EcoSchools in Alberta
EcoSchools in Alberta is a partnership between EcoSchools Canada and ACEE, with ACEE acting as the Service Delivery Partner for Alberta. As a result of this partnership, an Alberta ‘regional user experience’ was created through the EcoSchools platform, providing Alberta schools with Alberta-specific information (e.g. curriculum connections and resources).
EcoSchools Canada is an online certification platform that engages schools in climate action projects while working toward certification. There are four levels of certification: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. EcoSchools Canada has developed a national framework that provides schools with easy access to information and resources on participating in climate action by offering guides, tracking progress, and measuring impact.
What is EcoSchools?
- EcoSchools is a global sustainability certification program for K-12 schools with 56,000 participating schools in 70 countries. EcoSchools Canada is Canada’s largest school certification program, reaching over 3,000 schools and 1,000,000 students annually.
- EcoSchools provides teachers with a framework to engage their students and entire school community in action-based learning around environmental sustainability and climate solutions. Schools create customized action plans by selecting from more than 50 available actions relating to a range of sustainability topics including nature and biodiversity, energy, waste, water, and food. Each action comes with its own action guide making it easy for teachers and students to get started. As schools implement these actions, they earn points toward bronze, silver, gold, or platinum-level certification. Most importantly, schools become active players in helping their communities become more sustainable.
Who can join?
Any school in Alberta can join EcoSchools Canada by registering on the online platform. Once registered, schools can access the library of actions and associated action guides, create a plan, and start earning points toward certification. To register, go to: https://app.ecoschools.ca/school
What is the cost?
- The EcoSchools Canada certification platform is free for all publicly funded schools, including public, separate, charter and francophone schools.
- School districts may, optionally, gain administrator access to the platform for a modest fee. This allows school districts to track the individual and collective actions and impacts of the schools within their district and receive year-end impact reports specific for their district.
- Independent and private schools pay an annual fee to apply for certification and access the online EcoSchools Certification Application (ECA). This fee enables access to curriculum-linked resources and certification recognition materials. The annual fee also provides schools with access to certification support throughout the year from EcoSchools Canada staff.
What is certification?
- Schools who participate in EcoSchools can apply for certification by undertaking environmental actions, campaigns, and projects, then recording them in the online EcoSchools Certification Application (ECA) to earn points. At the end of the school year, EcoSchools Canada assesses the applications and awards a final certification level of bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. Schools who do not complete enough actions to certify can also submit as a participant.
- 2022-2023 Certification Guide
How do we track our progress?
- You can track your school’s progress using the dashboard on the ECA. As you add actions to your action plan, the points and certification level that you are eligible for will be displayed on your dashboard.
Where can I find resources, activities and support?
- The ECA includes numerous resources, activities, and support options for each action. Simply go to an action and click through the different tabs.
What is required for platinum certification?
- Platinum is the highest level of EcoSchools certification that can be achieved and requires the most points. Schools aiming for platinum should be able to demonstrate that environmental learning and action is well established at their school.
- 101+ points through completion of actions.
- Satisfactory completion of the Platinum Eligibility Questionnaire. This will automatically pop up in the ECA starting in early December for schools with enough actions in their action plan to reach platinum. The deadline to complete the questionnaire is the last Friday in January.
- Please refer to the Certification Rubric to learn more about how the platinum level is assessed.
- The Platinum Eligibility Questionnaire will automatically appear in your dashboard if you have enough actions in your library to achieve platinum. This must be complete by the last Friday in January.
What are the important dates and deadlines?
- Registration opens: September
- Schools can register at any time before the final submission deadline; however, we recommend starting early so you have time to build your action plan and complete your actions.
- Platinum certification questionnaire deadline: Last Friday in January
- Early bird submission deadline: Last Friday in April
- Final submission deadline: Second Friday in May