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 key areas of achievement. Schools receive points for 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 an integrated curriculum. There are a variety of projects which are happening within CDSBEO to connect environmental issues to the curriculum. Some examples of activities are: 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.