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Introduction to the Ontario EcoSchools Program

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1 Introduction to the Ontario EcoSchools Program @ON_EcoSchools

2 Background

3 Ontario EcoSchools is: An environmental education and certification program for grades K-12 Helps school communities develop both ecological literacy and environmental practices to become environmentally responsible citizens and reduce the ecological footprint of schools Focused on both student learning and school operations

4 RecommendationsStrategiesImplementation Alignment with the Ministry of Education Objectives Ontario EcoSchools is an implementation of the recommendations of the Bondar Report and the strategies outlined in Ontario’s environmental education policy documents.


6 Number of Certified Schools 2003-2014 53 participating school boards

7 The 6 Sections of Ontario EcoSchools Curriculum School Ground Greening Waste Minimization Energy Conservation Teamwork & Leadership Environmental Stewardship

8 EcoSchools Resources Program Guides Curriculum Resources Online Certification

9 Prioritize student engagement Focus initiatives Practical, do-able Board-wide or school-wide Adaptable to board’s capacity, priorities, policies Program Guides

10 The Five-Step Process

11 Step 1: Establish an EcoTeam Strive for diverse representation including students from 3 or more grades, teachers, principal, custodial staff and parents

12 The Five-Step Process

13 Step 2: Conduct the EcoReviews EcoTeam tours the school to take a snapshot of practices and to identify gaps and opportunities.

14 Step 2: Conduct The EcoReview What is an EcoReview? For Energy Conservation and Waste Minimization sections Self-assessment: level 0 to 4 An overview of environmental practices at the school Generates information for the creation of an action plan (Step 3) A key element of certification A follow-up EcoReview should take place at least three months after the initial EcoReview

15 The Five-Step Process

16 EcoReview (Step 2) Action Plan (Step 3) Step 3: Develop the Action Plan

17 The Five-Step Process

18 Step 4: Implement the Action Plan Small steps lead to big results

19 The Five-Step Process

20 Step 5: Monitor and Evaluate Progress Conduct the Follow-Up EcoReview Takes place at least three months after the initial EcoReview Gives the EcoTeam an opportunity to evaluate the progress that the school has made since the establishment and implementation of the action plan. A key element for certification (deadline: April 30th) The results of the Follow-Up EcoReview are awarded points in the certification program

21 Communicate results and celebrate success

22 EcoSchools Certification Annual certification process which recognizes schools for their achievements during the current school year Points awarded based on accomplishments (not the quantity of change) within the school year Program encourages learning and action within the student’s sphere of influence Supports schools who wish to start small and build their program over time

23 EcoSchools Certification Teamwork and Leadership Energy Conservation Waste Minimization School Ground Greening Curriculum Environmental Stewardship

24 Advantages of the Ontario EcoSchools Program The teaching staff has access to the support of other colleagues province-wide and the Ontario EcoSchools team. The school community unites in its conservation efforts and, quite often, what is learned in the school gets brought home and put into action. The students cultivate active citizenship skills and life habits that reinforce their environmental learning.

25 Advantages of the Ontario EcoSchools Program Certification offers schools an opportunity to be visibly recognized in the community and across the province for their environmental efforts. Environmental practices in the school can translate to a reduction of the school’s ecological footprint and to a reduction in operating costs.

26 How Can You Help? Submit an environmental lesson that you conducted in your class along with one copy of one student’s completed work Conduct a whole-school waste audit investigating the contents of waste and recycling with a group of students or your class Help students/EcoTeam conduct the EcoReviews Support students in organizing a school-wide environmental campaign such as Earth Hour Participate in or organize a school ground greening project.

27 Stay Connected Get the news, stories, and examples of best practices by: Signing up for our e-newsletter ( Following Ontario EcoSchools on Twitter: @ON_EcoSchools Like Ontario EcoSchools on Facebook:

28 If you have questions, you can contact: Your EcoTeam Lead Your EcoSchools School Board Representative Ontario EcoSchools Thank You!

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