Get Certified
Frequently Asked Questions

Get Certified

Make It Happen

1.2 million students spend their days in K-12 schools across Washington State. You can ensure they gain the skills and hands-on learning opportunities needed to be successful leaders. Our state depends upon the next generation… And Washington Green Schools is working with you to give them the tools they need to succeed.

Questions? We have answers.

Is our school eligible to participate in the certification process?

Yes! All K-12 schools in Washington State are welcome to start a Report Card and work towards certification as a Washington Green School.

What does the certification process entail?

To get certified as a Washington Green School, schools choose from one of our environmental categories (Energy, Healthy School Buildings, School Grounds & Gardens, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, or Water) and go through the six-step certification process. Learn more about each of the six steps here.

Green Teams record their progress through each of the six steps in their report card. When you have completely filled out your report card, you submit it for certification. Our team reviews your report card and helps your school get certified.

How do I fill out my report card, and submit it for certification?

We have already been doing environmental/conservation work; can we get credit for what we have already done?

Yes! Simply choose which environmental category (Energy, Healthy School Buildings, School Grounds & Gardens, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, or Water) your action project best fits into and complete the report card. You can also contact us for more guidance.

Please note that although you may have already completed your action project, you still need to complete the entire Report Card to certify as a Washington Green School.

Does it cost money?

There is no charge to participate in the program. As long as you have an internet connection, you can get resources, fill out your Report Card, and access support. There may be costs if your school or district voluntarily decides to modify facilities or take other actions. Keep in mind that these actions are likely to result in lower long-term operating or utility costs.

What if no teachers are available to help? Can students still do this program?

Your Green Team should include at least one teacher and be principal-approved. If you have difficulty meeting this requirement, please contact us and we can discuss possible alternative models.

How often should our Green Team meet?

It varies from school-to-school. Some Green Teams are integrated into classroom learning and meet daily. Others are a lunchtime or after school program and meet twice monthly. We recommend that you meet at least once a month to keep your goals on track.

How long does it take to get certified?

We recommend that you give yourself one full year to complete the certification process. This will give you time to complete the six steps required for certification and make a meaningful lasting change on campus. Learn more about what it takes to certify your school.

What happens after we certify as a Bronze school?

After getting certified, a school can choose to advance to the next level, or renew at the current level.

To certify at the next level, a school chooses a new environmental category and completes the Report Card for that category.

My school certified pre-2015-16.
How is it grandfathered into the new certification system?

Instead of achieving certification in Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, schools are now Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. You will continue to advance and earn recognition for each environmental category that you tackle.

We’ve automatically grandfathered schools that certified pre-2015 into the new certification structure. Here’s how it works:

  • Level 1 = Bronze certification
  • Level 2 = Silver certification
  • Level 3 = Gold certification
  • Level 4 = Gold certification
  • Level 5 = Gold certification
  • Level 6 = Platinum certification

For example, if you have certified in Water, Waste & Recycling, Transportation, and Energy, you’ll be:

  • Bronze in Water
  • Silver in Waste & Recycling
  • Gold in Transportation
  • Gold in Energy

Where can I see what other schools in the Washington Green Schools network?

Take a look at our map!

Who is answering my emails and phone calls?

One of the Washington Green Schools staff will answer your email or phone call promptly. Learn more about who we are here.

I have a question that isn't listed here. Where can I get an answer?

Please get in touch! Contact us at