Forming a School Green Team
Each school is different, with unique goals and resources. You should consider including people from all levels, and from many different areas of the school in your Green Team. Think about who your "champions” are, and don't forget to place an open invitation to your school community to recruit members.
It is great to have someone on your team who works at or near the top! These people understand the complexities of your organization, and are in contact with those who can make changes happen. Consider including administrators from the district level if this is appropriate for your school and projects you'd like to do. These administrators might also act as consultants as needed.
You need to include teaching staff on your team. Your teacher representatives should be good at communicating, and be able to get project support from their peers.
This category includes janitors and custodians, as well as kitchen staff. Depending on your projects, you will need to tap knowledge in these areas to succeed in your greening efforts. These folk also have a wealth of knowledge about how the school works (or doesn't!)
No school project can succeed without including students! All projects can also be enriched by using the project as part of the curriculum. If your school has multiple grades, student representatives should come from all levels. Make sure that student voices are heard, and that your student representatives have received training on how to participate in the team conversations.
Consider including the extended school family, PTA/PTO members, or even school board in your Green Team. They have a unique view of the school and can be valuable supporters.
Your neighborhood or town community may also add value to your Green Team activities. Your team may focus on projects that need community support. For example, your school garden project may benefit from the Garden Club, local master gardeners through your Extension Center, a local landscaper, or other community interests. Community members might act as members of your Green Team, or as consultants and partners as needed.
Once you have your team, it is time to start (or review) your Green LEAF Self-Assessment Tool. From there, the team can identify areas they would like to school to work on. Depending on the team's energy, you might choose a couple of initiative to start on. Check out the Roadmaps to help your plan your next steps for each topic area.
As your team identifies the challenges they want to work on, be sure to look for partners to help with that work — maybe recruiting a grade level to estimate or measure trash and provide that calculation to the team, or working with the PTO on a schoolyard clean-up project. Each new partnership add workers, interest and investment in your school's greening adventure!