I’m writing a series of blog posts to document my learning about green schools; work that I have landed in over the last two years. Please follow along with my journey and share where you are in the environmental sustainability movement.
One of the green initiatives in my school district is a district Green Team. When our previous superintendent, Dr. Tim Baird, came to our district, he has a clear focus on being more environmentally aware. One of his first steps was to establish a District Green Team.
Dr Baird says that the best way to begin a green initiative is with the three G’s:
- Green Team
I will address all of these in my green schools blog series. Today we are talking about Green Teams. A district green team is comprised of district and community leaders with a passion for sustainability. Our district green team includes:
- our superintendent – It is critical in any green initiative to have support from your leader!
- our assistant superintendent of educational services (that is me!)- we work hard to make sure our green initiatives are linked to our educational programming for students.
- the director of facilities, maintenance, operations, and grounds – so many of our green initiatives (or ideas that become initiatives) have to do with how we can safely clean our schools or save energy more efficiently, and this position plays a key role in those discussions.
- the director of purchasing – this person is often involved because they support all of the contracts we enter into for on-going purchasing needs.
- the coordinator of our DREAMS campus/ Farm Lab – this person plays a critical role in the environmental education for our students as well as maintaining the business partnerships that allow us to grow our own organic produce for school lunches.
- parent representatives from the sites – these are parents who are interested in environmental issues and passionate about making changes in our schools that will positively impact the environment.
- community members – we often include key community members who are leading city-wide events that we can connect to our schools.
In the beginning, it is important for this team to come together to discuss their mission. The goals of this group need to be clear and explicit. This is why it is important to have key positions from your organization represented. Often these discussion fall either on the business side of a district or on the educational side. By bringing members of both departments into the discussion, you ensure that everyone is speaking the same language and working towards a common purpose. Similarly, by including parents in this group, you hear directly from the community, you garnish support for new initiatives, and you have a through-line from the district to each individual school site.
Due to COVID-19, our green teams took a hiatus during the last 1.5 years. I’m looking forward to returning to these discussions in the upcoming school year. We will have new members to bring in fresh ideas, and we are so excited to welcome students back to our DREAMS campus for enhanced learning experiences. We were also excited when this book was published recently, as our district was featured prominently.
I’d love to hear if you have a Green Team in your school or your district. Are you, personally or professionally, researching Green Teams for your school/district?
Previous post(s) in this green schools series:
- Sustainability Education
- Reflecting on my carbon footprint
- Solar in Schools
- Green CA Schools and Community College Summit 2020
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Did you know that I wrote a book? The Coach ADVenture: Building Powerful Instructional Skills That Impact Learning is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I love interacting with readers via Twitter and my hashtag #CoachADV.