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Joining CT Green LEAF Schools

Are you a PreK-12 school, public or private? CT Green LEAF Schools is a free assessment, tracking and recognition program that will meet you where you’re at.  It is designed to help you take action to achieve:

Becoming a CT Green LEAF School can help bring change to your school immediately

Our program offers a network of fellow educators, resources and partners that can support your journey.  When you’re ready we can guide you through the self-assessment which offers many pathways toward a more sustainable and just community.

Schools in Alliance districts, Title 1 schools, or schools that provide free and reduced priced lunch to 60% or more of their student population have the opportunity for additional support. This may include one-on-one assistance in completing the self-assessment, setting goals and tracking progress, as well as financial support for staff professional development and access  to COEEA mini-grants. 

Joining the CT Green Leaf Schools program is easy!

Complete these two steps and your school will be recognized as a new Acorn member.

  1. Letter of Commitment (signed by your head of school or district)

  2. Enrollment Form (coming soon!)

 
Participating schools can progress through the three CT Green Leaf Schools levels:
gls-levels

Acorn

Achievements:

  • Submit a Letter of Commitment

  • Complete the Enrollment Form

Benefits:

  • Access to listserv

  • Quarterly newsletter

Sapling

Achievements:

  • Form a Green Team

  • Complete the Self-Assessment

Benefits:

Oak Tree

Achievements:

  • Accomplish a Green LEAF Goal

  • Fulfill professional development

Benefits:

GreenTeam

Forming a Green Team

Are you an Acorn member ready to advance to Sapling?

It's time to begin assembling your Green Team. No matter your role and wherever you're starting point, the formation of a cohesive, representative, and inclusive Green Team is one of the most critical determining factors for the long-term success of your program. No one can do this work alone. Below are a few guidelines and helpful hints for bringing your team together. 

Each school is unique, with unique goals and resources. Consider including people from all levels and from many different sectors of your school community on your Green Team. Think about who your “champions” are and maintain an open invitation to your entire school community to recruit and sustain Green Team members.

Administrators: Administrators understand the complexities of your school and are in contact with those who can make change happen. Consider including administrators on the district level who might also serve as consultants as needed.

Teachers: Including teachers on your team is a must! They should be willing to communicate with peers and rally support from their peers as projects and activities unfold. Teachers are key to connecting the greening of your school to classroom curriculum.
 

Facility Staff: Engage your facility manager, and maintenance and food services staff. Depending on the projects you choose, you will need to tap knowledge from these folks to succeed in your greening efforts. They have a wealth of knowledge about how the school works.  Also consider reaching out to your municipal agencies like the Department of Public Works and Conservation and Energy Commissions.

Students: No school project can succeed without including students as stakeholders. Projects can be enriched by integrating the project into classroom curriculum.  Students should represent different grades.  We want student voices to be heard.  We ask that you train student representatives on how to participate fully in team conversations.

Parents/Family/Caregivers: Consider including the extended school family, PTA/PTO members, and school board members in your Green Team.  Each has a unique view of the school and can be valuable supporters.

Community: Your neighborhood or local community can be valuable assets as members of your Green Team or as consultants or activity partners. Your team may focus on projects that benefit from community support. For example, your school garden project may benefit from the local Garden Club, master gardeners, Extension Center, or landscaper.

Your next step: Self-Assessment

Once you've established your Green Team, it's time to start your CT Green Leaf Self-Assessment.  Email us for access to your individualized tracking tool!

You will emerge from this process with more questions than answers and lots of ideas about how and where to take action. From there, the team can identify initiatives or projects that they would like the school to work on. Be realistic with your initial work, and recruit partners to help. For example, you might recruit one grade level to estimate or measure trash and provide that calculation to the team, or work with the PTO on a schoolyard clean-up project. Each new partnership adds volunteers, interest, commitment and investment in your school’s efforts to go greener.  Questions?  Email us!

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