Become a Green School
We are excited to join you on your sustainability journey at your school! By joining Oregon Green Schools, you are joining hundreds of schools throughout the state that are working to improve their communities. Read through the steps below to learn how to certify then request an application to get started!
1. Choose a Certification Track
In an effort to promote equity and foster authentic engagement, OGS provides certification in a range of sustainability areas including Waste, Reuse, and Recycling, Green Lunchrooms, Walk and Roll to School, Gardens and Grounds, Energy Conservation, and Water Conservation and Pollution Prevention. You can learn about our certification tracks here.
Due to Covid-19, we are recommending that new schools applying in 2020/21 start with the Walk and Roll to School or Gardens and Grounds tracks as they can be completed mostly outdoors.
Each certification track will follow the same format:
- Investigation and Interview
- Green School Spotlight
- Goals and Action Plan
- Learning Resources
When you are ready to become an Oregon Green School, please request an application below. A unique link to our online application system will be created and emailed to you from our Program Coordinator and your school name will be added to our website indicating certification is in process. Remember to have fun, engage your students, and come up with realistic and ambitious goals to make a difference at your school and within your community.
COVID-19 NOTE: We understand that completing certain aspects of the OGS application process may not be possible while maintaining Covid-19 health and safety best practices. We have done our best to modify our applications to accommodate current health and safety protocols. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are struggling to complete any portion of the application due to Covid-19 restrictions. We are happy to troubleshoot and modify the process to meet your school’s needs during these challenging times.
With that in mind we want to make sure you are still able to pursue certification as an Oregon Green School. We are recommending that new schools applying in 2020/21 start with the Walk and Roll to School or Gardens and Grounds tracks as they can be completed mostly outdoors.
If your school is currently certified with OGS, your certification will remain valid until the predetermined expiration date (three years to the month from certification). Certifications expiring in 2021 will have until 2022 to renew.
3. Get Certified
Once completed, your regional coordinator will review your application and submit it to Oregon Green Schools for approval at which point you will receive your personalized certificate.
Each time your school certifies in a new track you will receive a pink badge on our website next to your school name. Can you collect all six badges? Certifications are valid for 3 years from the month of certification.
4. Co-Certify with National Wildlife Federation
Oregon Green Schools proudly partners with National Wildlife Federation and Eco-Schools USA to offer reciprocal certification status in Waste, Reuse and Recycling and Gardens and Grounds. Please contact Oregon Education Manager, Morgan Parks, with questions or to learn more about co-certifying.
In order to recertify and maintain active status, schools are required to complete a check-in questionnaire to gauge progress made towards their action plan and identify areas for improvement. In addition, your regional coordinator will contact you annually, or perhaps more often, to check-in on your school’s progress and offer support.
We recognize that sustainability isn’t a linear journey but an ongoing process and that recertification might not be the right choice for every school. If your school chooses not to recertify after 3 years, the badge next to your school name on our website will turn from pink to grey recognizing the effort your school has put in and honoring the changes you have made at your school while acknowledging that you are no longer actively engaged in new goal setting.