Certification recognizes a school for its annual achievement in 6 key areas: Teamwork & Leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Greening, Ecological Literacy (curriculum) and Environmental Stewardship.
Levels of Achievement
Schools can certify with bronze, silver or gold EcoSchool status depending on the number of points achieved and how successfully the school has met the requirements of the program. Schools must achieve a minimum of 50 points in order to receive an assessment (see pg. 4 in the Certification Guide for more details on levels of achievement).
The certification process
Certification criteria is updated every year. Because the program is focused on school community engagement in environmental education and practices, schools must apply for certification every year. To be assessed for certification schools must successfully complete the application which consists of:
- An online certification application (must claim a minimum of 50 points)
- provide portfolio documents to support the application (paper or uploaded)
Site visits are conducted in a cross section of schools every year to verify and celebrate a school's achievements. Please see pg. 22 of the Certification Guide for more details.
- January 31st: Input results from the Initial EcoReviews (questions 2.1-2.9 and 3.1-3.10) into the application.
- April 30th: Complete alll applicable questions, including results from the Follow-up EcoReviews, collect/upload all required portfolio documents, finalize and submit the application (early bird deadline - April 23).
Who can apply to become an EcoSchool?
Elementary and secondary schools are eligible to apply for certification, as are board-run, board-dedicated outdoor education centres.
Private schools — for important information about certification, please click here.
If you have any questions regarding eligibility please contact: ewaslander (at) ontarioecoschools.org.
What can we do if we do not want to certify?
It is not mandatory for a school to apply for certification. Schools may choose to participate in the EcoSchools program but not apply for certification. This can be a good way to get started. The key is to engage your students and school community in environmental education and in deepening ecological literacy.