Durant Green School Program
Provided by E. Callicoat, Updated 12.7.17
Vision for a sustainable future: A community of children and adults working together and creatively learning to live sustainably by studying their world and developing projects and systems that change it for the better. At the center is Durant Public Schools’ conduit of courses and empowerment opportunities that provide knowledge and support for exploration into the field of sustainability. In time, Durant, OK becomes a destination for studying the implementation of sustainability practices.
Mission: Cultivate a deep understanding and lasting implementation of sustainability practices within Durant’s public school system and community.
Provide space, time and support for students and teachers to design and implement sustainability projects
Develop new classes focused on a variety of sustainability areas, such as regenerative farming, energy auditing, landscape design, geographic information systems, entrepreneurship and more
Promote school self-sufficiency by growing food, harvesting waste stream resources, saving resources
Connect student action and learning to opportunities and resources in the community
Provide capstone learning opportunities at the high-school level that connect graduating students to innovative career and/or business development opportunities in the green economy
Build innovative community partnerships to elevate the potential for program design and implementation
Purpose: Sustainability refers to respecting Earth’s limits and managing life in a way that doesn’t deplete or overwhelm Earth’s ability to support life. It also refers to one’s personal health and longevity. Actions and decisions that support the health of the planet will support the health of people.
Staffing: Staff will be needed to guide/coordinate the program and develop/implement projects and classes. University students and community volunteers with an interest in sustainability will be recruited to assist with project design and implementation.
Funding: To develop and implement systematic changes throughout our school system, the program will rely on grant funding for the first five years. Ideally, the program will eventually be included in the annual budget based on savings generated by self-sufficiency – growing food, saving energy, etc.
Population Served: The program currently serves 154 students in grades 4 – 8, but also provides educational opportunities for many more students. For example, last month Callicoat provided a presentation on Careers in Sustainability to the DMS student population. And in the spring, the DIS Green Team will conduct a Sustainability Fair that will be open to all DIS students to submit projects related to sustainability.
Program Model: The program emphasizes resourcefulness, innovation, learning, and positive thinking in response to environmental challenges. It also emphasizes an appreciation for nature in general and overall conservation. Most of the project supplies come from the waste stream or are harvested from the landscape. Students are organized into specialty teams that collaborate to accomplish a variety of tasks such as school-wide recycling, waste stream analysis, composting, gardening/landscaping, reusing materials to make new things, spreading awareness, and more. Both DIS and DMS have an elective that provides the time and space for students to study sustainability more deeply and develop ideas to systematically change their school for the better.