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School Partnership Initiative for Environmental Literacy

Achieving environmental literacy is more important than ever! It is also integral to successfully achieving the ambitious goals of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). California’s unparalleled environment is an invaluable asset and resource to help students learn to think like a scientist, to form explanations supported by evidence, to write about and discuss their ideas in civil discourse. That is why California recently released its ambitious new Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, and it’s why ChangeScale is launching a new program designed to support school districts to thoughtfully and creatively integrate environmental literacy into our schools, ensuring environmental literacy for all students.

Through this Initiative, ChangeScale will connect district teams with regional environmental education providers to:

  • Assess current Environmental Literacy efforts;
  • Determine feasible district-wide goals for Environmental Literacy and strategies for reaching those goals; and
  • Establish a district-wide Environmental Literacy Plan, including identifying necessary funding, implementation plan, and other required support.

This work will leverage the following documents, standards, and guiding principles in California:


What will the Environmental Literacy Plans look like?

A key principle behind this strategy is that plans are co-designed by the district, environmental educators, and local community organizations. All school districts are unique. They have distinct curricular goals and learning objectives, their own cultures, their own capabilities, and their own histories in working in partnership. Similarly, local environmental education organizations and their community partners are also unique, with their own skills and assets. The partnerships, and the plans that describe them, are designed to be sensitive and responsive to these unique circumstances.

What is common across all plans is that they establish a commitment by the community to build a system of environmental education in the district and plan to realize that vision over time. In particular, they may:

  • Identify opportunities for environmental education to support district learning objectives
  • Establish partnerships with community organizations
  • Identify and pursue funding
  • Make connections to relevant professional development opportunities

Will ChangeScale help implement these plans?

In its role as a “backbone” institution, ChangeScale will help facilitate a process to create an integrated and unified plan that leverages local environmental education providers resources and capacities to meet a district-wide vision. Throughout the development process, ChangeScale will work with districts and environmental education providers to identify necessary resources and create systems that support ongoing implementation.

What districts are currently participating?

For more information, email us!

Now accepting applications for Santa Clara County School Districts!

AUSD Superintendent, Sean McPhetridge, at reception for Environmental Literacy in November 2016.