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Green Schools: The South

Green School Visits—The South

My visits to schools in the "south" includes several in Washington DC.  Here they are in order visited: 1. St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School, 2. Sidwell Friends School, 3. Charlotte Country Day School

1.  St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School:  Environmental Awakening

Just days before I visited St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School (SSSAS), an Episcopal co-ed day school of 1100 students in Alexandria, Virginia, in mid-November, the school had finished hosting its third annual Students for Sustainability conference, or S4S, which the Washington Post called an “environmental awakening.”  The gathering, which drew students from all over Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, featured presentations on topics from the importance of beekeeping to solar power and from composting to electric cars.  The event symbolizes the key critical role of students can play in the greening of a school.

Green Schools National Conference Report, Minneapolis, MN, October 24-25, 2010

“Growing Green Schools Across America”: Green Schools National Conference Report, Minneapolis, MN, October 24-25, 2010

 The 1st Annual Green Schools National Conference attracted some 800 environmentalists from across the country in four different categories: formal school-based educators, environmental educators from the non-profit world, corporate representatives, and higher education.   As a result of my attendance, I gained a better sense of the “big picture” in the emerging green school national movement; here are some of the leadership organizations I have identified: 

New England Environmental Education Alliance, October 21-22, 2010

“Create, Cultivate, Coordinate:  Designing our Shared Future”: New England Environmental Education Alliance Annual Meeting (NEEEA),  Fairlee, Vermont, October 21-22, 2010

The 44th annual meeting of the New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA) brought together over 250 educators, practitioners and environmental activists in a beautiful retreat center at Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont for three days of inspiring keynote addresses, informative workshops, and constructive networking.  This is one of the longest running environmental regional groups in the country, and their successful affiliation has been a result of several key factors: New England has had a long reverence for the land, expressed in art, literature, and many outdoor clubs and organizations; the area has developed an unusually large number of non-profit groups devoted to nurturing the environment; the land itself has regained its natural, forested canopy that paints the hills in stunning fall colors and beautiful greens; there are several local universities—University of Vermont, University of New Hampshire, and Antioch University New England--that have developed programs to train environmental educators; and the area has given us national leaders in the environmental movement.

Green Schools: New England

The Green School Express: New England                           October 18-21, 2010

As part of my effort to learn about the national movement to promote environmental sustainability in schools, I spent a beautiful week amidst the spectacular fall colors in New England visiting ten remarkable schools.  Here are the individual school reports from that week.

The Green Schools Express

The Green Schools Express                                    October 2010

This year as part of my effort to learn about the environmental movement in our nation’s schools, I will be visiting roughly fifty schools and a number of local, regional and national conferences across the country. Encouraged by my friends at the National Association of Independent Schools, especially Vice President Jefferson Burnett,  the Center for Ecoliteracy and the Green Schools Initiative in Berkeley, Sustainable Schools in Massachusetts, and colleagues in schools nationwide, I have identified some of the leading schools in an effort to document best practices in environmental sustainability programs.

New Beginnings

HB—New Beginnings, July 2010

This June I retired from the Head-Royce School, an independent School of 800 students in Oakland, California after 26 years as Head of School and after some 40 years in education.  We accomplished much in my years at the School.  And now I am eager to chart a new, “encore” career devoted to helping other schools improve, especially in the area of sustainability.

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