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Education for Sustainability

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Education for Sustainability (EfS) is a holistic framework to equip students, schools, administrators, families and the community with the skills, knowledge and habits of mind that will prepare them to create and contribute to a world where economic prosperity, social justice and responsible citizenship may be strengthened while restoring our health and that of the living systems upon which our lives depend.

Students participating in Project Flow. 
Photograph courtesy of the Fairmount Water Works


Integrate K-12 curriculum, instruction and assessment with Education for Sustainability (EfS) standards.

Cultivate administrative practices and policies that support EfS throughout the District.

Strengthen and expand school, family and community engagement so as to enrich EfS.


Infuse Education for Sustainability (EfS) school curriculum, administrative practices, and family and community engagement.


100% of schools and administrative offices will show evidence of EfS within 5 Years.

EfS Table

Eco-Schools USA

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Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has partnered with with Eco-Schools USA and adopted it as the model eco program and framework to help schools move along the path to becoming a more sustainable.

Is your school a registered Eco-School?

Not a registered Eco School?  No problem, registration is simple and free!

Seven Steps & Ten Pathways

The Seven Step® Eco-Schools framework provides the flexibility to determine which of the ten pathways to sustainability will best help teachers and their students meet their goals.


Eco-Action Team • Environmental Audit • Eco-Action Plan • Monitor and Evaluate • Link to Curriculum • Involve the Community • Creating Your Eco-Code

10 Eco-Schools Pathways

Developing a Baseline

As the District strives to support learning for sustainability for all segments of the school community, including students, teachers, staff, administration, families and the community, it is just as important to encourage these groups to take action that furthers sustainability in ways that are relevant and appropriate to their roles.

This survey was created to help determine what schools are doing as we begin the work of the GreenFutures plan, specifically in the EfS section.

Professional Development

The EfS focus area includes professional development opportunities for District teachers.  These events are a joint effort between the District and partners, and Act 48 credits are often provided.  Participants will help to develop a learning community that has a shared understanding of EfS and engages educators in activities that combine systems thinking and cross curricular connections through the lens of sustainability.

These professional development opportunities are designed to increase the awareness and understanding of the core concepts, content and outlook needed for instructional application.

Whenever possible, I teach the curriculum through projects that promote environmental responsibility and sustainable practices.

-Stephanie Kearney, Teacher, Penn Alexander