Alberta Green Schools - working with Rocky View Schools

Leading a Transformation for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

November 8 and 9, 2013 - Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre

September 30 & October 1, 2014 - Entheos Retreat Centre

Funding for Year 2 was provided by:

Funding for the Year 1 was provided by:

As part of its commitment to supporting schools' and teachers' professional learning, ACEE and Rocky View Schools' learning specialists created the Rocky View Action Cohort. The Action Cohort brings together school teams for a two-day session. Each team includes an administrator and three to five teachers, and they spend their time learning and planning for leading a transformation for environmental stewardship. The teams learn about transformational leadership, environmental inquiry and environmental stewardship and work on a plan for their school. The buzz in the room as the teams work on their plans is audible - the teams are focused, engaged and utilize their team planning time extremely well. The Rocky View Action Cohort has 22 schools participating - 12 from year 1 and 10 from year 2.

What is transformational leadership?

Transformational leadership encompasses four dimensions to create change that involves teachers, administrators and the community to enhance student learning. All four areas were covered during the two-day session and the school teams worked on an action plan to move forward in each of these areas.

Building Community In successful Green Schools, teachers bring in education resources from the community – so ACEE introduced some of these groups to teachers at the workshop! ACEE sends a big thanks to these groups: Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation, ATCO Energy, CAWST Youth Wavemakers, Classroom Energy Diet, ConocoPhillips’ School Environmental Quest, Destination Conservation, Fish Creek Provincial Park, Green Calgary, Grounds for Change, and Inside Education. What did the administrators and teachers say about the Action Cohort?
  • Over 80% of the participants responded that they were extremely satisfied with the two-day session
  • 100% of the participants stated that this work aligns with their overall education plan
  • The school teams felt better prepared to lead a transformation for environmental stewardship - increased from 57% before the session to 90% after the session.
  • 100% of participants stated that this addressed their teams needs, that they made progress on their goal and they are ready to implement actions outlined in their plan.
"The RVS Action Cohort helped our team envision what transformation for environmental stewardship could look like at our school and to take the initial steps to make the transformation in our school." - Alanna Wycoco, Teacher "The Action Cohort was very valuable to our team because of the time it provided to work together alongside experts to plan our projects. When we finished the second day we left feeling refreshed, excited and inspired. Thank you!"  - Janelle Phillips, Teacher "Having an administrator present in each group was absolutely instrumental to giving the project strength and depth that will make it work back in our school and with our community.  Having members of the Education Centre and landscape and grounds maintenance, having outside topic experts and experts within our colleagues...was all instrumental.  Having a guiding plan (building capacity, direction etc) was crucial to direct our work, the indepth planning time - lots of it, and good long amounts of it each time so we could really dig deep was crucial.  If all PD was like this we would be moving and shaking!!!!!" " For Sarah Thompson School staff, it put us in touch with like minded individuals who we can access for support as well as experts to help us develop our plan." " The session really helped our school think about all the different ways that we can become involved in environmental initiatives and promote environmental stewardship."  - Farran Harkonen, Teacher What have the schools accomplished? The Year 1 schools participated in a Rocky Talk (TedTalk format) in the spring of 2014. Check out the videos from the Rocky Talks (all the school videos are about 10 minutes): Moving forward The two-day session helped the schools develop their plans and to 'dig deeper' into environmental inquiry. We'll continue to support these dedicated administrators, teachers and schools. Ongoing support:
  • ACEE will support the school division with additional environmental education professional learning, including their participation in the Alberta Green Schools conference stream, where we'll recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.
  • The learning specialists at Rocky View will offer support to help schools engage theirs students in environmental inquiry learning.
  • Deb Rougeau-Bell as the Mentoring Specialist will continue to support administrators in advancing in all four dimensions of transformational leadership.

“Schools should prepare us for the future, not the past. The future of the world will be built on sustainability. If we learn what sustainable technologies are available when we are in school, we will be able to help shape the future of global sustainability when we graduate.” 

- Quinn, student at Jasper Place high school in Edmonton