EcoSchools Newsletter October 2017

Stay connected--follow us on twitter and share your great environmental initiative s with us!  @EcoSchoolsTDSB
Register now!

All schools, new and returning, must register each year to apply for EcoSchools
certification.  Register your school now! I t is quick and painless! 
All you need is a contact name, role, TDSB email, and a password that's easy for other team members to remember.

To register (from a TDSB networked computer): Visit the registration page of the online program. 

If you are trying to access the online application from home, please visit our Register/Apply webpage and follow the detailed instructions.

Applying for Platinum Certification? 

Two important deadlines

Schools eligible to apply for platinum certification must register your school by Monday, October 30th and have your interim online application completed and submitted by Wednesday, November 15th.

New this year! Upon registration all schools are now automatically opted into the eportfolio feature of the online Certification Application to help reduce paper usage.

Questions: Contact Wendy Abbot

EcoSchools Kick-off Resources
EcoSchools Section 1: Question 1.1, Section 6: Question 6.3

The annual kick-offs are a great opportunity for our team to meet with school teams to provide updates on program changes, share best practices, and to learn how EcoSchools is progressing at your school. It's also a chance for you to share ideas and initiatives with your colleagues from other schools. Don't miss out on this opportunity to build your EcoSchools community! The EcoSchools Kick-offs are 1/2 day morning sessions for both elementary and secondary staff, held in each Ward, and run from October 3rd until November 3rd.

This year's theme is Rethinking Waste. During our presentation we explore the many issues related to waste, the barriers and incentives to changing waste practices, ways to connect it to the EcoSchools program, and how we can rethink our waste practices in our everyday lives.

NEW! We have created an engaging waste timeline and sorting activity to help educate on the amount of time it takes for waste to break down and to encourage proper sorting habits. Helpful for staff, students, and parents!

Waste Timeline Activity:

Waste Minimization Bingo: Try this fun, interactive and engaging game as a way to test students knowledge about waste sorting practices and minimization.

January 27th, 2018: 2nd annual EcoSchools Conference: Environmental Education in Action
Save the Date!

This one day conference has been created with TDSB EcoSchools' teachers in mind! It provides professional learning in Environmental Education to support the important work of the EcoSchools Program. One keynote, twenty interactive workshops and an EcoFair provide ideas, strategies, and resources for Environmental Education in K-12 classrooms.  

Registration is FREE for TDSB employees, and lunch is included. 
Stay tuned for registration details.

When: Saturday, January 27th, 2018
Time:  9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Where: OISE, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor St. West

Additional questions? Contact  Alysse Kennedy, Conference Coordinator at

November 7th at 6 pm: TDSB Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) meeting
The TDSB'S Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) was formed by the TDSB in 2010 as part of the Go Green Climate Change Action Plan. The Committee was created to help inform the TDSB's environmental policies and programming. Since forming in 2010, impacts of the ESAC have included:
  • Successfully advocating for the TDSB to adopt a strategic direction focused on the environment
  • Providing direction on the TDSB Charter for Active, Safe, and Sustainable Transportation
  • Advising on programming regarding professional development for ecological literacy
For meeting details and locations please visit the TDSB's Environmental Advisory Committee webpage.
If you are interested in attending a future ESAC meeting, or would like to be added to the ESAC mailing list, please contact Kristen Evers at

OISE / UofT Environmental and Sustainability Education Speaker Series
EcoSchools Sections 5: Questions 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7 and Section 6: Question 6.5

TDSB educators are invited to participate in OISE / UofT Environmental and Sustainability Education's Speaker Series. Be inspired by a wide range of topics and expertise broadening your knowledge of environmental and ecological literacy. Participating TDSB educators and OISE teacher candidates will have opportunities to deepen their EcoSchools network as well as meet and learn beside other passionate practitioners. 

Most events are free, however, please register on Key to Learn for each session.

Contact: Pam Miller at for more information.

Fall 2017 Events

Growing Approaches to Environmental Art
Speaker: Hilary Inwood, Janna Barkman, OISE
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Time: 4.30 - 5:30 pm
Location: OISE/UTS Building, Room 134, 371 Bloor St. W. 
Description:  Art education is an engaging way to introduce children and youth to age-appropriate forms of environmental activism, and help them become more environmentally-attuned.  Learn more about the environmental art movement, and experience it first hand by contributing to an environmental art installation for OISE that focuses on the variety of native plants in our Community Learning Garden.  No previous skills in art-making are necessary!

TDSB Platinum EcoSchool Workshop
Presenter: Lori Yez
Date: Wednesday, November 15th 
Time: 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Location:   Warren Park Outdoor Education Centre & Public School
Description: This workshop will be led by Lori Yez to showcase what a platinum level EcoSchool program looks like.  It will be held on-site, allowing participants to experience firsthand the successful components of this school's program, meet the teachers and students involved, and learn from their successes.

Connecting the Dots to Inquiry: Practices and Strategies for Citizenship & Sustainability
Facilitated by Susan Elliott, Learning for a Sustainable Future
Date: Saturday, December 2nd
Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor St. W.
Fee: $150 -- includes copies of Natural Curiosity and Connecting the Dots

Register on Key to Learn AND online on the LSF website(non-refundable once you book)

Description:  Many educators find themselves in a difficult place: working in a traditional paradigm based on a subject-based, command and control approach to learning, but wanting to move toward a transformative understanding of learning. Being able to grasp, articulate, and professionally maneuver within this duality is essential to making a positive contribution to learning that supports citizenship and sustainability. In this daylong session with Connecting the Dots author Susan Elliott, we use inquiry to explore the traditional/transformative learning challenge, examine inquiry key strategies, and investigate their application across all grades.

Evergreen Workshops for Outdoor Learning
EcoSchools Section 6: Question 6.5

Are you a Kindergarten - Grade 12 teacher or Early Childhood Educator interested in learning how you can incorporate nature-focused and experiential approaches into your classroom or childcare centre? At Evergreen's workshops you will experience inquiry and play-based, curriculum-connected activities that are easy to implement right away, and will inspire you to get outside! 
You will learn about the benefits of outdoor learning, including enhancing physical and mental health, resiliency and social skills, and how these approaches directly support the Ontario Curriculum and key policy documents. Your day spent in Evergreen's innovative Outdoor Learning Labs will enrich your relationships with children, and support both student and teacher well-being. You will receive a certificate and resource guide.

For information about the workshops, including dates and registration please visit 

Questions? Contact Paula Gallo at .

October 25th is Take me Outside Day!
EcoSchools Section 5: Questions 5.6; Section 6: Question 6.5
Take Me Outside Day is a day to raise awareness about the importance of unplugging and spending time outside - being active and connecting with nature.

On October 25th, commit to spending 1 hour outside, ideally during class time, but outside recesses and lunch works too! Confirm your participation by emailing and join schools from across Canada and around the world to help raise awareness about the importance of outdoor learning and play.

November 18th: Bridges with Adam Shoalts
The Council for Outdoor Educators of Ontario is hosting an evening with Adam Shoalts at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto Adam is an author, academic, athlete, and adventurer who has just returned from a 4,00 0 km trek  across northern
Canada! Adam will share his tales of his new discoveries, wildlife encounters and photographs from this expedition. 

This event is in support of the COEO Bursary fund, which supports COEO's endeavours to support students in pursuing professional development opportunities, increased First Nations Metis and Inuit involvement in COEO, and support for increasingly diverse populations to participate in outdoor education. More information about COEO can be found at

Time: 6:00 pm
Cost: $100.00
Tickets can be purchased here:

A delicious meal of traditional First Nations fare, prepared by the Native Canadian Centre's in-house caterers will be served.
EcoSchools Section 3, Question 3.7; Section 5, Question 5.4, Section 6, Questions 6.5 

Recycle textiles and fundraise for your school!

In North America over 80% of textile waste is still disposed of in landfill yet it is almost 100%  recyclable. Bag2School is a TDSB approved free fundraising program that recycles unwanted textiles and supports schools Eco-goals by diverting textile waste from landfill and helps to educate students about the importance of reuse and recycling.  

TDSB schools are encouraged to run multiple clothing drives throughout the school year as a way to support the City of Toronto's  efforts to remove unnecessary textiles from the waste stream. In addition to helping the environment your school will earn valuable fundraising dollars for your EcoClub or school.

Contact Bag2School today to learn how you can book your schools 2017-2018 campaigns! 

The program is completely free to run and Bag2School will help you organize and advertise your event. 

To book a fundraiser or for more information contact Bag2School at 416-762-9415 

Kids Growing City
EcoSchools Section 6: Questions 6.5

Kids' Growing City works with schools and teachers to bring extra-curricular, in-school or after-school gardening programs to your students.

They believe in food justice, equality, sharing and community and are strong supporters of a balanced and sustainable life. Kids' Growing City believes that it all starts with education.

Teacher training is at the core of their strategy. Kids Growing City offers training in person and online, through coaching and consultation programs. They will help enthusiastic teachers become certified, empowered, confident school growers with skills to Design, write Curriculum and Plan for Edible Gardening programming and building school gardens.

Contact Leila Mireskandari for information about online training for educators or in-person training for teachers at 416-494-5059 or