By a 4-1 vote, the board approved the guidelines, which could save the district up to $60,000, school officials said.
“This is a great opportunity for us to start somewhere,” board member Greg Krikorian said. “We have to conserver energy and make the right decisions.”
Board member Nayiri Nahabedian voted against the guidelines after her request to amend wording was denied.
In July, teachers said some language in the guidelines — which were reviewed by the board three times — banned them from using small appliances, such as coffee pots or refrigerators, in their classrooms. The restrictions would negatively affect teaching and learning, the teachers said.
The approved guidelines say employees who need a refrigerator because of a medical issue could apply to have one through Liz Goodknight, the district’s energy manager. School staff will work with Goodknight to determine where common areas could be located.
If there is no room for a common area in a school, a classroom could be made available for teachers to use small appliances.
The language in the guidelines was never aimed at putting a ban on small appliances, but rather to consolidate the use of the items to a common area instead of individual classrooms, board members said.
“It really is an attempt to refine what we are doing,” Supt. Michael Escalante said.
The district — which has been actively trying to conserve energy for about the past two years — saved about $781,000 from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2007 by using energy-efficient measures, officials said.
School district stakeholders served as an advisory committee to draft the guidelines.