Write for the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly

Upcoming Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly Themes



Civic Engagement and Citizenship – Winter 2019

 Submission deadline: September 15, 2019

Preparing students to be caring, compassionate, and active citizens in a democratic society is more important than ever. High-quality civics education and engagement can help students foster the skills and competencies needed to participate in both their local and global communities. This issue features research and case studies that explore how schools are integrating civics education into daily instruction as well as providing students with real-world opportunities to be influential civic leaders in their local communities.


Transportation Spring 2020

 Submission deadline: December 15, 2019

How students get to and from school matters. Whether taking the big yellow bus, riding a bike, or walking to school, these choices influence how children perceive and navigate their world, as well as contribute to a school’s carbon footprint. This issue features research and case studies that highlight some of the innovative policies, programs, and initiatives that schools and school districts are adopting around transportation to save money, keep their students healthy, and above all, tread more lightly on the planet.

Student Voice – Summer 2020

Submission deadline: March 15, 2020

Student-centered learning plays an integral role in the 21st century classroom and the power of student voice and choice is being felt (and heard) beyond the four walls of the school building. Today’s students are taking action to create change in the world, in their schools, and in their communities. In this issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, you will hear directly from students themselves about how they are working to reduce the environmental footprint of their schools and communities; promote health and wellness; and engage in meaningful projects that bridge classroom and community.


School Safety – Fall 2020

Submission deadline: June 15, 2020

School safety is a hot button topic and for good reason. Every child deserves to attend a school where they feel safe, accepted, and cared for. This starts with schools and school districts that take a proactive stance when it comes to addressing student trauma and promoting positive school cultures and climates. This issue of the Green School Catalyst Quarterly explores how schools and school districts can create learning environments that nurture the social-emotional and mental health of students.


Design Thinking – Winter 2020

Submission deadline: September 15, 2020

Many schools and school districts are turning to design thinking to identify meaningful solutions to their sustainability challenges. From the facilities and administration departments to the classroom, school leaders and educators are infusing creativity and empathy into the problem-solving process. This issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly takes a look at what design thinking looks like in the classroom and how it can be used to transform schools and school systems.


Transformation of School Grounds – Spring 2021

Submission deadline: December 15, 2020

School grounds are an untapped resource at many schools and school districts. The rise of green schoolyards across the country demonstrates the potential of these spaces to support hands-on, experiential learning; access to nature; community engagement; and climate mitigation. This issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly explores how schools and school districts are turning their grounds from seas of asphalt to fields of green, all while supporting outdoor learning, enriching local ecosystems, and building stronger communities.


Active School Design – Summer 2021

Submission deadline: March 15, 2021

The spaces inside and outside of schools have a big influence on the health and well-being of students and staff. With a focus on increasing movement and making smart food choices top-of-mind, more schools and school districts are turning to active design to make daily physical activity and healthy eating more accessible and appealing. This issue of the Green Schools Catalyst takes a look at how active design can be applied in schools to create inviting, invigorating, and inspiring spaces that encourage physical activity and healthy eating.


Universal Design and Special Education – Fall 2021

Submission deadline: June 15, 2021

All children deserve to attend schools that meet their physical, social-emotional, and curricular needs. In the 1990s, the concept of universal design began to gain traction after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The tenets of universal design are finding their way into the classroom as well, making learning accessible to all students. This issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly explores how green design and universal design principles are being applied to create high performance learning environments that meet the needs of every child.


Why Write for GSCQ?

Writing for GSCQ 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 research, case study, feature article, and/or column will reach thousands of K-12 educators, school leaders, and green schools advocates, enabling you to grow your network and enhance your professional standing among 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.


Each issue of GSCQ features research articles, case studies, practical application articles, columns, and reviews that:

  • Highlight the latest qualitative/quantitative research and describe its implications for a green, healthy, sustainable school.
  • Present in-depth case studies of schools or school districts doing exemplary work in environmental and sustainability initiatives.
  • Describe practical application(s) or best practice(s) that are being implemented and scaled in schools and school districts across the country.
  • Profile people at the school and district levels who are exemplars of transformational/regenerative/change leadership and making an impact on practice and/pr policy.
  • Profile people, organizations, and/or agencies engaging in local, state, regional or federal partnerships that are supporting change at scale.


General GSCQ Author Guidelines:

  • Articles should be between 1500 – 2500 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.
  • 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) 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.

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: Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly” in the subject line, along with your intended topic (e.g., “farm to school” or “place-based learning”).

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.