School Board Directors Stand Up for the Environment

    TORONTO, Aug. 29 /CNW/ - Public, Catholic and French Language school
districts across Ontario are joining together to establish common policies,
standards and practices for environmental education and to reduce the
ecological impact of school system operations.
    At its annual meeting in August, the Council of Ontario Directors of
Education (CODE), agreed to adopt and promote the Ontario EcoSchools program,
which links environmental literacy instruction with real-life conservation
strategies to reduce waste, energy consumption, and ecological degradation
throughout schools and school communities. Ontario EcoSchools is a
certification program created through a collaboration of school boards and
other partners to address environmental issues in the education system.
    "Classroom learning about the environment is common in most schools, but
content varies considerably and students have rarely had the opportunity to
participate in practical projects that can measurably reduce environmental
impacts," said Mary Jean Gallagher, Chair of the Council of Ontario Directors
of Education (CODE). "To that end the Directors encourage all schools to
become certified as EcoSchools," she added.
    The Directors of Education also agreed to review their current business
policies and procedures to ensure that environmentally responsible practices
are in place throughout their school districts. Best practices in areas of
purchasing, transportation, planning and maintenance will be shared and
highlighted for the benefit of all school systems.
    CODE members also committed to work with the Canada Green Building
Council to establish specific environmental and efficiency standards for
school construction, according to international LEED (Leadership in
Environmental and Energy Design) criteria.
    Mrs. Gallagher said Directors of Education agreed to actively seek out
partnerships with organizations that can offer experiential learning
opportunities for students. "We want to empower students to shape their
environment in positive ways through education," she said.

    The Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) is an advisory and
consultative organization composed of the chief executive officers of all
72 district school boards in Ontario; Public, Catholic and French Language.

For further information:

For further information: Frank Kelly, Executive Director of CODE, (905)

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