Institute for Sustainability, Education and Ecology  

Eco-School parent network
Be there for the planet!

Your chance to get involved at school and beyond. (Focused on elementary schools this year.)

What is an Eco-School Network (ESN)?

An ESN is composed of parents (and interested teachers) working in their respective K-5 schools to “green” the experience of children at school in a variety of ways.

The key role of parents:

In cooperation with teachers and staff, ESN parents initiate or assist with projects, to introduce sustainable practices and raise eco-awareness, in one or more of four areas of school life:

  1. Facilities, grounds, and operations including operations in the school, use of the school grounds, energy use, waste management (including food waste), and materials used in school.
  2. Organized activities for students such as student green teams and nature clubs.
  3. Events and gatherings for the school community, parents and/or the neighborhood such as school auctions.
  4. Classroom instruction for students outside the regular curriculum such as an EcoThink presentation by a parent.

Level of parent involvement:

Each parent, in cooperation with teachers and school administrators, decides the scope and level of activity for work in her school. Network parents have the following in common:

  • They take an active role at school.
  • They carry out projects, form adult sustainability teams, and organize student green teams.
  • They share information and inspire each other through Network activities.

Meetings:

Each parent, in cooperation with teachers and school administrators, decides the scope and level of activity for work in her school. Network parents have the following in common:

  • Network members meet five times a year to discuss topics related to sustainability initiatives at school. Often a guest speaker shares information on a specific topic.
  • Field trips are scheduled based on demand.
  • Annual events and/or retreats are held with experts, workshops, and time for sharing. Parents from other ESNs are encouraged to attend.

Communication:

  • Quarterly e-newsletter is published, with a parent-editor, containing case studies and announcements.
  • Tools and aids for use in schools, which have been created and used by Network members, are stored in an online library, available to any ESN in Oregon.
  • Parents share information and provide feedback through an online forum.
  • Active members work on district-wide projects such as the elimination of disposable foam trays at lunch.

More information can be found on the Center for Earth Leadership website: www.earthleaders.org/eco-schools