Explore opportunities to be inspired at the virtual Green Schools Conference

Published on: 
Friday, May 21, 2021
Kristen Keim

The virtual 2021 Green Schools Conference (June 28–29) is gearing up to be an exciting event with numerous opportunities for attendees to gain new ideas, be inspired and walk away with effective green school strategies that apply to all levels of their work.

We’ve highlighted here some key aspects of the conference that you shouldn’t miss this year! We encourage you to read the detailed program schedule and start marking your calendars for the sessions you want to join. If you haven’t yet done so, you can register for as little as $100.

Keynote sessions

To kick off the event on June 28, Justin Shaifer, a rising star in STEM education and advocacy and a LinkedIn "Top Voice in Technology," will lead a thought-provoking keynote conversation during the opening general session. Shaifer’s dedication to engaging youth in STEM education aligns with the work that conference attendees are doing to ensure every student can learn in sustainable schools that enhance their health and prepare them for the future.

At the closing keynote, a group of young leaders from various national youth-led sustainability councils across the U.S. will leave attendees reflecting on the need for a more holistic approach to the climate movement that sees beyond, and actively works against, the systemic racism and prejudice endemic to our society.

Education sessions

The conference features 15 education sessions across a wide variety of sustainability topics and from the perspective of many different stakeholders in the movement around green schools. We’ll be featuring each session over the coming weeks, but here is a sneak peek of a few highlights.

Designing Schools for a Greener Future

  • Always Be Carbon-neutral—The ABCs of Getting to Carbon-neutral in Schools | June 28 | 4:45–5:45 p.m. ET

Led by members from the “Getting to Zero” school cohort in California, this session will outline how to develop a road map for healthy, efficient, carbon-neutral school buildings across a district, even with constrained budgets.

  • From Yellow to Green: Starting the Transition to Electric School Buses | June 29 | 1–2 p.m. ET

The transition to electric school buses is here, and panelists of this session will share unique stories from several school districts that are leading the way to get away from diesel buses, plus resources and tips for getting started.

Leading Green Schools for All

  • Advancing Equity and Access to Green Careers | June 28 | 4:45–5:45 p.m. ET

Led by experts from three diverse green career workforce development programs, attendees of this session will learn how to integrate work-based opportunities and classroom experiences to make green workforce accessible to and inclusive of all students, especially those from the under-resourced communities that are most impacted by climate change.

  • Trauma-informed School Building Design | June 29 | 4:45–5:45 p.m. ET

The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence found that over 60% of all children under the age of 18 have experienced some sort of trauma in the prior year. In this session, experts in architecture and trauma will showcase trauma-informed building design strategies focused on creating more supportive school environments.

Educating the Next Generation of Green Leaders

  • Beyond the Four Walls: A Beginner’s Guide to Outdoor Learning | June 28 | 2:15–3:15 p.m. ET

The past year has challenged our concepts of a classroom and pushed us outside of the traditional, four-walled classroom experience. For anyone new to outdoor learning, seasoned teachers from Prairie Crossing Charter School will share tips, tricks and strategies for safe, effective and engaging outdoor learning adventures.

  • 8th Graders Spark A District-wide Climate Change Initiative | June 29 | 4:45–5:45 p.m. ET

Woodland Hills School District made history in 2019 as the first school district to pass a board resolution for climate action, stemming from the testimonies of 8th graders. This session, led by staff and students from the school district, will share their journey and ideas for continued momentum.

Thought leadership spotlights

On both days of the conference, attendees will hear from notable green schools thought leaders in six different sessions focused on Restorative Practices, New Concepts, and Collective Solutions. These inspirational spotlights will keep attendees engaged with breakout sessions, group brainstorming and sharing, wellness practices and more. Join us in these hot-topic conversations ranging from health equity to sustainable mindsets to trauma-informed restorative practices.

Register and learn more about the virtual GSC 2021