At the 2012 Green Schools National Conference, the Green Schools National Network (GSNN) hosted our first series of Solution Summits that covered a wide-range of contemporary green schools issues. One of these Solution Summits was entitled, “Making the Case: Connecting Green and Healthy Schools with Student Achievement.” The Summit assembled a who’s who of green schools experts and thought leaders to discuss current research, how student achievement was being measured, where the gaps were, and what opportunities, if any, existed for collaboration to advance student achievement. We certainly had our work cut out for us.
At the time, research did exist that connected many facets of green schools, as defined by GSNN’s GreenPrint, with increases in student learning and health. When pieced together, these studies supported our case that students who attend green and healthy schools outperform students in more traditional schools in several ways. However, many of the studies’ conclusions were anecdotal and needed hard data to back up their assertions with any certainty. While the research around green schools and student achievement has expanded over the ensuing years, there is still limited evidence connecting the two together.
This is where GSNN is hoping to step in and make a difference in the green schools movement. Through our fledgling Catalyst School Network, we will begin to create a body of work that buy ambien online reviews shows, using hard data and examples, that green schools are implementing practices that are having a positive, demonstrative impact on student achievement and college and career success. We will use GreenNotes and our forthcoming Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly to report our results to you and to tell the story of student achievement in green schools in a way that school boards and policy-makers can understand.
This issue of GreenNotes is a springboard for these types of stories and case studies. You will learn how the Environmental Charter Schools’ best practice model leads to student success; how Boulder Valley School District in Colorado is creating places and practices to encourage more meaningful learning opportunities; and how a school in rural Appalachia is using place-based education to drive achievement for all its students. One of GSNN’s Professional Development Collaborative partners, Susan Santone with Creative Change Educational Solutions, shares how she is helping schools incorporate civic engagement into their curriculum. And finally, you will read about some of the common practices used by EL Education schools to get kids on the green way to getting smart.
We are embarking on an exciting time for teaching (and learning!) in green schools, and I hope you will join me and the Network as we strive to build our case and turn anecdotes into cold, hard facts.