THE COMPASS EDUCATION
SCHOOL SUSTAINABILITY SELF-ASSESSMENT
Maximizing Impact to Transform Your School for Sustainability
The Compass Education School Sustainability Self-Assessment evaluates the existence and progress in developing different school-focused systems required to practice and model sustainability successfully. It is organized around the four Points of the Sustainability Compass, a framework for holistic sustainability. By reflecting on your community's Nature, Economy, Society, and individual Well-being, this tool can help you recognize systemic structural gaps to fully integrate sustainability as a core value and practice in all aspects of your school community.
A Sustainable School
A Sustainable School practices and models sustainability in all aspects of its mission, governance, operation, its engagement and relationship with the outside community, and of course, its curriculum, teaching and learning processes.
A sustainable school employs a whole-school approach reflecting that the concern for global issues in the formal curriculum is reflected in a school’s day-to-day practice. The entire school’s culture reflects the school’s (sustainability) mission and these values and attitudes are habituated in the daily actions of administrators, teachers, students, support staff, and the school itself.
How can you use this tool?
The Compass school self-assessment is meant to be simple to use and relatively quick. There are 20 Indicators equally divided between the four Compass Points: (N)ature, (E)conomy, (S)ociety and (W)ellbeing. Thus each Compass Point has 5 indicators to evaluate. You can do so based on your own perception or survey a team or convene a meeting to discuss. Although there is no single right way to use the assessment, we strongly encourage you to consider a diverse group of school community stakeholders as foundational for an accurate schoolwide assessment.
Who can use this tool?
• Newly appointed sustainability coordinators
• School leaders and middle managers who need support to think big picture about the school
• Any member of a school community interested in promoting sustainability (e.g., parent on a committee, a Board member, a student, nonteaching staff)
• Those with an interest in school sustainability who would need some direction
This free to download whole school sustainability self assessment / scorecard/ checklist will help you get a quick snapshot of where your school is in its sustainability journey, and start to connect you with a global group of likeminded schools and educators transforming learning communities for a sustainable future.
Consider your purpose in choosing your approach
You might fill this out as an individual if… you want to use it as a quick overview tool that might help you advocate for whole school sustainability, prompt conversation, reflection, and a call for deeper learning related to individual indicators and opportunities for action.
You might fill this out as a group if… you want a foundational tool for deeper analysis to build a shared foundational understanding of where your school is performing well and where there is an opportunity for improvement in whole school sustainability.
The Compass Education Self-Assessment is primarily concerned with your perception of the existence of sustainability systems in your school community. Your scorecard results can serve as a starting point for conversations about school sustainability actions or as a prompt for deeper analysis of school systems.
This simple assessment is intended to provide a quick insight into the kinds of indicators that might be important when using a holistic whole-school sustainability approach. We have included some examples and best practices for you to consider but keep in mind that your school environment and context will require your own unique solutions.