Missouri Green Schools Seeking Pilot Schools to Participate Now!
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.
Are you interested in becoming a Missouri Green School and venturing on the path towards state and national recognition for your efforts? Schools can begin their green school journey by enrolling through this form. You can get started in just 4 easy steps!
Step 1: Complete a commitment letter
Once enrolled, the commitment letter can be signed by the head of the school or district.
Step 2: 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!
Step 3: Identify a Goal
Identify at least one goal for your school. This could be anything from benchmarking energy use to setting up a green team. Once 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.
Step 4: 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.
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!
Ready for State-Level Recognition?
The deadline to prompt the MGS team to review your materials for state-level recognition is June 30th each year. To submit your prompt for review, click here.
Ready for National Recognition?
For more information on becoming a Missouri nominee for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon award, reach out to email@example.com or click here.
Level 1: Sprout
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
- 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
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
- Recognition at the MEEA Conference
- Eligibility for MEEA Action Grant
- All Sprout level benefits
Level 3: 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.
- 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
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)
- 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.