Missouri Green Schools helps schools set, achieve, and recognize environmental sustainability, health and learning goals.

Missouri Green Schools Seeking Pilot Schools for the 2020-21 School Year

Missouri Green Schools is a free tracking and recognition program designed to help PreK-12 schools in Missouri:

  • improve the health and wellness of students and staff,
  • reduce environmental impact, and
  • incorporate environmental and sustainability education.

Schools can see stronger educational outcomes and reduced costs as a result of big and small changes that also help the environment. These changes can happen throughout the school building and grounds, educational programming, and culture.

Schools with 60% or more free and reduced priced lunch programs have the opportunity for additional support, including access to one-on-one assistance in setting goals and tracking progress as well as financial support for staff professional development and through small grant opportunities.

Enroll

Are you interested in becoming a Missouri Green School and venturing on the path towards state and national recognition for your efforts?

Enrollment form
Schools can begin their green school journey by enrolling through this form. After enrolling, you will be contacted by a team member who will provide guidance through the process.

Commitment Letter (getting from MGS committee)
Once enrolled, the commitment letter can be signed by the head of the school or district.

Setting Up Your Green Team
The next step is to assemble the green team. Your team should include multiple staff from classrooms, facility operations, health, food, PE, and/or administration. It’s great to consider student, parent, and community representation as well. Having multiple people with a variety of roles and perspectives on your team makes it possible to implement sustainable, whole school changes.

Want some help thinking through what might motivate different people to participate? Check out this list of potential team members to recruit. Then send these fact sheets to friends and colleagues whose help you want to enlist! When talking to friends and colleagues, be sure to find out what their concerns and passions are. Pro Tip: when recruiting green team members, you should be talking ⅓ of the time and listening ⅔ of the time. There are so many entry points into sustainability, you just need to ask questions and find out the passions that drive your potential teammates!

Already Enrolled

Setting up your Green Team
Your team should include multiple staff from classrooms, facility operations, health, food, PE, and/or administration. It’s great to consider student, parent, and community representation as well. Having multiple people with a variety of roles and perspectives on your team makes it possible to implement sustainable, whole school changes.

Want some help thinking through what might motivate different people to participate? Check out this list of potential team members to recruit. Then send these fact sheets to friends and colleagues whose help you want to enlist! When talking to friends and colleagues, be sure to find out what their concerns and passions are. Pro Tip: when recruiting green team members, you should be talking ⅓ of the time and listening ⅔ of the time. There are so many entry points into sustainability, you just need to ask questions and find out the passions that drive your potential teammates!

Do a Quick Assessment of your School’s Green Efforts
When you have a few people assembled for your green team, use this baseline assessment to discuss your school’s present circumstances. A list of yes or no questions, this assessment should take less than half an hour to complete but generate lots of discussion and excitement!

Use the Sustainability Tracking and Roadmap Tool (START)
Once a school has enrolled they will need to set up an Energy Star Portfolio account and begin to record information in the START tool to benchmark their progress toward becoming a green school. More information on how to do this will be coming soon.

Action Plan Template
Once your team is set up and you have some goals in mind, it is time to make a plan! Creating an action plan is an important first step toward achieving your goal.

Ready for Recognition?
The deadline to prompt the MGS team to review your materials for state-level recognition is June 1st each year. More information about the recognition process coming soon. Google Form located here.

Schools that are interested in being a 2021 Missouri nominee for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon award should follow these steps and submit all materials by Jan. 22, 2021: 

  1. Complete the Missouri Green Schools enrollment form.
  2. You will receive an editable copy of the MGS Assessment and Tracking spreadsheet (pdf) once you have enrolled. When your school is able to check all the requirements for Emerging, and over half the requirements for Progressing in each Pillar, your school can be considered for nomination as a Green Ribbon School.
  3. If eligible for nomination (see #2 above), Complete a Nomination Form using information gathered in the tracking spreadsheet that includes:
    1. A clear, specific and well-articulated understanding of how environmental sustainability, health and learning fit with the school’s vision and mission
    2. innovative approaches (given a particular school’s circumstances) to one or more of the criteria outlined in each of  the 3 pillars;
    3. and five to ten action photos of students involved in green practices.
  4. Complete the Nominee Presentation Form with the signatures of the principal and superintendent (or appropriate authorities for private schools) certifying the school meets certain federal criteria.
  5. Return all materials to Lesli Moylan at moylan@meea.org by Jan. 22, 2021. 

NOTE: This procedure will be simplified beginning with the 2022 EDGRS award cycle, once we begin utilizing the digital Sustainability Tracking and Roadmap Tool (START). If we are able to share this user-friendly tracking system with EDGRS hopefuls in time for the 2021 nomination, we certainly will!

Levels of Achievement: Missouri Green Schools

Growing levels of support and awareness at each step.

MGS Levels by KM

Level 1: Sprout

When your Green school completes its first steps towards their health and wellness journey, they will be recognized as a Sprout for their green efforts.

To start your school onto its green journey, the following items must be completed.

  • Letter of Commitment
  • Identify at least one goal
  • Set up START profile
  • Complete Self-Assessment Tool

Benefits:

  • Certificate (initial year of level achievement)
  • Recognized on website under year of participation
  • Invitation to MGS Celebration at Friday night social of MEEA Conference (can wait to come to conference that is held close to their location since conference location moves around the state annually)
  • 1 hour phone call with a mentor

Level 2: Seedling

Congratulations! Not only have you taken the first steps towards greening your school, but you have grown your practices, and are ready for more. Your school has grown into a seedling!

To grow into a Seedling, your school must:

  • Establish a Green Team
  • Create an ENERGY STAR account, and begin benchmarking energy, waste, and water for your school
  • Document achievements in a minimum of one Educational Programming, per the START metrics

Benefits:

  • Recognition at the MEEA Conference
  • Eligibility for MEEA Action Grant
  • All Sprout level benefits

Level 3: Sapling

Once your Green School has established its roots, now is the time to stretch those branches, unfurl those leaves, and start creating energy as a Sapling.

To mature into a Sapling, your school must:

  • Benchmark all Energy, Waste, Water using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
  • Demonstrate reduction of resource usage over the last 1 – 3 years within a minimum of one area: Energy, Waste, or Water.
  • Achieve Tier 2 or 3 in a minimum of 2 Educational Programming metrics via the START tracker.
  • Tier 2 or 3 achievements in a minimum of 4 Organizational Culture metrics via the START tracker.

Benefits:

  • MGS Banner (initial year of level achievement – may need to be flexible on size and format)
  • MEEA / SIE – Eligibility for reduced rate for teams attending the MEEA Conference or Sustainability Institute for Educators.
  • School’s MGS story highlighted on MEEA website and/or social media, newsletter
    Invitation to create a MEEA Webinar to share your story

Level 4: Flowering Dogwood

My, how your Green school has blossomed! Your school has tended to the early watering of a sprout, the weeding of a seedling, the quick growth as a sapling and now look! Your school has bloomed into a gorgeous flowering dogwood of health, wellness, and sustainability.

To fully blossom into a Flowering Dogwood, your school must complete the following:

  • Tier 2 or 3 achievements in a minimum of 5 Educational Programming START metrics
  • Tier 2 or 3 achievements in a minimum of 8 Organizational Culture START metrics
  • Tier 2 or 3 achievements in a minimum of 15 Physical Place START metrics
  • Provide one contact to serve as a mentor.
  • (optional) Develop a How-To Guide on one of their accomplishments (encourage Student-developed)

Benefits:

  • Banner Snipe (initial year of level achievement)
  • Eligible for nomination for the US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition
  • 1 free MEEA or SIE registration
  • Invitation to present at the MEEA Conference or SIE

Schools that achieve Flowering Dogwood recognition are eligible and encouraged to apply for ED-GRS.

Apply to Become a 2021 Green Ribbon School Honoree

Application is due to MGS via email (mgs@meea.org) by January 22, 2021. Click here for more information and access to the application.