What is EcoSchools?
Ontario EcoSchools is an environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 that helps school communities develop both ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible citizens and reduce the ecological footprint of schools.
The key areas of achievement are: Teamwork & Leadership, Energy Conservation, Waste Minimization, School Ground Greening, Curriculum and Environmental Stewardship.
Schools may apply to be certified as an EcoSchool through an annual certification process which assesses and recognizes accomplishments awarding points in each of the six key areas. Criteria is outlined in the Certification Guide.
Over 1800 schools in 44 boards across Ontario achieved EcoSchools certification during the 2011-12 school year.
Why Become an EcoSchool?
Become an EcoSchool and your school community will:
- inspire, engage and empower today's youth to make a difference while developing active citizenship skills and ecological literacy by responding to the increasingly urgent issue of climate change
- build a caring whole school community engaged in environmental learning and actions
- provide leadership opportunities for students
- be recognized for your school's achievements through EcoSchools certification
- be aligned with the Ministry of Education's framework for environmental education in Ontario as well as other Ministry policies
- green your school grounds with rich areas for outdoor learning that enhance local biodiversity
- join a community of EcoSchools across the province for free!
More details on the benefits of becoming an EcoSchool can be found here.
Who can be an EcoSchool?
All Ontario elementary and secondary schools as well as board-run, board-dedicated outdoor education centres may participate in the EcoSchools program regardless of whether they plan to apply for certification as an EcoSchool or just want to implement the program at their own pace. Whether you are going for certification or just participating in the program, the EcoSchools program can help guide your school community in environmental education and practices.
Where can I find resources for becoming an EcoSchool?
The tools/resources to become an EcoSchool are all located on this website and are free to download and use.