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Thank you to Jennifer Seydel of Green Schools National Network for this heartfelt leadership piece:

All of us are grappling with a number of feelings right now, chief among them uncertainty about the upcoming school year. Many if not all of you have already decided how you’ll reopen this fall. According to a recent survey I conducted, 85% of you plan to reopen with virtual classrooms, the others with a hybrid model. All of you have settled on a set of principles that take into account science-based data to guide adjustments and changes in those plans.

Schools and organizations that succeed in reinventing themselves based on the realities of COVID-19 and actionable commitments to equity will use a small number of steadfast key principles and common structures that support innovation.

At Green Schools National Network, we hold the following core values in esteem:

  • Educational innovation is driven by sustainability.
  • Leadership is the key to creating sustainable schools.
  • Student voices and perspectives are part of the solution for a sustainable future.
  • High-quality professional learning opportunities inspire educators to transform their classrooms AND our entire educational system.

Innovation is fostered through collaboration with sustainability change-makers.

We leverage these values on a daily basis as we work to support you.

What core values guide your decision-making? We know you’re making a bewildering number of decisions for your schools and districts each and every day as you prepare to open and adjust to unfolding circumstances. We also know that teachers, parents, and students won’t closely read a new handbook detailing the 142 changes and practices for the 2020 – 2021 school year; they’ll only be able to attend to a small number of key organizational ideas. So, here’s some questions for you to consider:

  • How are you leveraging your commitment to sustainability in your decisions?
  • As a leader, are you building institutional trust with families and teachers as you navigate through this uncertain time?
  • Are you engaging teachers and students in re-visioning your schools?
  • Are you providing innovative professional learning opportunities for your teachers and helping them build on the new skills they acquired last spring?
  • Are you exploring and networking with others who are innovating in this uncertain time?
  • As a member of the Catalyst Network, you have a community of like-minded peers standing behind and beside you! We are here to support your efforts and bolster you in this crazy time. We can send out a fog horn on your behalf if you need some guidance! Let us know what you need. Rafting our boats together will help us all feel less isolated and more focused as we face this uncertain future…together.

 

Thank you Jennifer Seydel. This article was originally published in the the Green Schools Catalyst Leaders Newsletter, and reprinted with permission from the Green Schools National Network. 

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