Virginia Schools and School Divisions Earn National Green Ribbon Schools Award – The U.S. Department of Education announced the 2017 Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Award winners to include Centreville Elementary School, Discovery Elementary School, Albemarle Public Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. The Green Ribbon program recognizes energy efficient and environmentally friendly schools that promote environmental awareness, community engagement, and student and faculty wellness.
Governor McAuliffe’s Environmental Literacy Challenge – April 22, 2015 Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 42 (PDF) on Earth Day to establish the Virginia Environmental Literacy Challenge, that encourages schools at the classroom- and school-level to engage students in meaningful science and environmental education efforts.
Environmental Literacy – Having the knowledge, skills and dispositions to solve problems and resolve issues individually and collectively that sustain ecological, economic and social stability.
Virginia Natural Resources Education Guide – The guide is designed to provide teachers resources and lesson plans revolving around Virginia’s natural resources. The lesson plans are aligned to the elementary and middle school Virginia Standards of Learning and cover a variety of topics.
The Standards of Learning and Environmental Literacy
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects. The SOL in certain disciplines support Environmental Literacy explicitly and in others implicitly.
Foundational Concepts for Environmental Literacy, Responsible Citizenship, and Career Readiness 2010 Science Standards of Learning (Word) - This document highlights the science standards at each grade level or subject that support environmental literacy. The particular science standards that are organized in the following charts are directly related to learning about sustainability.
- 2015 Health Education Standards of Learning
- 2015 Physical Education Standards of Learning
- 2015 Driver Education Standards of Learning
- 2010 Science Standards of Learning
Highlights! School Programs in Action
- Get2Green started several years ago at FCPS with a focus on developing student driven action teams within Eco Schools across the county. These teams work on a variety of environmental topics (pathways) under the Eco School umbrella. The program also provides teacher professional development to assist teachers in running eco teams, working with students on Eco School USA activities, and in taking students outdoors for lessons. Efforts are also underway to integrate curriculum areas to these project-based learning opportunities to also enforce the development of environmental knowledge and 21st century skills.
If you have an Environmental program at your school, please let us know!
Sustainable School Programs
USED Green Ribbon Schools is a prestigious award which is given to select schools across the nation that The U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools recognizes as schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. See Virginia Green Ribbon Schools for more information.
PLT’s GreenSchools! program inspires students to take personal responsibility for improving the environment at their school, at home, and in their community. Students, teachers, and school staff members receive tools, training, and resources for student-led Green Teams to create healthier schools. Visit the PLT GreenSchools website for more information.
Virginia Naturally Schools is the official environmental education school recognition program of the commonwealth, administered by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries with support from the Department of Education, Department of Environmental Quality and other resource agencies. Visit the Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program website for more information.
Green Schools National Network
The Green Schools National Network, a non-profit organization founded in 2008, works with educators, government, and non-governmental organizations and agencies, as well as private partners to create broad-based initiatives and successful strategies aimed at fostering healthy, sustainable K-12 schools across the United States.
Founded by principals, superintendents, and teachers, GSNN is devoted to accelerating student achievement through the implementation of green, healthy, and sustainable practices as outlined in our GreenPrint for Green, Healthy and Sustainable Schools.
An international program of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), Eco-Schoolsaims to empower students to be the change our sustainable world needs by engaging them in fun, action-orientated learning. Visit the Eco-Schools website for more information.
Virginia Environmental Literacy Challenge
Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 42 (PDF) on Earth Day 2015 to establish the Virginia Environmental Literacy Challenge, which encourages schools at the classroom- and school-level to engage students in meaningful science and environmental education efforts.
The Virginia Resource-Use Education Council has developed the Governor’s Conservation Classroom Challenge (CCC) and Environmental Literacy Challenge for Systemic Sustainability (ELCSS) (PDF). Please visit Superintendent’s Memo #011-16 for more information.
The purpose of Lessons from the Bay (Grades 3-6) provided through VDOE is to help Virginia school teachers of grades 3 through 6 incorporate into their classrooms a variety of activities and projects related to protecting and restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed, in keeping with the state's commitment in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. The Lessons from the Bay are currently being revised. If you would like the materials before they are posted again, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project WET provides K-12 teachers with lesson plans, publications, workshop trainings, and online resources to facilitate teaching water education in the classroom. The Project WET activities are designed to be easy to use and to complement existing curricula.
The Bay Backpack is a website for teachers and environmental educators interested in teaching about the Chesapeake region. This one stop shop provides all the tools you need to give your students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE). The site houses resources for each of the components needed to create a MWEE for your students.
Project WILD is a wildlife-focused conservation education program for K-12 educators and their students. Project Wild provides both curriculum materials and professional training workshop opportunities to K-12 educators.
Project Learning Tree provides K-12 teachers environmental education curriculum materials once professional development opportunities are completed through the Project Learning Tree program. Project Learning Tree offers both classroom and online professional development to teachers. Some resources that do not required the completion of a training program are available at the Project Learning website.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) offers a number of learning and teaching resources concerning environmental issues in the Chesapeake Bay designed for both formal and informal K-12 educators.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation provides teachers and students a variety of educational opportunities and resources to include field programs and professional learning experiences. In addition, an on-line library with activities and lesson plans are available for those that participate in CBF courses.
Project Learning Tree offers both classroom and online professional development to teachers on environmental education. More information on Project Learning Tree professional development can be found at the Project Learning Tree attend a training website.
CBF offers both summer immersion and one and multi day workshops to educators. More information can be found at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website.
- Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee – Restoration and Education Grants
Applications due October 1, 2016
Applications will be accepted from private not-for-profit conservation organizations, schools and universities, and governmental agencies whose projects will affect water bodies that are located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. There is no limit on the amount that an applicant may request. More information on the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund, including the application, W-9 and EDI forms (both new), grant guidelines, and a catalogue of past projects can be found at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/cbr/files/PR2017.pdf.
- Virginia Environmental Endowment
Applications due – December 1 and June 15
Grant-making priorities in the Virginia Program are focused on water quality, Chesapeake Bay, land conservation and use, environmental education and awareness, and other emerging issues. See the Virginia Program page for details, and the Proposal Submission page for application instructions.
- NOAA – Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Grant Program
Applications due – See grant process website at NOAA
The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET Chesapeake) grant program supports hands-on watershed education to students and teachers to foster stewardship of the Bay. Environmentally literate citizens with the skills and knowledge to make well-informed environmental choices are key to sustaining the nation’s ocean and coastal environments.
- Dominion – Environmental Stewardship Grants Program
Applications due – March 2
The Dominion Foundation will award up to $1.2 million in environmental stewardship grants to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations in communities served by Dominion companies. The Dominion Foundation will consider grant requests up to $50,000 that focus on specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment.
Environment Literacy Planning: State Agencies and Partners
2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement
The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, signed by Governor Terence McAuliffe on June 16, 2014, commits the Commonwealth to meet the goals and outcomes set forth in the multijurisdictional compact. The education Goal and Outcomes of the Agreement extend to all localities and watersheds of the Commonwealth and the target of environmental literacy for all students by graduation.
Environmental Literacy Goal: Enable students in the region to graduate with the knowledge and skills to act responsibly to protect and restore their local watershed.
- Student Outcome: Continually increase students’ age-appropriate understanding of the watershed through participation in teacher-supported, meaningful watershed educational experiences and rigorous, inquiry-based instruction, with a target of at least one meaningful watershed educational experience in elementary, middle and high school depending on available resources.
- Sustainable Schools Outcome: Continually increase the number of schools in the region that reduce the impact of their buildings and grounds on their local watershed, environment and human health through best practices, including student-led protection and restoration projects.
- Environmental Literacy Planning Outcome: Each participating Bay jurisdiction should develop a comprehensive and systemic approach to environmental literacy for all students in the region that includes policies, practices and voluntary metrics that support the environmental literacy Goals and Outcomes of this Agreement.
Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool (ELIT) – Summary and Descriptive Statistics (PDF)
The Chesapeake Bay Program's Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool – or ELIT – was distributed to school divisions across Virginia in the summer of 2015. The purpose of the ELIT is to collect important information that will help advance the implementation of environmental education efforts in schools in the mid-Atlantic region. This tool, the data collected, and related efforts supporting environmental education in the region are in direct support of the Environmental Literacy Goal and Outcomes of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.