Exactly What You Can Expect Next Month at the GCS Leadership Institute

June 30, 2016 | Written By:

So you have a green cleaning program. You’re making third-party-certified purchasing decisions, you’ve revamped your team’s policies and you’re providing more training than ever before. Now what?

Maybe you’re ready to get your institution or district to include your green cleaning program in its sustainability policy, or even write that policy from scratch.

How are you going to start that conversation?

Perhaps you need your administration to approve a bigger budget for more staffing, expensive green equipment that will pay off down the road, and to pay your leadership competitively?

Are you prepared to make that case?

It’s probably about time your department were officially included in the institutional infection control and risk management strategies, too.

Who can help you make that happen?

People in the school and community need to know about your green cleaning program and all that you and your team do to protect the health of students, staff and the environment.

Where to start?

On July 28, on Day One of the Green Clean Schools Leadership Institute in Ellicott City, MD, we invite you to an engaging and powerful cooperative learning experience designed specifically to give you the understanding and tools you need to accomplish these significant milestones. Systems Thinking Systems Change will take you through the research-based stages of change within an educational institution or school district to create healthier programs, practices and policies.

This workshop is designed to simulate health-related changes specifically within the frame of an educational setting so that you can learn and understand how to advocate for change successfully. Change is never easy. But with the tools you will take away from this workshop, it will become attainable.

During this four-hour interactive group exercise, you will:

  • Figure out how to address resistance from administration, students, parents and members of your own team effectively
  • Understand why people resist change in the first place
  • See that change takes time, and create realistic expectations for timelines within your own programs
  • Get inside the power structure of your institution, identify the people who can help you and come up with a concrete plan to take back home with you
  • Identify champions who will galvanize your cause and push changes through at every level
  • Explore sustainability best practices
  • Learn how to make a strong case for your program, including how to make a link between hygiene, green cleaning, attendance and even test scores.
  • Take home the skills necessary to build relationships within your community and institution

The best part about this? Systems Thinking Systems Change is really fun! It’s also a unique opportunity for you to network with other leading school facility managers and green cleaning advocates in a deep and meaningful way.

“You will build camaraderie with your teammates and you won’t want it to end,” says Jessica Lawrence, the program’s facilitator and the Director of Cairn Guidance. “I’ve never had a group that says ‘oh good, it’s over.’ They always ask for more time!”

Meet Jessica Lawrence

Jessica Lawrence is an expert on education and health. She’s dedicated her entire career to helping schools become healthier, and believes in sending consistent messages to children and students about health through institutional programs and policies. For example, if a student is learning about the effect of environmental toxins on his body in a science class, then that school better not be using those same toxins to finish the floor in that science classroom.

Jessica started her career as a middle school health teacher, and from there she worked in Oregon’s Department of Education overseeing all health education for the entire state in a program that was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. She helped develop curriculum as well as plans for asthma friendly schools, among many other health policies. From there, Jessica started Cairn Guidance, a consulting firm that provides targeted, strategic and comprehensive support to communities and schools. An exceptional speaker, presenter and facilitator, Jess’s work includes facilitating meetings, workshops and strategic plans, presenting and speaking at conferences and developing curriculum and materials specifically around school and community health issues.

Jessica has used Systems Thinking Systems Change to educate state governments, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, large school districts, school nurses and countless other groups of educational stakeholders on how to advocate for systemic change that will make our nation’s schools and children healthier.

“I give people the language to help advocate for their program and for their position, framed in an education world,” says Jessica. “Let’s create sustainable change and while we’re at it, let’s institutionalize green clean schools.”

The Green Clean Schools Leadership Institute

Systems Thinking Systems Change is part of a two-day event designed to cultivate the skills and give you the knowledge you need to be an effective leader and advocate for your green cleaning program and the green cleaning movement as a whole. The full agenda features inspirational panel discussions from the Green Clean Schools Leadership Council members, a keynote address from the Father of Green Cleaning, Steve Ashkin, an in-depth tour of the award-winning green cleaning program at Howard County Public Schools and opportunities to network with other visionary green cleaning leaders.

Download the full agenda.

Register now!


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