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Missouri Green Schools helps schools set, achieve, and recognize environmental sustainability, health and learning goals. It is a joint project of:

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Getting Started

The Missouri Green Schools Program is aligned with and uses the criteria suggested by the US Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Program and its three pillars of 1) reduced environmental impacts and costs, 2) improved health and wellness of schools, students and staff, and 3) effective environmental and sustainability education.

Within each pillar, we have split the criteria into three levels that reflect increasing commitment to green goals: Emerging, Progressing, and Advanced. We just finished revising the Level Assessment and Tracking tool (June 2019). You can view a pdf of the document here. The assessment and tracking tool is extremely extensive. Don't worry, you do NOT have to tackle everything on that list!!!

If you'd like to do a quick assessment of your school's "green" progress to date, you can access this simple checklist. This is a great way to introduce a team to the comprehensive nature of a green schools program. Caveat: the quick checklist needs updating but is still useful if you're looking for quick and informative!

The MGS Committee is working on the requirements and recognitions for each level. Stay tuned for more 2019 developments!


Getting Started

  1. Set up a team for your school. Ideally your team will include an educator, an administrator (this person is essential), and folks who handle facility operations, health, food, and PE. For middle and high schools, representatives from a student organization are also important. Teams are important because the MGS program takes a comprehensive approach to evaulation, and the knowledge and expertise of many different people are needed. Share the document(s) above so team members learn a little about all 3 pillars and understand the holistic nature of MGS.
  2. Get everyone on the same page. Come to a shared understanding of how joining the program aligns with the school's vision and mission. (If your school doesn't have a vision and mission, it needs one - which may be a whole other thing.)
  3. Choose a lead person to handle the documentation and paperwork.
  4. Enroll in Missouri Green Schools at
  5. You will receive an editable copy of the MGS Assessment and Tracking tool once you have enrolled. Begin by answering the questions in the "Emerging" column of the spreadsheet. See if there are any areas where you might already be "Progressing" or "Advanced" and tackle those questions. Then set 2 or 3 goals for yourselves to accomplish in the next year. Identify the folks who are missing that need to be part of the process.
  6. You can contact Lesli Moylan at any time with questions--MEEA is here to help!



  1. Do not be intimidated. This process is very comprehensive. Few if any schools will be able to answer every question. However, almost all schools will be able to answer 1/4 to 1/3 of the questions easily. If that is all your school can do at this time, set some goals for next year. Check the higher levels for ideas on what to do next.
  2. Get buy-in. Make sure your principal and your superintendent are on board with your goal of being a green school. If you are the principal, make sure your staff and superintendent are on board. Check out the Benefits page for ideas on how to make your case.
  3. Enlist help. The application is a long and complex document. You need a team of folks with different kinds of expertise to get it filled out. If you don't already have these people on your team, ask them for help: your facilities management person, your landscaping person, your health services person, your custodial services person and your food services person and ask if they will fill in the parts of the form relating to their area of expertise while you are working on other parts.