EcoSchools Newsletter September 2018
Registration is now open for the annual EcoSchools Certification 
Thursday, November 1st is the deadline for all schools, new and returning, to register for the annual EcoSchools certification. Login now and register your school. T he process is quick and painless!  All you need is a contact name, role, TDSB email address, and a password that's easy for you and 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:

Thursday, November 1st: Platinum registration deadline

Thursday, November 15th: Complete and submit your interim online application and prepare for the interim coaching visits beginning in December.

Questions: Contact Jenn Vetter at
EcoSchools Kick-off PD sessions begin October 2nd
EcoSchools Section 1: Question 1.1, Section 6: Question 6.3

The  annual EcoSchools Kick-off workshops are a great opportunity to kick-start the environmental program at your school, meet with EcoSchools central staff and TDSB partners, gain insight into program updates and changes, and share ideas and initiatives with your colleagues from other schools.

This year's theme is Building Global Competencies through Wicked Problems: The Plastics Challenge. It expands on last year's Rethinking Waste theme by critically looking at single-use plastics. "Wicked Problems" such as plastic pollution are complex, multi-facetted and hard to fix. We will be exploring how students can gain skills and competencies while contributing solutions to this "wicked problem". 

T he sessions will be interactive with lots of opportunities to network and come away with ideas you can use at your school to educate others on this important issue.

The Kick-offs are half-day morning sessions and are open to elementary and secondary staff (including daycare and caretaking staff, and office administrators), parents, Trustees and Superintendents. 

The sessions are held in each Ward and will run from October 2nd until November 2nd. We strongly encourage Principals to send 2 to 4 adults to represent their school. The Sustainability Office will provide funding to release 2 staff members for the half-day session.
If you are interested in attending please contact Serita Lawson at 416-396-3464 or
New! EcoSchools Getting Started Workshop
EcoSchools Section 1: Question 1.1 and Section 6: Question 6.3
New this year! EcoSchools central staff are offering a Getting Started workshop for staff who  are new to the EcoSchools program or need help building on their existing program.

This workshop is designed for staff who have never participated in the EcoSchools program or are new to the certification process and staff who are working to move beyond Bronze or Silver certification.
This workshop will help build confidence in getting started and implementing an EcoSchools program by providing opportunities to:
  • understand program components
  • understand the process of implementing and running an environmental program
  • become familiar with the online program, resources, and tools
  • build an online portfolio
  • choose achievable goals for the year
The Getting Started workshops are half-day afternoon sessions and are open to elementary and secondary staff (including daycare and caretaking staff, and office administrators).
Workshops will be held once per week in October. The Sustainability Office will provide funding to release up to 2 staff members for the half-day session.

Interested in attending?  Please contact Serita Lawson at (416) 396-3464 or email
Engaging with EcoJustice: Environmental Education and Equity in Action Conference
EcoSchools Section 6: Question 6.3
Register now for the 3rd Annual EcoSchools/OISE Environmental Education Conference taking place on Saturday, October the 13th!

T his one day conference has been created with TDSB teachers and OISE graduate  students in  mind! It provides professional learning in Environmental Education  to support the important work of the EcoSchools Program. Two keynote talks, 18 interactive workshops, an EcoFair, and wellness refreshers will provide ideas, strategies, and resources for connecting justice and equity to Environmental Education in K-12 classrooms.

Registration  is FREE for TDSB employees, and lunch is included. 

When: Saturday, October 13th, 2018
Time: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Where: OISE (University of Toronto) 252 Bloor St. West
Locations: OISE Auditorium (keynotes), OISE classrooms (workshops) & OISE library (EcoFair)

Conference schedule and workshop details can be viewed here.

Additional questions? Contact Alysse Kennedy, Conference Coordinator 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 the 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, TDSB staff please  register on Key to Learn  for each session.

Fall 2018 Events

Indigenous Education in the Humber Valley Workshop
Facilitated by: Alan Colley, Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours
Date: Saturday, September 29th
Time: 12:00 - 3:00 pm
Location: Humber Valley

Why Nature: Can Regular Use of the Outdoors Inspire a Better Teaching Experience?
Facilitated by: Bill Kilburn
Date: Wednesday, October 3rd
Time: 4.30 - 5:30 pm 
Location: TBD

Fashion Leaders Are Climate Leaders
Facilitated by: Sarah Peel, Fashion Takes Action
Date: Wednesday, October 9th
Time: 4.30 - 5:30 pm 
Location: TBD

Contact:  Pam Miller at  for more information.
October is International Walk to School Month
EcoSchools Section 3: Question 3.7; Section 6: Question's 6.2, 6.6 and 6.8

International Walk to School Month gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. Walkers from around the world walk to school together for various reasons -- the environment, physical activity, safety and fun -- all hoping to create communities that are safe places to walk.

Visit the Ontario Active School Travel website for resources to help in planning and promoting IWALK events in your school community and don't forget to  Register your school's IWALK event(s). 

You will receive a Certificate of Recognition  to share with your school community.
Waste Reduction Week: October 15th - 21st
EcoSchools Section 3: Question 3.7; Section 6: Question 6.6
Waste Reduction Week in Canada i s a national environmental campaign that builds awareness around issues of sustainable and responsible consumption, encourages choice for more environmentally responsible products and services, and promotes actions that divert more waste from disposal and conserve natural resources. 

The program's educational resources and "take action" messaging empower all Canadians to adopt more environmentally conscious choices. 

Each day during Waste Reduction Week has its own theme providing information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living, creating the solutions to the many environmental challenges we face including climate change, water pollution and preservation of natural resources.
October 2nd at 6:00 pm: TDSB Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) meeting
Tuesday, October 2nd at Central Technical School | Room 208

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
FREE Program: Water Docs @ School Action Projects
Water Docs @ School Action Projects is a FREE, curriculum-connected community action program that actively engages Grade 7 and 8 students in addressing water issues through authentic inquiry, project-based learning, and video production. This program builds students' understanding of water and instills in them a commitment to water stewardship.

Water Docs @ School Action Projects is a seven-month learning and action program delivered through a partnership between Ecologos and Learning for a Sustainable Future
This completely free program has been used successfully at schools across the province and praised by teachers for:
  • delivering the entire Ontario curriculum on water
  • cultivating a deep caring for the environment
  • developing skills in leadership, team-building, project management and filmmaking
Introduction to the Water Docs @ School Action Projects program

Watch the video in which two TDSB teachers from Brookside Public School in Scarborough discuss their positive experiences with the  Water Docs @ School Action Projects  program.

Do you know a Grade 8 or 7/8 teacher who might want to take part?  For information, please contact  Bob Isenberger .
Stay connected--follow us on twitter and share your great environmental initiatives with us!  @EcoSchoolsTDSB