County Office of Education Innovation Hub

The CAELI County Office of Education (COE) Innovation Hub seeks to support all 58 COEs to launch and maintain thriving Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiatives. Through the development of tools and professional learning opportunities, the hub builds the capacity of COEs to support their districts and schools in providing equitable access to high-quality environmental education, as well as access to safe and healthy spaces for children, youth, and adults to learn and play.

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Projects & Working Groups



  • COE IH members will invest in our theory of change that COEs are an important part of the systemic integration process.
  • Serve as a backbone for our region’s broader ecosystem of environmental literacy.
  • Produce high-quality tools that can be used by schools, districts, and stakeholders to make progress toward environmental literacy.
  • Support the hiring and work of a dedicated environmental literacy coordinator in the state’s 58 counties.


  • COE Innovation Hub Meetings – Monthly meetings for the COE IH to share what is happening with environmental literacy in their County Offices and provide updates for what is happening in our other working groups. Hub members gain collaboration with peers in the same role, the opportunity to leverage collective action to support statewide environmental literacy efforts, and alignment of environmental literacy initiatives and messaging across the state.
  • COE Community of Practice – This community of practice (COP) brings together staff from a variety of roles representing County Offices of Education (COEs) across the state. The outcome of the COP is to build capacity for COEs to support environmental literacy and sustainability efforts across the campus, curriculum, community and culture subsystems in schools and districts in their region. This is done at the COP by sharing best practices and resources that address common issues related to expanding access to environmental literacy and sustainability education. Members meet every two months during the 2022-2023 school year. Register here.
  • Collaborative for CBP Network Leaders – This networking group of COEs leading or launching community-based partner networks for environmental literacy provides participants with opportunities for mutual support and learning. Through exploring the Community Based Partner Network Toolkit and sharing successes, resources and challenges, the collaborative seeks to strengthen support networks for more equitable TK-12 access to environmental education.
  • California’s County-Level CBP Networks Directory includes examples of existing community-based partner networks and their websites at the county level. Explore different approaches to organizing and maintaining networks and see if there are any active networks near you! If you lead a network or are launching one, please complete this form.
  • COE Fellowship – This new program is designed for COP members ready to jump-start or deepen their efforts to lead a high-impact Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative. The outcome of this fellowship will be that each fellow will draft a 3-5 year vision, plan, and budget for their initiative and identify actionable next steps for their first year. Fellows will also have access to a toolkit of resources for supporting district change. 2022-23 Cohort information here.
  • CA Environmental Literacy Landscape Analysis Survey – This survey aims to determine the extent to which California’s stated vision of environmental literacy is being implemented inside classrooms across the state. The survey will identify areas of strong achievement and determine which students and teachers might currently lack access to environment-based learning experiences. The information will be used by school districts and county offices of education to make equity-focused decisions regarding support for student programs, professional learning, and other resources. Overview here.


  • Educating Every California Student In, About, and For the Environment: A Call to Action for County, District, and Educational Leaders (2020) – This details how environmental literacy supports district and state goals around Local Control Accountability Plans and the California Multi-Tiered System of Support, including basic services, standards implementation, course access, universal design for learning, parent involvement, student engagement, school climate, culturally responsive teaching, student achievement, and social–emotional learning.
  • Call to Action for Educators Webinar Series (2020) – This environmental literacy webinar series offers practical advice and effective strategies for education leaders to implement environmental literacy initiatives in their counties, districts, or schools.
  • Tools for Environmental Literacy Webinar Series (2022) – CAELI invites you to a series of conversations with the authors of new resources to expand equitable access to environment-based learning experiences for students throughout California. Features the Teacher Call to Action Toolkit, State Seal of Civic Engagement Environmental Literacy Implementation Guide, and Community-Based Partner Network Toolkit.
  • Community-Based Partner Network Toolkit (2021) – This toolkit has been designed to help county offices of education, school districts, and community-based partners establish and maintain networks to expand environmental literacy within California’s TK–12 educational landscape. The toolkit includes sections on types of community-based partners and networks, guidance for networks at different stages, self-assessment rubrics, and more.
  • CAELI Partner Portal (2022) is supported by Green Guardians. The Portal promotes environmental literacy by building educator awareness of community-based partners (CBP) and their programs and resources and fosters educator-CBP relationships for increased student enrichment and engagement. The goals of the Hub are to increase the visibility and access to environmental education community-based partners and be a reliable central location for districts, schools, and teachers to identify programs that align with their local needs and meet educational standards.
  • Teacher Call to Action Toolkit (2022) – A three-part publication developed for educators by educators. Part 1: The Imperatives for Environmental Literacy defines the field and recounts its development in California. Part 2: Voices from the Field presents case studies of effective instruction at every grade level. Part 3: Roadmap for Instruction describes steps to increase Environmental Literacy integration. Discussion and reflection questions in each section will help move along your practice, individually or with your colleagues.
  • COE Leadership Case Studies (2022) – These Case Studies illustrate how the San Mateo County Office of Education and the Orange County Department of Education each took a unique systems approach to expanding access to environmental literacy and sustainability in their local contexts.
  • The State Seal of Civic Engagement Environmental Literacy Implementation Guide (2022) is designed to support districts, schools, and teachers in using the lens of environmental literacy in implementing California’s State Seal of Civic Engagement. The guide includes sample student actions and resources for educators to use to support students in their efforts towards the Seal.