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Certification Toolkit - Download 

The Certification Toolkit brings together in one place all of the "tools" that schools require to help them access the services, materials, and equipment needed to become a certified EcoSchool. Download the entire guide or browse through the list of individual tools shown below.


The tools are organized into six sections: 1. Foster Leadership and Teamwork, 2. Reduce Impact on the Environment: Energy Conservation, 3. Reduce Impact on the Environment: Waste Minimization, 4. Care for and Create Vibrant School Grounds, 5. Improve Student Achievement through Ecological Literacy, 6. Contribute to Healthy, Safe and Caring School Communities

>   Introduction

Introduction
Tool Description Download
About this guide Description Download
Why EcoSchools? Description Download
Becoming an EcoSchool Overview of the 5-step process an organized and systematic way for schools to implement their program over the course of a school year. Download
EcoSchools program: Overview Breakdown of the scoring by section and the four levels of achievement. Download
Understanding the EcoReview The EcoSchools level of achievement is determined by combining three types of assessments in the EcoReviews: Team self-assessment, portfolio requirements, and look-fors. Download
Applying for EcoSchools Certification Important deadlines to apply for the annual EcoSchools Certification Download
Platinum Requirements Important deadlines and requirements needed to apply for Platinum level certification Download
Applying for Platinum Certification Important deadlines and requirements needed to apply for Platinum level certification Download
EcoSchools Certification: Accessing the online application Information on how to access the EcoSchools online application from a TDSB networked computer. Download
Understanding the Online Application Overview of some of the key components of the online application. Download
Completing the Online Application Describes how to complete a self-assessment question - scoring, and completing the text and checkbox information. Download
Submitting the Online Application Describes the process for submitting the EcoSchools online application. Download
Portfolio Requirements List of 16 requirements, by program section, that the auditor will expect to see in your binder. Download
Using the e-portfolio feature of the online application Describes the benefits of using an e-portfolio to gather your EcoTeams evidence. Download
E-portfolio Describes the ways in which to maintain an e-portfolio. Download
Compressing PDF’s and Images Instructions on how to compress a PDF or image. Download
Using the e-portfolio feature Describes the benefits of using an e-portfolio to gather your EcoTeams evidence. Download
Guides and Resources A listing of all the guides and resources available to download or order. Download

>   Section 1 - Foster Leadership and Teamwork

1 Foster Leadership and Teamwork
Tool Description Download
EcoReview A series of questions to help schools assess their current level of achievement.  Download
Portfolio Requirements Descriptions and examples from schools of the requirements needed for each section Download
Look-fors Questions used by the auditors to assess key aspects of each school’s EcoSchools program. Use this tool as a reminder and to get ideas about what other schools have done. Download
Building the Team-Survey Questionnaire Survey to generate interest in the EcoTeam and help secondary students evaluate strengths and judges interests of potential members. Download
Students, Have Your Say! Four questions for students to reflect on their EcoSchools experience and provide advice for next year’s team. Portfolio requirement. Includes submission format ideas. Download
Building Team Momentum Ideas from EcoSchools staff and secondary EcoTeams for getting and keeping people's interest in environmental actions. Download
Team Structure Questions to focus and communicate your team’s description of roles, responsibilities, and how you work together. Download
Team-Building Activity - Tropical Island Climate Change Dramatization A vivid dramatization putting participants on a tropical island being engulfed by rising sea levels caused by climate change. Download
Team-Building Activity - Polar Bears and Ice Flows Participants become polar bears under pressure as they adapt to shrinking ice floes as they hunt for food. Download
Roles and Responsibilities A list of executive members for an effective EcoTeam with suggested responsibilities for each role. Download
Getting Organized-Student Tips Ideas from EcoTeams for specific actions to optimize time spent in meetings and ways to reach out to the whole school with key messages. Download 
Making Decisions Distinctions made among reaching consensus, voting, and one-party rule worth keeping in mind for running effective meetings. Download
Agenda for an EcoTeam Meeting Template to guide people's thinking in planning for meetings that focus attention and achieve results. Download
EcoTeam Timeline: Planning for Campaign Implementation 11"x17" year-long planning sheet for plotting campaign details with the whole school in mind. Companion to "Designing a Campaign" above. Order using the Order Form tool (see above). Download
Action Plan: School Environmental Improvement Plan Template A template to clarify goals and plan how to achieve them. Download
Designing a Campaign Six steps present an overview of the entire campaign planning process and key questions to focus thinking. Download
Creating a Campaign Six steps present an overview of the entire campaign planning process and key questions to focus thinking. Download
EcoSchools Campaign Action Plan A template to clarify goals and plan how to achieve them. Download
 Campaign Reflection Use this tool to reflect on your campaign successes and challenges Download 
Action Plan Checklist: Public Viewing of an Environmental Film A four-part checklist to guide preparation for and execution of an environmental film showing. Download
Event Day Guidelines: Public Viewing of an Environmental Film A sample schedule for an environmental film showing. Download
Copy Paper Outlines the difference between 2 copy paper stocks (100% and FSC-certified) available from the Board's Distribution Centre and how to order each. Download
Green Paper Calculator Offers a quick way to determine how much you need to reduce your paper consumption to switch to 100% recycled paper while staying within budget. Download

>   Section 2 - Reduce Impact on the Environment: Energy Conservation


2 Reduce Impact on the Environment: Energy Conservation
Tool Description Download
EcoReview A series of questions to help schools assess their current level of achievement. Download
Portfolio Requirements Descriptions and examples from schools of the requirements needed for each section Download
Look-fors Questions used by the auditors to assess key aspects of each school’s EcoSchools program. Use this tool as a reminder and to get ideas about what other schools have done. Download
Energy Conservation Strategy Describes how engaging in a single activity such as “Earth Hour” can help you to meet expectations in several sections. Download
The Energy Walkabout Provides an overview of the steps to take to conduct an Energy Walkabout Download
The Energy Walkabout: Step-by-Step Detailed instructions on how to conduct an energy walkabout. Download
The Energy Walkabout Legend Describes the range of responses when conducting an energy walkabout. Download
The Energy Walkabout: FAQ Frequently answered questions on why to conduct an energy walkabout. Download
Phantom Power Explains phantom power and ways to conserve energy at your school. Download
Monitoring Our Use of Finite Resources Ordering information for Let the Sunlight In and Let the Air Flow monitoring charts Download
Refrigerators Ordering information for the best environmental and economic choice of refrigerator. Download
Dishwashers and Clothes Washers Ordering information for the best environmental and economic choice of dishwasher and Cloth Washers. Download 

>   Section 3 - Reduce Impact on the Environment: Waste Minimization

3. Reduce Impact on the Environment: Waste Minimization
Tool Description Download
EcoReview A series of questions to help schools assess their current achievement level. Download
Portfolio Requirements Descriptions and examples from schools of the requirements needed for each section Download
Look-fors Questions used by the auditors to assess key aspects of each school’s EcoSchools program. Use this tool as a reminder and to get ideas about what other schools have done. Download
Waste Minimization Strategy Describes how engaging in a single activity such as a waste audit can help you to meet expectations in several sections. Download
The Waste Audit A bare-bones tip sheet to help schools organize a simple audit (Ont Ministry of the Environment requirement). Download
Graduated Waste Audit Describes a range of ways that a school can conduct a waste audit Download
Waste Audit Step-by-Step An excel worksheet to record audit results and develop MOE-required Waste Reduction Work Plan. Download
Waste Audit Worksheet Worksheet to record observations taken during your waste audit. Download
What Can You Recycle? List of recyclable products plus what you can't recycle. Download
The Green Bin Program Describes the steps schools can take to ensure a smooth running of the green bin program. Roles and responsibilities of the school, the City, and Facility Services are clearly outlined. Download
Materials to Support Your Recycling Program "We recycle" posters in English and French; a poster for photocopier paper savings; EcoSchools Waste Audit Guide information. Download
Recycling and Green Bin Rebate Program Information about the rebate program for recycling and green bins. Download
Recycling Toters for Schools and Centres 95 gallon toters; ordered by caretaker. Download
Waste-free Lunches Suggestions for organizing waste-free lunches, a waste-free lunch recipe to send home. Download
Waste Timeline Ideas for creating a waste timeline to remind your school community that waste does not disappear after it is thrown out. Download
Locker Clean-out Key questions to help you organize an effective way to reuse and recycling at end of term. Download
Project Refill Project Refill Describes the process by which schools can apply for a water refill station Download
5 Reasons to Recycle Your Used Printer Cartridges A poster to encourage contributions of used printer cartridges for recycling. Download
Printer Cartridge Recycling Outlines the process to recycle printer cartridges from school and home. Download
Photocopier Toner Bottle Recycling Outlines the process for recycling Ricoh photocopier toner bottle. Download
Duplicator Ink Cartridge Recycling Outlines the process for recycling Riso ink cartridges.  Download
Marker Recycling Program Step-by-step instructions on how schools can recycle any brand of markers, highlighters and white board markers with "Crayola's ColorCycle" program. Download
Obsolete or Surplus Text and Library Books Options for reuse of surplus texts and library books; how to recycle them. Download
Obsolete or Surplus Computers and Other Electronic Equipment How to dispose of obsolete; surplus computers; electronic equipment. Download
Used Appliances and Scrap Metal Options for disposing used appliances and scrap metal. Download
Surplus and Old Furniture Where to offer your surplus and old furniture for reuse/recycling. Download
Request for the Disposal of Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Form asking TDSB Occupational Health and Safety for pick-up; eligible waste is listed. Download
Fluorescent Lamps and Light Bulbs How to safely package expired fluorescent lamps/other bulbs that contain mercury for recycling by Robertson Electric. Download
Sawdust and Wood Cut-offs How to set up sawdust and wood cut-offs collection for reuse. Download
The Electronic Trading Post The online site to advertise and/or sell usable furniture, equipment, and textbooks Download
ArtsJunktion How to access the TDSB depot for receiving and distributing donated materials for educational use; materials list included. Download

>   Section 4 - Care for and Create Vibrant Schools Grounds

4 Care for and Create Vibrant Schools Grounds
Tool Description Download
EcoReview Questions to help schools assess current achievement level. Download
Portfolio Requirements Descriptions and examples from schools of the requirements needed for each section Download
Look-fors Questions used by the auditors to assess key aspects of each school’s EcoSchools program. Use this tool as a reminder and to get ideas about what other schools have done. Download
Vibrant School Grounds Strategy Describes how engaging in a single activity such as a school mulch-a-thon can help you to meet expectations in several sections. Download
Seasonal Stewardship Plan Chart to organize volunteer duties tree care, gardens. Download
Watering Schedule Sign-up Sheet Tree watering instructions; template for spring/summer. Download
The Bucket Watering Method for Trees in a Grove Ingenious method allows you to know that you have given trees sufficient water. Student participation. Download
Mulch Is Magic: Spread It! A clear list of why to mulch, how to mulch, and what to order. Download
Invasive Plant Species: Stop the Spread! Information about invasive species commonly found on school grounds.  Also includes links to teacher resources! Download
School Ground Summer Maintenance Tips Expert advice for keeping your plantings healthy all summer. Download
Road Map: New School Ground Greening Projects Basic steps for new projects. Ideas for student involvement. Download
A Day With Trees: Grasp Lesson Planning Across the Grades Lessons that name Goals, Roles, Scenarios, and Products: focus on tree tours, tree maintenance (Gr 6, 7, 10, 12 lessons; Gr 2, 4 as Audience for Grade 6, 7). Download
Window of School Ground Wishes Invites elementary students to "the best school ground ever." Download
Student Survey (elementary) Students can voice their own ideas about the school ground and what they feel about it. Download
Student Survey (secondary) A tool for a greening club or EcoTeam to learn others' ideas about what they like/don't like, and what they'd change. Download
Helpful How-to Guides Guides to provide greater depth in getting started, planning and design, funding, or recommended species. Download
Board Support for School Ground Greening Kinds of support available for greening projects, an outline of work that must be done by Board staff, tree replacement information. Download
Design Consultation Process Service to help schools make the most of the Board's horticulture and landscape architect expertise. Download
Site Assessment for Shade and Energy Conservation (Elem) Lists different areas of grounds to be assessed for shade and energy conservation tree cover. Download
Site Assessment for Shade and Energy Conservation (Sec) Lists different areas of grounds to be assessed for shade energy conservation tree cover. Download
Shade and Energy Conservation: Questionnaire for Parents/Guardians To assess where trees are needed to shade students and conserve energy. Download
Sample Letter to Announce Your Greening Projects Basic information to include in a letter to the community. Download
Build Community: Volunteer Opportunities Comprehensive list of school greening project opportunities. Download
Guidelines for Tree and Shrub Planting Projects Describes difference between small and large tree planting processes; minimum tree size; where to find native species' lists; tree location; tree care. Download
Recommended Trees and Shrubs Species List of native tree/shrub species. Download
Nature Study Areas How to find out if your school ground is suitable; how to begin establishing a Nature Study Area. Download
School Food Gardens Expert advice in a 2-page chart on “basics” and “care/plant selection/resources.” Download
Food Garden Resource Information to grow a successful food garden. Download
Fundraising Tips How to write a grant application that will succeed. Download
Sample Budget: Native Plants and Other Resources Kinds of materials/plants, that should be in your budget. Download
Stock Tank Resource Information on stock tank specifications, prices, uses and how to create outdoor learning opportunities. Download
Storage Unit Resource Information on storage unit specifications, prices, and ways they can provide a valuable space within an outdoor classroom or play area. Download
Tall Post Resource Information on how tall posts can be used to define a space, highlight entry points, establish a platform for art and signage and create shade in your outdoor space. Download

>   Section 5 - Improve Student Achievement through Ecological Literacy

5. Improve Student Achievement through Ecological Literacy
Tool Description Download
EcoReview A series of questions to help schools assess their current level of achievement. Download
The Path to becoming more ecologically literate Introduction to thinking in terms to help us understand some of the causes and consequences of our human impact on the environment, and the impact of the environment on us. Download
Ecoliteracy Summary: Education ABOUT, FOR, and IN the Environment Lists features that characterize learning FOR, ABOUT, and IN the environment to show where different approaches to the subject matter fit. Download
Portfolio Requirements Descriptions and examples from schools of the requirements needed for each section Download
Ecoliteracy Checklist Short checklist to describe how learning is linked to Overall Expectation(s) in a way that connects to learning about, for, and/or in the environment. Download
Look-fors Questions used by the auditors to assess key aspects of each school’s EcoSchools program. Use this tool as a reminder and to get ideas about what other schools have done. Download
Unpacking Ecological Literacy: Education ABOUT the Environment Checklists for questions 4.2 and 4.3 that describe ways to meet these expectations. Download
Fundamentals: “How Nature Works” Offers Dr. Art Sussman's elegantly simple summary of 3 main systems interactions within nature. Download
Scenario Mapping A systems-thinking tool to help students uncover how an everyday activity depends on resources from the Earth and energy from the Sun. Sample map. Download
Dependency Webs A systems-thinking tool that puts the students plus a resource, product, or system at the centre to trace a web of dependencies that support our daily lives. Download
Consequence Mapping A systems-thinking tool to help students imagine the future. Stunning consequence map of DDT spraying; 6 dimensions of futures mapping; 5 visions of the future. Download 
Concept Mapping A systems-thinking tool that helps students think in terms of the interrelationships between a main concept and sub concepts that mirror the complex connections in their own lives. Sample map. Download
Unpacking Ecological Literacy: Education FOR the Environment Checklists for questions 4.4 and 4.5 that describe ways to meet these expectations. Download
Raft Assignment A literacy strategy to encourage creative thinking by having students assume a role that requires imaginative perspectives-taking. Download
Moving from Raft to Grasp Diagram that explains the connections between RAFT and GRASP, showing their differences. Download
GRASP: Developing Ecological Literacy through Rich Performance Tasks A TDSB teaching tool that puts students in a role, challenges them to assess a situation, solve problems, and take action to reduce environmental impact. Download
Writing Letters and E-mails Encourage students to be active citizens through different forms of writing. Download
Education for the Environment: Are you an Environmental Citizen? Questionnaire to allow students to self-assess how "green" their choices are. Download
Unpacking Ecological Literacy: Education IN the Environment Checklists for questions 4.6 and 4.7 that describe ways to meet these expectations. Download
Education in the Outdoor Classroom: Learning Trails 26 themes that can focus outdoor learning explorations in 6 different subject areas. Repeat visits throughout the seasons recommended. Download
Education in the Environment: Interpretive Hikes Instructions for conducting 5 different curriculum-linked interpretive hikes. Download
Tips for Teaching Outdoors Concise distillation of the benefits, along with how to prepare, what to do when outside. Download
Local Education Programs beyond the TDSB to Broaden Ecological Literacy 12 local organizations that provide a variety of programs across the grades. UPDATED August 2013. Download

>   Section 6 - Contribute to Healthy, Safe, and Caring School Communities

6. Active, Safe, and Sustainable Transportation
Tool Description Download
EcoReview A series of questions to help schools assess their current level of achievement. Download
Portfolio Requirement Descriptions and examples from schools of the requirements needed for each section Download
Look-fors Questions used by the auditors to assess key aspects of each school’s EcoSchools program. Download
Calendar of Events A list of active transportation-themed events that occur on an annual basis. Download
School Travel Planning Examples of actions that can be taken to identify and address safety and transportation issues at a school. Download
Classroom School Travel Survey (Elementary) A survey tool to assist elementary schools in tracking school travel modes. Download
Classroom School Travel Survey (Secondary) A survey tool to assist secondary schools in tracking school travel modes. Download
Requesting Street Improvements in Toronto A guide to help school communities request traffic calming, changes to speed limits, and improvements to intersection and major crossings in the City of Toronto. Download
Reducing Traffic Congestion Strategies to help reduce vehicle congestion around schools. Download
Applying for Bike Racks Information on how to apply for free bike racks through EcoSchools. Download
Applying for Cycling Education Program Details on the cycling education programs that EcoSchools offers to schools, free of charge. Download
Hosting a Bike Rodeo Resources to help support a school-led bike rodeo. Download
Walking Tips Walking safety tips from Toronto Public Health. Download
Public Transit Safety Tips Public transit safety tips from the Toronto Transit Commission. Download
Resources to Help Staff Reduce the Environmental Impact of their Commute A list of opportunities available to staff to help lessen the environmental impact of their commute. Download
Sun Safe Behaviour This new tool helps raise awareness about the effects of too much sun and how to promote sun safety at your school. Download
Cleaning Products Details how to order green cleaning products through the TDSB’s Purchasing department. Download
Tick Awareness Information on Lyme disease and how to reduce the risk of exposure. Download
Community Clean-up Helps TDSB schools plan and implement a clean-up event, whether it be small or large in scale. Many schools have organized clean-ups in the past: this guide consolidates lessons learned, pointing to how a clean-up event can promote youth leadership and initiate partnerships with the wider community. Download
Planning an Environmental Education Event Tips on how to organize a school wide environmental education event Download
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To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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