additional community benefits.
- How North Carolina's Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is Planning for Seven Generations of Sustainability — WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative: This case study shares how the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Air Quality Program taught a 5th grade class the benefits of their electric school bus. These fifth graders, in turn, presented the information to a class of pre-kindergarten students.
- Healthier Air for Students in Stockton, California — WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative: This case study shares how the school district’s student-led Energy Patrol aims to educate teachers and students on energy efficiency and cost saving actions in English and Spanish.
- Coffee Shop Plans and Progress — Knox County Bus Project: After purchasing their first electric school bus, this Missouri school district partnered with high school business and industrial tech students to give their old diesel bus new life as a coffee shop and café run by students.