Resources for Administrators

In September of 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom approved AB 185, which revised the Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant that includes environmental literacy. Check out this guide that shows how constituents can advocate to their Local Education Agencies (LEAs) about including environmental literacy efforts as part of their spending plans for this block grant.

CAELI’s County Office of Education Innovation Hub invites you to its Webinar Series: Tools For Environmental Literacy – a series of conversations with the authors of four new resources designed to spur conversations and expand equitable access to environment-based learning experiences to students throughout California.

The Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy is 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.

In the State Seal of Civic Engagement Environmental Literacy Implementation Guide, learn how the lens of environmental literacy can be used to support teachers, schools, and districts in implementing California’s State Seal of Civic Engagement. Find real-world examples and links to resources for each state criteria, including: academic achievement, civics knowledge, community action projects, and self-reflection.

CAELI’s County Office of Education Leadership Case Studies illustrate how 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 Lawrence Hall of Science Outdoor Learning Guidance provides tools for implementing outdoor learning to disrupt inequities from the pandemic, while The Lawrence Outdoor Learning Menus explore sustainable approaches and implementation to support students, provide professional learning for educators, and build capacity.


The Community-Based Partner Network 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.


California’s County-Level CBP Networks Directory includes examples of existing community-based partners 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.

CAELI County Office of Education Environmental Literacy Community of Practice_Super Bloom California Poppies

The Environmental Literacy Community of Practice, hosted by the CAELI County Office of Education Innovation Hub, welcomes leaders from all levels of county offices of education to expand equitable access to environmental literacy and sustainability education by meeting virtually every other month beginning August 26, 2021.

The CAELI Community-Based Partner Hub is designed for leaders in county offices of education who are seeking a solution to promote environmental literacy, raise the visibility and access to community-based partners, and foster partner-educator relationships. The Hub provides districts, schools, and teachers with up-to-date information on environmental education programs and learning opportunities available to their students and aligned to their instructional needs.

California school districts are seeking stakeholder input on their three-year Local Control Accountability Plans and budgets. The Guidance for Using the LCAP to Mitigate Science Learning Loss provides practical tips to advocate for science, environmental literacy, and outdoor education for all students as key parts of a safe and equitable return from the pandemic.

Check out this environmental literacy webinar series that offers practical advice and effective strategies for education leaders to implement environmental literacy initiatives in their counties, districts, or schools.

Educating Every California Student In, About, and For the Environment: A Call to Action for County, District, and Educational Leaders 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.

California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy lays out guiding principles and key strategies that support the goal of increasing environmental literacy for all California students.

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Toolkit helps district leadership, parents, students, educators, and community partners who seek to improve education and environmental literacy to participate in their local school district budget development process.

Chapter 8 Transcending Disciplinary Boundaries—Arts Integration of the revised California Arts Education Framework includes an interdisciplinary, arts-centered vignette that introduces the idea of integrating California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts into arts instruction.

Science Framework for California Public Schools has integrated California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts. Check out this list of 29 California Board of Education approved K–8 science programs.

The History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools includes California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts. Check out these ten California Board of Education approved K–8 history–social science programs.

The Health Education Curriculum Framework for California Public Schools includes California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts, and has a specific focus on environmental health and environmental justice.

The California Outdoor Schools Association is a statewide network of outdoor schools managed by local educational agencies.

The State Education and Environment Roundtable promotes and supports environment-based education to help students achieve success with academic content, develop their understanding of interactions between natural and human social systems, and prepare students to be active members of  society with the skills they need to identify and resolve environmental issues.

The San Mateo County Office of Education has a countywide environmental literacy initiative. Their approach integrates curriculum and instruction, community programs and partnerships, and fosters a shift in institutional culture.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is committed to building environmental literacy for all students in their community. A county-wide vision of connecting learning and local environments guides the county’s environmental literacy efforts. Check out their list of environmental literacy resources for district administrators and site leads.

San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Programs provide professional learning for teachers and administrators focused on STEM disciples and environmental literacy. Learn more about environmental literacy projects for school communities.

The Orange County Office of Education administers Inside the Outdoors, a hands-on environmental education program that empowers students, teachers, parents and the community to explore natural areas and expand their knowledge, understanding, and stewardship of the environment through field trips, traveling scientist, and community programs.

The Lawrence Hall of Science provides professional development programs and hands-on learning experiences through programs that engage across the learning continuum. BaySci is a coordinated effort to systematically enhance the quantity and quality of TK⁠–⁠12 science teaching and learning in districts and schools. BaySci works with California school districts to facilitate deepening partnerships between community organizations and districts developing comprehensive environmental literacy plans.

The California Subject Matter Project is a network of nine discipline-based statewide projects that support ongoing quality professional development. Activities and programs are designed by university faculty, teacher leaders, and teacher practitioners to improve instructional practices leading to increased achievement for all students. The following CSMPs offer high quality professional development with a focus on environmental literacy:

The Alameda USD Case Study demonstrates how a district embraced environmental literacy planning as a key driver for education reform. This case describes how skillful and inspired district leaders, with the support of a unified set of partners, have set the foundation for environmental learning within their district.