Technology, Collaboration, Innovation: Schools Pave the Way for 22nd Century Leaders 
 
Here's a humbling thought: today's students will be entering a workforce that looks significantly different than the one we know today. Many will be taking on jobs that don't currently exist. Yet, we continue to educate most students based on an outdated "factory model" that doesn't bear any resemblance to the world we live in, much less one we will be entering in the next ten, twenty, or fifty years. How can we expect students to rise to the global challenges that await them if we don't equip them with the skills and capabilities they need? To prepare students for the unknowns of the 22nd century, schools today must start placing students in the driver's seat of their education and give them opportunities to solve complex, real-world problems and give voice to the concerns they see in their communities.
 
This month, GreenNotes explored how schools are preparing students to co-create a sustainable future by providing them with opportunities to think outside the box, innovate, and collaborate with community partners. Here's a round up of stories we posted from Whitewater Middle School, Richland Two Institute of Innovation, Kellam High School, and Yosemite High School.
Feature Articles


Collaborating and Innovating for a Brighter Future at Kellam High School




Verizon Innovation Learning Lab Sparks 21st Century Learning at Whitewater Middle School




Energy Solutions from Nature: Emulating the Vespa orientalis to Increase Efficiency of Solar Energy Output




Creating Sustainable Futures through Project-Based Learning at Yosemite High School



Sustainability with Post-it Notes

Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine. 
Learn with Green Schools National Network
Green Schools National Network's (GSNN) professional development and coaching services are designed to help schools and school districts adopt sustainability practices that align with their strategic goals. Our work is guided by the GreenPrintâ„¢ for Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Schools and its five core principles: curriculum, stewardship, facilities and operations, health and well-being, and leadership. Along with our professional development collaborative partners, we are positioned to help schools and school districts adopt a culture of sustainability that permeates every aspect of education: planning, policy development, program implementation, finances, curricula, teaching, learning, assessment, and administration.

Read on to learn how GSNN is supporting Vista Grande High School in its efforts to integrate social and emotional learning into daily practice.

Vista Grande High School (VGHS), located in Taos, New Mexico is dedicated to offering a powerfully rich learning environment where relationships take priority. Recognizing the connection between social and emotional learning (SEL) and creating a culture of sustainability, GSNN has been intimately involved with supporting structures and systems that build SEL skills and knowledge, while strengthening relationships. A core structure that VGHS uses to make strong connections is called Crew, where a group of multi-age students meet daily for 60 minutes with a Crew leader.
 
Each classroom teacher (Crew leader) is assigned 10-12 students and facilitates Crew lessons that range from team-building and mindfulness, to character exploration and social intentionality. During the 2018-2019 school year, VGHS Crews focused on areas such as Social Awareness, Self-Management, Emotional Regulation, and Social-Perspective Taking, while designing lessons that correlate to these topics. The daily Crew segment certainly contributes to SEL but VGHS staff realize that social and emotional development occurs from the minute a student walks in the door until the second they leave.
 
To support VGHS, GSNN has provided resources, perspective, and training on effective Crew facilitation, along with SEL consideration and integration. All VGHS staff members have embraced the coaching while strengthening their practice. GSNN has helped VGHS collect data on their progress and consider the most impactful leverage points. The work continues, as the VGHS team is following a multi-year plan that pushes practice at a reasonable rate.
 
In addition, VGHS offers a rich menu of academic options with multi-disciplinary learning expeditions serving as the core vehicle for deep learning. Several recent expedition topics have included a focus on identity, activism, climate, agriculture, and sustainability. Academic content is designed to foster curiosity and connection, while the SEL element is woven into how students collaborate and demonstrate understanding.
 
GSNN feels fortunate to support and learn with VGHS, witnessing growth and passion. Finding ways to leverage GSNN offerings with school needs, partners like VGHS are strengthening their programs and positively impacting young people!

Ready to get started?

Contact jseydel@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org for more information on the range of professional services that GSNN has to offer schools and school districts.
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