Guides and Application Process
How do I get started?
Go to the "Getting Started" page for a timeline and guidelines. Do you still have questions? Please contact your local Green Center. Find your local Green Center here.
When did I last certify?
Go to the Current Green Schools list. Find your school and the date your school received its last add. Add four years to that date. That is the year you will need to submit another application.
What format can be used to submit the application?
Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, all schools submitting an application must use the NEW Online Application Portal.
As of 9/1/2022, the online portal for Application 5 is still being developed, but it will be ready by late Fall. Use this simplified spreadsheet template to start gathering information so you can upload it into the portal when it is ready.
If a school is resubmitting an application from the previous year, do they need to file an Intent to Apply?
If you paid the Intent to Apply fee the previous year and either did not receive the award and would like to resubmit or failed to submit your application on time, you do not need to pay again for the consecutive year.
Can I use an old application guide from a past year if I already started working from it?
No, you must use the application guide for the current year of your application. Requirements may change from year to year and Application Guides for the current school year provide the most up-to-date information. This is especially important for schools that are resubmitting. The most current version can be found on our website.
I am submitting the 4th application for my school, is it the same as Application 1, 2, and 3?
No. Schools submitting the 4th Application are applying for sustainable status. This application requires a Goals Statement. Review the guide for more detailed information on this requirement.
Who can help me?
Please contact your local Green Center first. You can find your local Green Center here. If you still have questions and would like the assistance of a Green Leader, please email email@example.com with your school name, the district, and whether your school is public or private.
When will the intent to apply and the current application become available?
Every year the Green Schools committee reviews and edits the Green School application during the summer. Each fall, updated information about the application becomes available online.
Do I have to use the new online application portal to submit my application?
Yes. All schools must submit their application using the new online portal starting in the 2022-2023 school year.
Instructional Program Documentation
What should you do if you are not certain you have permission to use a photograph of a particular student?
If you do not have permission or if you are in doubt, do not use the photo. Other options include cropping the student out of the picture or blurring the face of the student (this can be done in programs like Photoshop).
Is a lesson plan considered enough documentation for the environmental instruction objective?
A lesson plan can be submitted as additional documentation, but ONLY IF it also includes some sort of evidence that the students did the activity. For example a copy of a student's completed work, a student's written reflection of what they did and learned, and/or photographs showing the students at work and engaged.
What are other ways to document environmental instruction?
Other suggested types of documentation include student work, photos of bulletin boards, photos of students engaged in activity, student reflections, and students' assessments.
Professional Development (PD)
If one teacher attends a PD, then returns to the school and trains fellow teachers, can those additional teachers count in the 10%?
The training of the additional teachers WOULD ONLY count towards the 10% if the original person who attended the PD was trained to teach the PD themselves.
How do you document Professional Development?
It is important to include the name of attendees, date, and a brief description that includes who facilitated the training. Include at least one piece of documentation, such as agendas, sign-in sheets, email confirmations, correspondence and copies of activities/materials.
How do you describe/document the "majority of staff are engaged in EE activities affiliated with the school" and the "all staff is aware of the Green School Application process?
Describe and cross reference how staff is involved in Environmental Instruction and BMP activities. Document the method in which teachers were informed of the application process. For example, Ms. Smith, chair of the school Green Team, addressed the staff at meeting on Nov. 4th, describing the Green School application and how staff and teachers can assist.
If teachers are doing a training on their own, outside of school, can it be applied to PD for the Green School application?
Yes, as long as it has an Environmental Education component that can be applied to their teaching.
What are the requirements for a Celebration?
This event must be annual and school-wide.
What if our school population is too large for the entire student body to gather together for one event?
Events can be broken up into smaller groups, but all students need to be part. For example, if the event is a trash pick-up, every grade may pick up trash at different times on the same day and then followed by a celebratory ice-cream party. The event can also be done in a week or month, so as long as all students participate in the same themed-event. Another good example includes Earth Hour where the whole school turns out the lights.
How can elementary school students lead sustainable practices?
Younger students can be involved in identifying a need, conducting audits, petitioning for change, design planning or installation. The application review committee is aware that there is a strong adult component to these activities, but the students must be involved in the process.
What are some suggested ideas to document student-lead sustainable practices?
Photos, student reflection, student created blue–prints and plans, newspaper/newsletter articles, correspondence, student surveys and audits.
Is Fieldscope required?
No. The Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School (MASS) FieldScope website is no longer required.
Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, schools submitting Applications 1, 2, 3, or 4 will submit the Metrics Survey through the new online application portal
Schools submitting Applications 5 and beyond will submit the Metrics Survey found on the "Requirements to Apply" page.
Community Partnerships, Awards and Special Recognition
Does an annual field trip to the same organization count as a sustained partnership?
Yes, but make sure you describe the partnership, how it's been maintained and what the school/students gain from it. Suggested qualities of a partner are:
- A partner may be someone who donates supplies and/or time.
- May serve as guest speaker/correspondent for students and staff.
- Assists with time, labor or expertise on projects.
- Organization that facilitates annual field trips.
On This Page
Get answers to commonly asked questions about the Green Schools application process.