Green Schools National Network

General Guidelines for GSNN Authors


Target Audience

GSNN’s audience consists of K-12 teachers, school administrators, facilities staff, green schools advocates, and partners in the business and nonprofit sectors who are invested in the green schools movement.



GSNN is looking for content that is informative and grounded in quantitative and qualitative evidence.  We will prioritize case studies, stories that are embedded in best practices, and other articles that demonstrate impact on one specific pillar or multiple pillars of a green, healthy, sustainable school (decreasing the environmental footprint of schools and school districts; health and well-being; and curriculum that advances environmental and sustainability literacy).  Preference will be given to content that has a professional, yet relaxed tone that addresses topics in a way that appeals to, and can be understood by, a wide range of audiences.


Do Not Send

GSNN will not publish articles that have a political bias, endorsements of specific products and services, and rants or inflammatory opinion pieces.  GSNN has the authority to reject articles it deems inappropriate for publication.


Be Transparent

GSNN values honesty from its writers in order to produce credible content grounded in best practices.    If you are in any way connected to a story you are writing, please disclose this information upfront for the reader.  This includes revealing any material relationships (e.g., the subject is an employer or employee).



GSNN prioritizes content that is written exclusively for the Network’s publications.  You are more than welcome to promote the content on your website and on social media, just as long as you link back to GSNN.



The publication of articles that tell the story and provide information about research and practice in the green schools movement is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of work of the author, the institutions that support him or her, and GSNN.


Authorship of the Paper

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the study or topic.


Originality and Plagiarism

The author should ensure that he or she has written entirely original works, and if the author has used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.


Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication

An author should not publish an exact manuscript via GSNN.  We will consider, however, a modified version on the same research or topic if it is relevant to our audience.


Acknowledgement of Sources

Proper acknowledgment of sources is required for publication.


Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.


Fundamental Errors in Published Works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.


Reporting Standards

Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance.





GSNN’s blog, GreenNotes, features articles that address one or more themes based on the core practices of GSNN’s GreenPrint. Each month, the blog shines a spotlight on a specific topic related to green, healthy, and sustainable schools. A list of upcoming themes can be found below. Have a question about an upcoming theme? Contact cmerse@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org.


Interested in contributing? Please fill out this form.


Why Write for GreenNotes?

Writing for GreenNotes is a win-win for you and the green schools movement. As an author, you will gain validation and recognition for the work you do in your classroom, school, district, and/or state to advance green, healthy, and sustainable schools. Your stories and case studies will reach thousands of K-12 educators, school leaders, and green schools advocates, enabling you to grow your network and share your successes, challenges, and best practices with like-minded peers. Most importantly, you will be contributing to a body of knowledge that supports and advances the need for green, healthy, and sustainable school environments for ALL students.


We are looking for a variety of articles for GreenNotes, including:

  • Case studies of schools and school districts doing exemplary work in environmental and sustainability initiatives.
  • Profiles of leaders and advocates in the green schools movement.
  • News and current events of interest to the green schools movement.


GreenNotes Guidelines

  • Articles should be between 1000 – 1500 words in length.
  • Articles should address  one or more of the following:
    • best practices;
    • lessons learned;
    • benefits to students and/or teachers;
    • tools/resources (as appropriate); and
    • examples/case studies of real-world applications.
  • Include a headline/title.
  • Include quotes from educators when possible.
  • Use of APA style citations in articles is preferable over footnotes
  • A minimum of 1 photo is required to accompany the story.
    • Images must be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide.
    • Include the source of the image so credit can be assigned.
    • Please do not embed images in the body of the document.
  • Include a one paragraph bio(s) (approximately 100 words) for the contributing author(s) to accompany the story.
  • Preference will be given to articles that include live links to related/supporting material and/or suggest resources or tools of interest.


GreenNotes Submission Guidelines

  • Submit articles in MS Word. Documents should be single spaced and in an 11-point font.  Avoid extra formatting.
  • When submitting, include your name, title, organization, and contact email and phone number.
  • Email draft articles for consideration to Cyndy Merse at cmerse@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org.  Include “Write for GSNN: GreenNotes” in the subject line, along with your intended topic (e.g., “farm to school” or “place-based learning”).

Upcoming GreenNotes Themes 

Catalyst —–Spring 2019—-Using the School Building and Grounds as a 3-D Textbook


The Arts and Sustainability Literacy — April 2019

Submission deadline: April 5, 2019

Visual and performing arts have played an important role in cultural and creative expression for thousands of years. In today’s K-12 schools, the arts build school culture and student character by emphasizing authentic performance, craftsmanship, risk-taking, creativity, and a quest for beauty and meaning. Sustainable art and “green art classrooms” go beyond procuring environmentally-friendly art supplies to embracing the arts as a way to advocate for environmental and social equity. This issue of GreenNotes explores how schools and school districts are using the arts to teach students to be better stewards of the environment and their communities.


Innovation for the 22nd Century — May 2019

Submission deadline: April 22, 2019

The 21st century’s innovation economy requires today’s students to develop the skills and capabilities they need to be creative problem solvers who will shape the 22nd century. Schools that embrace sustainability as the driver of innovation are placing students in the driver’s seat, giving them opportunities to solve complex, real-world problems and create products for real audiences. This issue of GreenNotes introduces you to some of these exemplary schools and school districts and the innovations their students are creating for a sustainable future.


Catalyst —–Summer 2019—-P4: Place-, Project-, Problem-, Phenomenon-Based Learning


Fostering Literacy in Green Schools: Decoding and Encoding Our World — July 2019

Submission deadline: June 24, 2019

The word “literacy” is bandied about a lot these days and in many different contexts. Students who are preparing to enter the 21st century workforce will need to master a wide range of “literacies” – science, mathematics, information, financial, environmental, and sustainability – beyond reading and writing. This begs the question, “What does literacy mean?” This issue of GreenNotes looks to answer that question by highlighting schools and school districts that are decoding and encoding the many faces of literacy and equipping students with the skills they need to be literate in the 21st and 22nd centuries.


Exploring Design Thinking in Sustainability Education — August 2019

Submission deadline: July 22, 2019

More and more, teachers across the country are introducing design thinking in their classrooms to encourage their students to become problem solvers while developing the “4Cs” of 21st century skills. Unlike traditional problem-solving processes, design thinking goes beyond asking questions, brainstorming solutions, prototyping, testing, and reflecting. It requires students to put themselves in the shoes of others, to build empathy, in coming up with solutions. This issue of GreenNotes explores what design thinking looks like in the K-12 classroom, which schools and school districts are leading the way, and how you can begin to incorporate design thinking in your instruction.


Catalyst —–Fall 2019—-Food Systems