MASBO News - 2018 - 18

Creating an

ENVIR NMENT
for Change:

A Whole School Approach
By Nora Wood, CPA, CGA

O

n January 25, 2018, the Doomsday clock, a metaphorical symbol used to indicate the likelihood of
a man-made global catastrophe, was moved to two
minutes to midnight. This is 30 seconds closer than
we sat in 2017, the same year that climate change was added to
the list of significant global threats. Almost every authoritative body agrees that climate change is thought to be "one of
the greatest threats of our time." (www.climatechange.gc.ca)
Despite much talk about the urgency to find solutions, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise steadily over
the past decade and jurisdictions across the globe are being
encouraged to take strong and immediate action. These are
complex problems that require systems thinking and a willingness to set aside individual and political agendas and
contemplating what needs to change and how, can feel simply
overwhelming (and frightening!). However, public education
offers some significant cause for hope. It provides a key opportunity to create a "laboratory...to improve the school's own
ecological footprint and strengthen public relations with the
surrounding community" (IISD, 2009); it is uniquely poised to
directly educate and influence the attitudes and behaviours of
employee groups, communities and, importantly, also those
of the next generation. One thing is clear: in order to ensure
the conditions for a flourishing and sustainable future, we
will need to leverage every resource we've got - and there is
no time to lose.
Manitoba Education and Training encourages school divisions to approach sustainability from a "whole-school" perspective by developing solutions that "extend beyond the
curriculum and address the entire planning and management
of the school facility." (www.edu.gov.mb.ca) Despite this, in
2009, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
(IISD) published a report that examined sustainability policies
at the School Division level in Manitoba and reported that
"...in Manitoba there is an apparent gap between the existing sustainability policy frameworks at the provincial level
and what currently exists at the school division levels." This

finding is being attributed as a possible "barrier to sustaining
the gains achieved during the decade." The report, now almost
10 years old itself, indicates that "only a small percentage of
Canadian school districts have developed sustainability policies in-house and that the majority of these policies do not take
a truly integrative approach to sustainability."
All schools have access to Sustainable Development
Innovations Fund and ESD grants provided through the
Province to individual schools, based on a formula of $700
per school annually. However, without a systematic approach
to tackling these broad and complex issues, school divisions
cannot adequately aggregate the resulting financial benefits.
Furthermore, they stand to miss other management opportunities that might provide concrete mechanisms to effectively move
sustainable development in a meaningful and lasting direction. Voluntary school initiatives ultimately fail to sustain the
continuity required when the staff champion leaves the school
or when funding disappears. Division-wide policies need to
encourage and create space for these local efforts but we also
need to ensure that more systematic approaches, supports and
monitoring mechanisms are in place. We need to move well
beyond local recycling and playground greening projects to an
integrative approach, which encapsulates the entire planning
and management of the school division - and beyond.

Creating Fertile Ground
There are a number of key steps to get started. The domain
framework developed by SEda (Sustainability and Education
Academy) for the whole system approach is a useful resource
and a great place to begin.
1. Governance - Create a division-level Sustainable
Development Committee, one that reports directly to
the Board and is tasked to create and monitor sustainable development policies, operational procedures and
has the authority to establish and implement divisionwide goals. Adequate financial resources to support ESD
should be allocated and budgeted annually. In a truly

18 * Read this issue online at www.masbo.ca


http://www.climatechange.gc.ca http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca http://www.masbo.ca

MASBO News - 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MASBO News - 2018

MASBO 2017–2018 Executive
2017–2018 Committees
Message from the Minister
Message from the MASBO President
Message from the Executive Director
Honourary/Life Members
MASBO Annual Convention: New Generational Leadership
Member Profile: Al Leiman, Secretary-Treasurer, Interlake School Division
MASBO Says Farewell
Creating an Environment for Change: A Whole School Approach
Reinventing the School Bus Tender Process
The Working Mind & Mental Health First Aid
Amber Trails Community School
New Captain of the Ship? Tips for a Steady Course
Leadership: Finding Your Potential
Products & Services Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
MASBO News - 2018 - Intro
MASBO News - 2018 - bellyband1
MASBO News - 2018 - bellyband2
MASBO News - 2018 - cover1
MASBO News - 2018 - cover2
MASBO News - 2018 - 3
MASBO News - 2018 - 4
MASBO News - 2018 - 5
MASBO News - 2018 - MASBO 2017–2018 Executive
MASBO News - 2018 - 2017–2018 Committees
MASBO News - 2018 - Message from the Minister
MASBO News - 2018 - INSERT1
MASBO News - 2018 - INSERT2
MASBO News - 2018 - Message from the MASBO President
MASBO News - 2018 - Message from the Executive Director
MASBO News - 2018 - Honourary/Life Members
MASBO News - 2018 - MASBO Annual Convention: New Generational Leadership
MASBO News - 2018 - 13
MASBO News - 2018 - Member Profile: Al Leiman, Secretary-Treasurer, Interlake School Division
MASBO News - 2018 - 15
MASBO News - 2018 - MASBO Says Farewell
MASBO News - 2018 - 17
MASBO News - 2018 - Creating an Environment for Change: A Whole School Approach
MASBO News - 2018 - 19
MASBO News - 2018 - Reinventing the School Bus Tender Process
MASBO News - 2018 - 21
MASBO News - 2018 - The Working Mind & Mental Health First Aid
MASBO News - 2018 - 23
MASBO News - 2018 - Amber Trails Community School
MASBO News - 2018 - 25
MASBO News - 2018 - New Captain of the Ship? Tips for a Steady Course
MASBO News - 2018 - 27
MASBO News - 2018 - Leadership: Finding Your Potential
MASBO News - 2018 - Products & Services Marketplace
MASBO News - 2018 - Index to Advertisers
MASBO News - 2018 - cover3
MASBO News - 2018 - cover4
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert1
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert2
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert3
MASBO News - 2018 - outsert4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/MBBA/MBBA0018
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/MBBA/MBBA0017
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/MBBA/MBBA0016
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/MBBA/MBBA0015
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com