The Catalyst Project

The Catalyst Project is a network of partners, friends, families, and people that believe in quality public education in Pittsburgh.  

Like any major social movement, the minds, voices, and actions of people make a the difference in the world.  That's why ECS is asking social innovators like you to join us as we begin to shift the conversation around education in the city of Pittsburgh.

ECS embarks on a challenge this year --proposing an amendment process to the Pittsburgh Public School District to achieve our dream to provide our innovative education program to more students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and to develop fully to a 9-12 model.  

We empower extraordinary little people to be extraordinary big people.  Please join our efforts to inspire, enhance, and activate change to the public education landscape in the City of Pittsburgh.  Sign up to receive regular updates from the Catalyst Project, and to learn how to be involved!

Interested in doing something right now?  Try out one of these suggestions...

Be a Voice.

  • Write a letter to your PPS Board Rep.  Need sample language?  Personalize this version:

Dear _____ –

Thank you for taking time to visit the Environmental Charter School.  My child, ______, has attended ECS for _____ years.   I live at _________________, in your governing district.

I’m certain you had (or will have) the opportunity to see in action much of the amazing work ECS students and teachers do every day to make this school so special.  My child has had many extraordinary moments and memories at ECS, including_______________________.

I urge you to strongly consider the amendment ECS is proposing in the coming months.  The ECS educational experience could be something that is shared with more students in District 1 and from others around the city. 

Thank you for supporting quality public education in the city of Pittsburgh.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about my experience at ECS.


Name, District 1 Resident

  • Write a blog, a tweet, or a Facebook status about a positive experience ECS has provided you, your child, or the community at large.  
  • Share a video of you, your child, or a community member that answers the question:  "What does ECS mean to you?" Post it on your social media outlets, and encourage others to post, too!
  • Call your councilman or councilwoman and let them know what you think.  Here's a link to contact information for each district.

Be a Presence. 

  • Ever been to a Pittsburgh Public School Board Meeting?  Interested in speaking during the public session (the only meeting public is allowed to comment)?  Check out the schedule here.  Grab a friend, a community member, or another parent.  See how educational goverance works in Pittsburgh!  CHANGE! Jon McCann and Nikole Sheaffer will not be at the meeting on November 25th.  We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting!
  • Join the PCO and get to the meetings to see how you can get involved in community building.  
  • Jon McCann will be hosting at drop- Q & A during the Fair Trade Marketplace event on December 6th, starting at 4: 30 the the Upper School.  Stay tuned for the classroom location!

Be a Force.

  • The Catalyst Project is looking for a few good men and women to organize and distribute information and activities.  Termed our Catalytic Ambassadors, we need a few organizers to assist our efforts in building momentum, organizing logistics, and getting the word out.  Interested in being a Catalytic Ambassador?  Email us with your contact information and favorite inspirational quote!