From Our Executive Director: Equity and Justice Lead to Sustainability 
 
To our community,
 
Recent events have forced us to face that racism, police brutality, and systemic inequities continue to prevail. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others are symptoms of the unsustainable nature of our relationships. Over the past couple years, our partners have been pushing us to incorporate and lift up equity as a key focus of our work. As an organization committed to co-creating schools and school districts that are just, equitable, and sustainable, we can no longer sit back, be silent, and wait until we get it exactly right. We acknowledge that co-creating a sustainable future begins with equity and justice.

Navigating the New Normal in School Transportation

As school leaders begin to plan for reopening in the fall, one of the issues they will be grappling with is how to safely transport students to and from school. Social distancing on school buses, cleaning for health, and supporting students who may no longer have ready access to transportation due to COVID-19 are just some of the considerations on the table.
 
We've said it before, and we'll say it again - how students get to and from school matters. Especially now as we navigate a global pandemic, societal unrest, and the inequities laid bare in their wake. Not everyone is guaranteed a ride to school in a school bus and taking the bus to school may very well exacerbate the spread of COVID-19. Then there's the issue of how diesel school buses contribute to air pollution and climate change. Needless to say, there's a lot at stake when it comes to school transportation. We will be exploring these issues and more in the Summer 2020 issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, which focuses on sustainable school transportation. Look for that issue to come out in August.
 
Over the last month, our blog has featured articles from state programs, schools, and school districts that are taking steps to make transportation healthier for people and planet. From a school biodiesel club spreading the word about the potential of renewable fuels, to a state Safe Routes to School program focused on equity, to a school district's efforts to transition to an all propane bus fleet, these are inspiring stories that show what's possible when schools commit to sustainability and equity - not just in transportation, but in everything they do!
Feature Articles


Safe Routes to School: Making Green Transportation to School the Easy and Safe Choice




Biodiesel Fuels Real-World Learning at Rockwood Summit High School




Clean, Green Yellow School Bus Machines: A District's Quest to Adopt a Propane Fueled-Fleet




Green Commuting Challenge

Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine.
Learn with Green Schools National Network
Addressing Environmental Justice for a Sustainable Future

Who: High School Educators
When: July 15 - 17, 2020, 12:00 - 4:00 pm ET
Cost: $25 for Catalyst Network members / $75 for non-members; covers book and environmental pollutant testing supplies
 
Registration deadline is July 8 (5:00 pm ET)
 
 
This virtual PD workshop for high school teachers explores the implications of environmental pollution on our communities. Over the course of three, four-hour sessions, attendees will use the book,  A Terrible Thing to Waste by Harriet Washington, as the anchor for a set of learning experiences that will shed light on how Americans of color are disproportionately harmed by environmental hazards. The workshop will model how to incorporate fieldwork and experts to deepen students' understanding of toxic exposure and institutional negligence in their own communities, and how this exposure impacts cognitive development. Providing background knowledge, inspiration, and direction, attendees will leave with sound ideas on how to build student agency around a powerful topic. 
Green Schools National Network | in fo@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org