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.
Schools may apply to be certified as an EcoSchool through an annual certification process which assesses and recognizes accomplishments awarding points in six key areas of achievement. In order to become certified, schools must consider the certification guide, which provides a quick reference tool for the five steps to certification. The guide also provides tips for successful completion of the certification process. Schools receive points for five areas of consideration which must be complete to obtain an EcoSchools certification. These five areas include: teamwork and leadership, energy conservation, waste minimization, school ground greening, curriculum connections to the environment, and environmental stewardship.
Participating in the EcoSchools program gives students the opportunity not only to contribute to bettering the environment, but also to learn about the environment through integrated curriculum and there are a variety of projects which are happening to connect environmental issues to the curriculum. Some examples of activities which contribute to EcoSchools certification include: planting trees, growing plants, creating school gardens, garbage clean-up, composting, and recycling projects.
Schools from the CDSBEO first began applying to become certified as an Ontario EcoSchool in 2009. That year, three elementary and three secondary schools became certified. Since then, applications from the Board have grown exponentially each year.
All schools from the CDSBEO were challenged to become certified as an Ontario EcoSchool in 2013-14. This past school year, 28 of 32 elementary schools, and eight of ten secondary schools became certified at one of the three ranking levels. Out of the total 36 schools, nine certified at the bronze level, 19 certified at the silver level, and eight certified at the gold level. In addition, four schools achieved a five-year seal for being a certified Ontario EcoSchool for five consecutive years.
Please see below for a complete list of CDSBEO EcoSchools for the 2013-2014 school year.
- Evening Cooperative Education
- Indigenous Education
- International Education
- Mental Health
- High School
- Personal Support Worker Program
- Early Learning Kindergarten Program
- French Programs
- Safe Schools