ATE's Give Back Program
Consider a donation in your conference registration to our Summer Conference Give Back Program which sponsors a school in our conference city or click the icon above to make a contribution.
With your generous support, ATE hopes to raise over $3,000.
Join us and help us meet our goal. Please consider a donation to support The Sustainability Academy in Burlington School District.
Click Here for a list of previous Give Back Schools
ATE is excited to announce that The Sustainability Academy in Burlington School District has been chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Burlington Give Back Program.
ATE is proud to support its worthwhile projects!
This year’s Give Back School for the 2019 Annual Meeting is the Sustainability Academy.
At the Sustainability Academy they are learning together to gain the knowledge, skills, and habits of responsible community members. They are engaged in making a difference by learning to create social, environmental, and economic justice in our community and world.
Sustainability Academy Badge System Overview
The Sustainability Academy community has developed an innovative program that we are preparing to pilot at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. The idea is to use the framework of a badge system as a visible pathway representing SA students’ learning about sustainability. The badge system would function somewhat similarly to merit badges, showcasing students’ developing understandings of and experiences with diverse core concepts of sustainability.
Based on the Sustainable School Project’s Big Ideas of Sustainability (http://sustainableschoolsproject.org/education/big-ideas) and the work teachers have already done to integrate the Big Ideas into the curriculum, grade level teachers are developing pathways and a process for students to earn badges. Through literacy, science, social studies or sustainability units, students would have opportunities to earn badges within five categories: Systems, Cycles, Interdependence, Make a Difference, and Connection to Place & Community. Students’ depth of interaction with the concepts would determine to what level their learning is recognized. To clarify, each badge will have satellite badges that distinguish the five different levels (Member, Participant, Citizen, Leader, Activist).
The steps to earning a badge are outlined in a structured yet flexible way. To earn a badge, students must complete four steps of learning:
Participate in an experience around that idea (outdoor exploration lesson; trip to Shelburne Farms; visit from a community helper; etc.).
Research (read, listen to, or interview three sources [books/ primary sources/ videos]).
Reflect on and demonstrate understandings - writing (could be an informational book in Kinder or an argument essay in fifth grade), presentation at school-wide meeting, create video, draw and label diagram, etc.
Transfer and apply your new understandings. (Do something with what you’ve learned!)
The eventual goal is that each year, students of each grade will have the opportunity to earn badges in five categories, plus there may be opportunities to develop specialized badges to reflect spontaneous critical learning. Additionally, every student in the school will be encouraged to achieve Sustainability Academy community badges as well as school culture and climate/wellness badges that reflect our school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and Restorative Practices.
Students and their newly earned badges will be regularly recognized at our school’s Wednesday Morning Meetings, which will be an essential system of communication for showcasing students’ Education For Sustainability understandings and progress, making learning about sustainability more tangible for everyone in our community.
The 2019-2020 school year will be a small scale pilot, allowing us to better refine the badge system. Additionally, beginning with a small scale requires a lesser financial investment in patches, and we plan to cover the first year of the badge system with an anticipated grant from the Association of Teacher Educators. We expect that building success with a scaled down pilot of the badge program will enable us to secure more funding from community partners to fund a more expansive version of the badge system for the 2020-2021 school year. During the June 14 professional development day, SA teachers at each grade level will design one academic badge (for just one category), as well as at least one social emotional and one community member badge to be used in the pilot rollout. Contributors to this idea include Christina Erickson of Champlain College (original idea generator); Julie Norman, Joby Gallagher and Kellie Smith of SA; and Kestrel Plump and Aimee Ostensen of Shelburne Farms.