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When Rainbow District School Board declared a climate change emergency at its regular meeting on September 24, 2019, a commitment was made to have all of its schools EcoSchools Canada certified by 2022.

EcoSchools Canada has officially confirmed that the mission has been accomplished. Rainbow District School Board was one of only two school boards in Canada to have achieved this distinction in the 2021-2022 school year.

According to the EcoSchools Canada Program Manager, this is a very significant achievement. “Being a certified EcoSchool means that a school is committed to environmental sustainability and climate action. For an entire school board to have this commitment from all of its schools signals that there has been a concerted effort to take environmental action and that the support for this important work spans the school community, and beyond – including students, teachers, school administrators, custodial staff, support staff, school board administrators and trustee leadership.”

Environmental Education and Sustainability is a priority embedded in Rainbow District School Board’s Strategic Directions 2022-2027. The EcoSchools commitment is the cornerstone of the Board’s Climate Change and Action Plan.

EcoSchools provides benchmarks for environmental learning and action in Canada, instilling in students the proficiencies, perspectives and practices to help them become environmentally responsible citizens inside and outside of the classroom.

Certification recognizes achievement in six key areas:

  • ecological literacy
  • energy consumption
  • environmental stewardship
  • school ground greening
  • teamwork and leadership
  • waste minimization

Monthly environmental challenges, which include an Indigenous component, have proven to be an effective way to broaden the scope of education and environmental action. Through an “Anishinaabe” perspective, students have the opportunity to experience and understand profound customs and teachings to place an even greater value on the protection of our planet, our home, Mother Earth “Shkagamikwe”.