Since 2011, the Center for Green Schools has managed the School Sustainability Leaders’ Network (SLN), providing transformative leadership development, networking and ongoing education opportunities to over 250 sustainability operations and curriculum staff from K-12 school systems across the United States. Network members, representing over 7 million students and billions of dollars in construction and operating budgets, are driving the sustainability agenda in their organizations, helping to reduce resource usage and costs, foster healthy policies and practices, and graduate students who are leaders for a sustainable future.
The Center facilitates this professional network, offering social, leadership and technical resources and opportunities, all designed with the unique needs of this group of changemakers in mind. Members of the SLN take part in free offerings including an annual summit, regional training, competitive fellowship positions, monthly webcasts, and daily connections and resource sharing through a social network platform.
“The Sustainability Leadership Network is so intentional about creating opportunities for peer to peer learning, filling in research gaps to support our work and celebrating successes. The annual School Sustainability Leadership Summit is the best professional development I have all year.” —Network Member
School Sustainability Leaders Network offerings
Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship
Existing school district staff who allocate at least 50 percent of their time to sustainability-related work are eligible to apply for a competitive, year-long fellowship. Fellows develop skills on topics such as effective communications, sustainability management, and leadership through personalized training and technical support. In addition, Fellows receive funding to participate in conferences and events of their choice, attendance at the Green Schools Conference and Expo and the School Sustainability Leaders’ Summit.
The application period for the Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship program is open each summer. The online application is released through an article on the Center for Green Schools website each year.
Note: This program is a slight revision to the annual School District Scholarship program. The Fellowship is awarded to a person, not a district, and in 2020 we are seeking Fellows who are emerging career professionals.
Annual School Sustainability Leaders’ Summit
Members of the SLN look forward to gathering for the School Sustainability Leaders’ Summit every year. Attendees take part in two days of training, peer-to-peer best practice sharing, and networking. This event provides a dedicated and supportive space for K–12 sustainability leaders to focus on bigger programming goals, gather ideas and resources, and engage in hands-on activities led by expert presenters. Hosted in conjunction with the Green Schools Conference and Expo, the summit takes place in the spring and will be virtual in 2021.
Virtual learning and networking
The Center hosts monthly webinars and webinar series on various sustainability topics such as electric buses, solar and energy storage, zero waste strategies, sustainability scorecards, outdoor education and more. Check out the 2020 webinar calendar.
Members stay in touch on a daily basis through a social networking platform called Yammer, where they can access the latest news, events and opportunities in the green school industry. Members also use the platform to gather input and access resources from peers who are working on similar initiatives. Contact us to get connected to the network.
If you are involved in sustainability programming at a school or school district, we would love to welcome you to the School Sustainability Leaders Network!
We are also interested in hearing from organizations interested in hosting a Green Schools Fellow or sponsoring this network.
Contact us to get connected.