Schools & Districts

A sustainable future begins at every EcoSchool

Getting involved with the EcoSchools U.S. program is a fantastic way to demonstrate commitment to a sustainable future for students, educators, administrators, and the community on a local scale. Students will join a global movement of over 19 million environmental leaders who are engaging in project-based and place-based learning to explore climate, biodiversity, and community-centered solutions to the climate crisis, advocating for climate justice, developing STEAM skills, making way for life and world-changing careers, and forming authentic partnerships within and outside school communities.

Schools have the opportunity to act as leaders for their schools by promoting the EcoSchools U.S. program as a benchmark for environmental learning and action, while employing certification standards modeled after the international Eco-Schools program that connects directly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The EcoSchools U.S. program is an even more effective tool when districts and schools work together and take a collective impact approach to environmental learning and climate action.

Whether you’re certifying for the first time, or pursuing another Green Flag, your school is supported by a research-based framework and curriculum-linked resources to help you every step of the way.

 Learn more about certification.

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Building a Successful EcoSchools U.S. Program

The EcoSchools program is built on two foundational tools, the EcoSchools Framework, used globally by the over 70 participating countries, and the EcoSchools U.S. themes. A successful EcoSchools program utilizes both tools when working toward or maintaining excellence in environment and nature-based educational experiences and practices at the intersections of the environment, economy, and society.

Circular icons that describe the EcoSchools Framework
EcoSchools Themes

What's new for the 2023-2024 school year?

We are excited to welcome schools to a new and improved EcoSchools U.S. experience and a year full of fun and impactful environmental learning and action! Those familiar with the Eco-Schools program will notice many important and innovative changes this year. Key highlights include:

  • 2023-24 Program & Certification Guide – a great starting place for the program!
  • Updated requirements for schools pursuing an award. Find more in the FAQ's.
  • A newly designed Certification Rubric, to provide a clear understanding of what we take into account when assessing school applications.
  • In addition to receiving an award certification at the end of the school year, schools can also earn campaign badges. This year we have several campaigns to choose from including the Clean Earth Challenge and Students Rebuild. Visit the campaign web pages to learn more. 
EcoSchools U.S. Program Comparison Chart

Is there a cost to certify?

There is no fee to register for the EcoSchools U.S. program or to apply for certification. Once registered, educators will have access to bilingual resources, worksheets, contests, communications, webinars, and the online EcoSchools Certification Application (ECA). 

Where can I find resources for certification?

Resources like worksheets, instructions, tracking sheets, and campaign kits now live inside the online EcoSchools Certification Application (ECA) attached to the action they relate to.

General program resources including the 2023-24 Program and Certification Guide and Certification Rubric can be found on our school resources page

Registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open.