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. Each webinar’s recording and resources will be posted online.
District Innovation Hub Webinar Series
Join the California Environmental Literacy Initiative’s District Innovation Hub in an interactive online series showcasing the work of inspiring equity-focused leaders in environmental literacy and school sustainability. Scroll down to hear in-depth accounts of district success stories. Folks who lead, work in, or support California’s school districts are especially encouraged to tune in!
Featuring: Cabrillo Unified School District
Promoting environmental sustainability in a school district is a collective action project, and its ongoing success depends on both bottom-up and top-down approaches to leadership. When embraced and done well, good work continues even with district office leadership turnover. This presentation will provide a superintendent’s perspective on how this work came to pass in two districts and what can happen when the leadership of these efforts transitions from board and superintendent to students, staff, and community partners.
- Sean McPhetridge, Superintendent, Cabrillo Unified School District
- Doron Markus, Career Technical Education, and Science Coordinator, San Mateo COE
- Andra Yeghoian, Chief Innovation Officer, Ten Strands
Featuring: Rialto Unified School District
Examine how collaboration across departments revolutionizes TK–12 districts. With new legislative requirements, districts are looking for ways to divert organic waste, increase recycling, and reduce electricity and water usage. None of these requirements can be achieved without changing the behavior of students, teachers, staff, and administrators. Education services and business services working together is the only option. Hear how we collaborated across departments to earn the California Green Ribbon Schools award at eight schools and counting, as well as district-wide recognition as national U.S. Department of Education selectee.
Plus, learn from program leaders about current opportunities from the CAL FIRE Green Schoolyards Grants, the California Bay and Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant, and the Climate Change and Environmental Justice Program.
- George Garcia, Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education
- Juanita Chan-Roden, Agent: Science and Career Programs, Education Services, Rialto USD
- Brian Montez, Supervisor, Grounds and Maintenance, Business Services, Rialto USD
- Julia Gowin, Urban & Community Forestry Program, CAL FIRE
- Seaberry Nachbar, CA B-WET Program Director, NOAA
- Roni Jones, Director of Curriculum, Ten Strands
February 16, 2023 - Shared Leadership for Green Schools: A Systems Approach to Environmental Literacy Planning
Featuring: Encinitas Union Elementary School District
This webinar highlights the Encinitas Union School District and other Green School National Network districts on strategies to engage shared leadership toward becoming a Green Ribbon school district. The webinar will share a systems approach to change and give practical examples for leader and learner engagement for making sustainability and environmental literacy part of your culture.
- Tim Baird, Director of Educational Partnerships, Green Schools National Network
Featuring: Val Verde Unified School District
Lots of schools have gardens – but how can a district equitably ensure that every school has a garden? Collaboration among district leaders and community-based partners for curriculum or funding is essential. In this session, you will learn about two successful models and have a chance to share about your own projects. Over seven years, Val Verde Unified has leveraged local funding to create outdoor STEM learning spaces at every school in the district. In Cabrillo Unified, The HEAL Project supports garden spaces and field trips so all students learn about the standards – but also where their food comes from and why it matters.
- Doug Henderson, Director – STEAM, Val Verde Unified School District
- Amy Bono, Executive Director, The HEALProject
April 20, 2023 - Student Advocacy and District Action: Fremont’s Emerging Educational Response to the Climate Emergency
Featuring: Fremont Unified School District
Over the last five years, students in Fremont have organized to pass a number of environmentally focused school board resolutions including: a Commitment to Climate Change Action; Educational Response to the Climate Emergency; and Zero Waste to Landfill. Hear from students how they organized a campaign for climate literacy and how the district and community based partners are responding to their call to action.
- Nate Ivy, Instructional Coach, Fremont Unified School District
- Rishi Gurjar, Student, American High School, Fremont
- Sarah Ranney, Chair, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter Climate Literacy Committee
May 18, 2023 - Connecting Student Learning to Campus Sustainability: Energy Projects for Career Readiness
Featuring: Porterville Unified School District
Schools play an often overlooked role in addressing climate change. Join us to learn about an innovative partnership between Porterville Unified School District and nonprofit Climate Action Pathway for Schools, where paid student interns are developing projects that have reduced the district’s energy costs by $850,000 and greenhouse gas emissions by 24 percent in the first two years. Together, the partners have raised over $9 million for related facility upgrades through state and federal grants. Learn how your district can save money, seek facility funding, and provide high-quality college and career programs for students.
- Jenn Garvin, Energy and Sustainability Program Manager, Porterville Unified and Climate Action Pathways for Schools
- Kirk Anne Taylor, Executive Director, Climate Action Pathways for Schools
County Office of Education Innovation Hub Webinar Series
The County Offices of Education Environmental Literacy Leadership Case Studies webinar discusses how California’s pioneering environmental literacy coordinators in San Mateo and Orange County took unique approaches to elevating environmental literacy and sustainability in their local contexts. Discuss the crucial role that COEs can play in transforming educational systems.
The Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy webinar helps educators support students in understanding their place in the world and taking action for their communities. Explore a three-part publication developed for educators, which focuses on the imperative for environmental literacy, showcases voices from the field, and includes a roadmap for including environmental literacy in TK-12 classrooms.
April 21, 2022 - A Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy for Professional Learning Providers
The Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy for Professional Learning Providers webinar explores a three-part publication series that can be used as a tool to support teachers to begin or move forward on this journey. This webinar will offer professional learning providers tools and strategies for sharing the Call to Action with teachers.
Learn how the lens of environmental literacy can be used to support districts, schools, and teachers in their implementation of the State Seal of Civic Engagement. Explore examples and resources related to each criteria, including: academic achievement, civics knowledge, community action projects, and self-reflection.
Learn about a Community-Based Partner Network Toolkit designed to help county offices of education, school districts, and community-based partners establish and maintain regional networks to expand environmental literacy. The toolkit includes sections on types of community-based partners and networks, guidance for networks at different stages, self-assessment rubrics, and equity-focused guidance for new, emerging, and established networks to consider. Also, hear how to use CAELI’s Community-Based Partner Hub to connect teachers with specific partners and standards-aligned student programs.
September 16 and 23, 2020 | The authors of Educating Every California Student In, About, and For the Environment: A Call to Action for County, District, and Educational Leaders provide an introduction to implementing the strategies outlined in the resource document. Explore how the COVID-19 context and the Learning Continuity and Attendance plans amplify the needs to address student and staff mental health, connect with nature and community, and include the outdoors in instructional and operational planning.
September 30, 2020 | Learn how trauma-informed environmental literacy practices can be used on campus or through distance learning to support social and emotional learning, reduce anxiety, and increase engagement. Explore how simple outdoor activities can be part of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports to address students’ needs and implement instruction aligned with state guidelines, including the new Health Framework.
October 21, 2020 | Learn how to advocate for environmental literacy as a critical student skillset and an important strategy for improving key initiatives, such as NGSS implementation, civic engagement, and supporting English learners. Explore concrete examples of successful goals, actions and budget expenditures that support environmental literacy in a variety of county and district contexts throughout the state.
November 18, 2020 | Learn how to connect educators with local environmental education partners such as nonprofits, public works agencies, and governmental programs to support culturally relevant environmental literacy experiences. Learn strategies to form networks that build the capacity of these partners to work with school systems. Together, such coalitions can build career interest, provide mentoring opportunities, and address real environmental justice and public health challenges our students and families are facing.
December 9, 2020 | Learn about successful approaches to standards-based environmental literacy curriculum that reflects ongoing updates to California’s content frameworks. Explore a variety of proven professional learning and collaborative approaches that county offices of education and school districts have used to help teachers deliver solutions-oriented, integrated curriculum for in person and distance learning formats.