720 Bathurst St., #206
Centre for Social Innovation
, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
416-642-5774 | info (at) ontarioecoschools.org


 
 
ecological literacy waste minimizationion energy conservation school ground greening
   

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Alignment with Ministry of Education policy
When schools and school boards implement EcoSchools they accomplish many of the goals and strategies outlined in the Ministry of Education’s policy framework:

Teaching and Learning

Goal: By the end of Grade 12, students will acquire knowledge, skills, and perspectives that foster understanding of their fundamental connections to each other, to the world around them, and to all living things.

Policy Framework Strategies

Ontario EcoSchools Support

Strategy 1.1
Increase student knowledge and develop skills and perspectives that foster environmental stewardship

  • EcoSchools has curriculum-linked print and multi-media environmental education teaching resources for Gr. 1-12
  • Ontario EcoSchools is piloting a full-day student leadership conference for secondary students implementing EcoSchools in 2009-2010
  • The teaching and learning strategies in EcoSchools resources promote student inquiry and experiential learning
  • EcoSchools resources provide strategies for incorporating environmental education in many subject areas and disciplines
  • EcoSchools compiles and shares best practices and certification exemplars based on activities and resources created and used by teachers and board staff
  • Environmental stewardship is recognized for points in the EcoSchools certification program

Strategy 1.2
Model and teach environmental education through an integrated approach that promotes collaboration in the development of resources and activities

  • EcoSchools resources and teacher training emphasize an integrated cross-curricular approach to environmental education
  • EcoSchools provides more than 500 days of in-service PD for elementary and secondary teachers every year
  • EcoSchools certification criteria awards points for curriculum from any subject/discipline that is taught with an environmental context
  • EcoSchools collaborates with teacher’s federations, faculties of education, subject associations, trustees, directors of education and other key stakeholders to improve the program and support environmental education initiatives
  • Some high schools have developed Specialist High Schools Major courses where students lead their school’s EcoSchools program as part of the course
  • EcoSchools elementary curriculum documents have identified expectations from different subject areas, clustering them to form the foundation of Big Ecological Ideas. This systems thinking approach to the elementary curriculum offers students and their teachers a holistic way to develop ecological literacy


Student Engagement and Community Connections


Goal: Increase student engagement by fostering active participation in environmental projects and building links between schools and communities.

Framework Strategies

Ontario EcoSchools Support

Strategy 2.1
Build student capacity to take action on environmental issues

  • The EcoSchools program promotes active citizenship by encouraging students to monitor environmentally responsible practices in the school on a regular basis
  • Ontario EcoSchools is piloting a full-day student leadership conference for secondary students implementing EcoSchools in 2009-2010, building their capacity to take action on environmental issues
  • Environmental stewardship actions are recognized for points in EcoSchools’ certification program
  • EcoSchools maintains a network of board representatives to help build board capacity to support schools  and students
  • The culminating activity in EcoSchools Climate Change in Gr. 10 Civics is an environmental citizenship portfolio including a personal action plan developed by the student
Strategy 2.2
Provide leadership support to enhance student engagement and community involvement
  • The EcoSchools’ certification program awards points for teamwork and leadership and for environmental stewardship activities that engage the whole school community
  • EcoSchools supports leadership at the board level by encouraging the creation of a senior level committee to implement EcoSchools, ensuring that central systems (especially Program and Facility Services) support the efforts of their schools
  • EcoSchools encourages parent and community membership on the school EcoTeam providing links to community involvement

Environmental Leadership

Goal: Increase the capacity of system leaders to implement evidence-based environmental education programming, practices, and operations.

Framework Strategies

EcoSchools Support

Strategy 3.1
Increase the extent to which environmental education is integrated into school board policies, procedures, and strategic plans.

  • EcoSchools supports the development of board-wide environment policies, providing templates and consultation to boards
  • EcoSchools provides sample Energy Conservation and Waste Minimization guidelines with support available to assist boards to implementing these guidelines
  • EcoSchools provides workshops for, and supports a network of central board staff and teachers
  • EcoSchools provides boards with a fully-developed workshop ready to be delivered ‘in-house’.  This helps the board develop their own capacity to support environmental education

Strategy 3.2
Enhance the integration of environmentally responsible practices into the management of resources, operations, and facilities.

  • The EcoSchools certification program assesses achievement in environmentally responsible practices in energy conservation, waste minimization and school ground greening
  • EcoSchools works closely with a network of board facility experts to share and disseminate  current and effective environmentally responsible practices

 


 
 
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