Compass Schools

Designing innovation and sustainability into our schools

If we are to imagine a future that values everyone and the planet we share, then we must model this future in our schools.  To achieve sustainability it is essential that all aspects of the school, from the learning in classrooms to the daily operations and workings of the campus, as well as the governance and school leadership are aligned in this shared journey to creating a better world.   
Compass Education’s SCST program inspires a collective vision and action plan for the future of your school and the good of the planet. 

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The SCST Program
Compass Education’s School Community Sustainability Transformation (SCST), a program is a systems thinking and inclusive participatory process that assists learning communities fulfill their mission, and transform into places where a sustainable and flourishing humanity is lived in all dimensions and aspects of the school.
The VISIS Pyramid
The Pyramid model is a tool to facilitate multi-stakeholder participation in developing a collective vision for sustainability and then defining the systems, innovations, strategies and actions that will lead to the outcome desired. The tool was developed by Alan AtKisson, a sustainability pioneer, and is widely used in determining sustainable actions for non-profits, corporations and governments. Compass Education has adapted this tool for use in schools and classrooms and it forms the foundation of the SCST process.

Participating in a Global Movement

The school in living its mission is linked to a global
movement for sustainable development

Integrated Approach

All aspects of the school are better integrated to effectively work together towards achieving its goals.

Evidence Based Decision Making

The school has integrated school-specific sustainability indicators and data collection processes with which to inform holistic decision-making at all levels.

Learning Organization

The process reflects a learning organization and builds on the school’s values, dispositions and other learning qualities.


The process is inclusive and relevant to all members of school community, thus all voices are heard and have ownership in the outcomes

What does it mean to be
a Sustainable School?

If you spend time learning with Compass Education you will understand that sustainability means so much more than being “green.”  In fact, traditional aspects of sustainability programs in schools, such as recycling or solar panels are just a tiny fragment of the elements that truly contribute to sustainability. In addition to  nature, schools must consider well being of students and staff, economic resources and the social frameworks of their community in order to build a collective sustainable future. 

The Compass School Sustainability Transformation (SCST) inspires transformative learning practices in school communities that enhance reflective, critical and systems thinking perspectives to  provide the foundation for integrated school transitions to sustainable practices.  

The SCST Process

Bringing sustainability and systems thinking to your school community

Unlike many sustainability programs, the SCST process does not prescribe a particular framework or set of standards.  True sustainability must be built from the context of the community in which it lives.  For this reason, Compass Education works with your team to understand your school context, needs, resources and values and then supports your team as they develop indicators for success and innovations that will accomplish the sustainability outcomes that are most appropriate and beneficial to your community. 

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Your Team

Your school builds a team that is representative of your school community.  This team includes administrators, educators, parents, facilities staff and students.   It might also include community members, partner organizations or board members.

Your team represents your school community and understands your context. All effective sustainability programs must be built from within.

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The Program

Compass Education works with your schedule, ambitions and timeline to develop a whole school sustainability transformation program that is tailored for your school.   Program participants develop sustainability mindsets and systems thinking skills that contribute to every aspect of school management.

This is a learning-as-practice program that may be delivered on-site or in a virtual format, and generally takes six months to one year to complete. 

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A unified understanding of sustainability concepts and mindsets

Specific measurable metrics for ongoing evaluation

Leadership capacity in systems thinking and practices

A school sustainability action plan, customized to align with the schools internal systems so that the changes   introduced are effective, inclusive and durable.

Meet the Team Behind the Process

The Sustainable School Transformation Process has been developed for schools by a spectacular team of educators, administrators and sustainability professionals. 

Questions? We’d love to hear from you.


There is no minimum or maximum but we strongly suggest that you have a cross section of people involved in the process.  In our opinion, the more the better!

Life happens and we understand.  All of the concepts will be explained in the online portion of the course, but we find that the most engaging learning comes in the in-person sessions.  Try not to miss and if you do, you'll be okay too. 

It will be difficult for them to complete the course and participate in the discussions.  Our suggestion is to assign them a personal translator who is available in both the online and in person learning. 

The training is designed to be flexible with your schedule.  You will need to confirm a schedule with your facilitators, but we will work hard to accommodate any timing that is best for you within a maximum time frame of one year. 

Yes!  Students are always invited to participate, although depending on their age and maturity, some aspects of the course will be more appropriate. Please let your facilitator know if you plan to have student participants. 

Each participant will need access to a computer and the internet to complete the online modules.  If the in person work is being done virtual, we will usually use the Miro Board platform.  If not possible due to technology challenges, we will find an alternative method. 

Sustainability includes many aspects of a school community that go well beyond what we traditionally consider.  You will discover that there are many actions that you can take beyond starting a recycling program or other traditional sustainability initiatives (not that those are bad), we just want you to understand the broad range of innovations that can lead to a more sustainable school. 

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