Minimum Certification Criteria

The Healthy Green Schools & Colleges program is designed for schools across the spectrum, whether you are just getting started exploring environmental health and sustainability improvements or are already a leader. However, we believe the following criteria are essential to meet for schools that would like to demonstrate a top level of achievement by earning certification. That’s why these minimum criteria must be met by the time a school district or university is ready to submit for certification.

Note: Several criteria reference templates that are still in development; links to the templates will be added when the full Program launches in late Spring.

Define the Scope of the Educational InstitutionProvide basic location, population, demographic, socioeconomic, budgetary, and system boundary information using the Institution Mapping Template.
Define a Performance PeriodUsing the Performance Period Template, establish a performance period for each required and optional criteria pursued in the HGSC standard. For each criteria, the minimum performance period must be no less than 3 months and the maximum shall be no more than 12 months. All performance periods must overlap and conclude within 30 days of each other.
Monitor PerformanceAssign at least one personnel to assess compliance with the required and attempted optional criteria of this standard, ensure that appropriate documentation is maintained, and receive and address questions, special cases, or unique considerations that affect compliance across the Educational Institution.
Determine an Equity-Based Representative SampleDetermine an Equity-Based Representative Sample of schools to document compliance with the criteria in the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Standard by following the process outlined in Appendix 2 – Equity-Based Representative Sample.
Monitor EquityAssign at least one personnel to monitor the equitable implementation of the Facility Operations and Maintenance Plan across the institution. This includes ensuring the following activities: Vulnerable populations in the institution are accurately counted.Environmentally preferable products and other resources are distributed proportionately to the presence of vulnerable populations.Budgets and training to implement the requirements in this standard are adequate across the institution.Building system maintenance, repairs, and upgrades are conducted with consistency and timeliness to rectify issues across the institution. Communications regarding compliance with this standard are disseminated consistently across the institution.All stakeholders can communicate with management, and the channels of communication are reviewed consistently across the institution.The institution publicly addresses equity issues in facility maintenance and operations activities and communicates about actions taken to rectify problems.
Stakeholder Engagement – ParticipantsConvene stakeholders to review the Facility Operations and Maintenance Plan at least annually. Include representatives from, at minimum, the following stakeholder groups: custodial,maintenance,grounds,handler for contracted services,site level administrator,employee and/or teacher union representatives, and Equity-Based Representative Sample of students or parents.   The following stakeholders are encouraged but not required to participate: food service representative,transportation representative,school nurse,school counselor,Parent Teacher Association or school community council, andjanitorial and sanitation supplier representative.
Stakeholder Engagement – Records ManagementMaintain records of the timeframe in which the Facility Operations and Maintenance Plan review was conducted, all comments received during the Facility Operations and Maintenance Plan review, and the action(s) taken to address each comment.
Onboarding Training for Cleaning Personnel – Training ContentWithin one year of hiring, provide cleaning personnel 12 or more hours of training that covers, at minimum, the following topics: Healthy Green Schools & Colleges Standard,safe and effective handling and use of all cleaning products, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures to promote health and safety and minimize the spread of infectious disease,use and maintenance of cleaning equipment,safety training (See Appendix 3 – Cleaning Personnel Training Curriculum),site specific training (See Appendix 3 – Cleaning Personnel Training Curriculum),all procedures needed to comply with this standard,communication with building occupants on the rationale for procedures, andhow their work affects health, safety, sustainability, and equity in their school and the district.  
Onboarding Training for Cleaning Personnel – Records MaintenanceMaintain records for each staff member of all onboarding training, including the following: topics addressed in the training, general outline of information covered,name and qualifications of the trainer, dates and duration of the training, andrequests for training accommodations (e.g., materials in a non-English language, transcripts from presentations or recordings) and the accommodations provided.   Retain the records for all training for the duration of each staff member’s employment, and for one year after departure.
Onboarding Training for Cleaning Personnel – Skills TestingWithin one month of the conclusion of onboarding training, use a simple pass-fail test or hands-on check with equipment to ensure that cleaning personnel understand the training and are implementing the skills taught. Maintain a record of skills testing alongside training records.
Onboarding Training for Cleaning Personnel – Training Materials ReviewDuring the performance period and at least once every two years, conduct an evaluation of materials to check for relevance and appropriateness. Update materials as needed.
Communications – ManagementEstablish an ongoing communication channel for facilities and maintenance staff to make comments and suggestions regarding, at minimum, the following topics: efficacy and safety of cleaning products, maintenance equipment, and policies and procedures,construction and building improvements,building and system maintenance issues,presence of pests,coordination with pest control, and interference with cleaning or recycling operations.   In the Facility Operations and Maintenance Plan, provide standard operating procedures for this communications channel to be implemented in all buildings.
Communications – Faculty, Staff, and Students (Building Occupants)Make the Facility Operations and Maintenance Plan, including building-specific standard operating procedures, publicly available and by hard copy in each building.
Communications – Vulnerable PopulationsIdentify institution members who would be defined as a member of a vulnerable population. For each building in the institution, document situations where maintenance and cleaning operations could adversely affect any identified members of a vulnerable population. Ensure that communications to vulnerable populations in the district are delivered equitably in terms of timeliness and completeness. Communicate no less than 24 hours in advance about a cleaning operation that could adversely affect a vulnerable population.
Communications – Student Families and CommunityCommunicate publicly that the institution is seeking certification under this standard, and once it has achieved certification, provide signage at each school and post the achievement online, through both social media and the district’s website.