DATE: July 21, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

2014 Bay Watershed Agreement – Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool

In June 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the Chesapeake Bay Watershed AgreementThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website, a multijurisdictional compact that commits the Bay-region states to meet important consensus goals both in environmental sustainability and K-12 education.  In signing the Agreement, the Governor committed all of Virginia’s schools – in all localities and watersheds across the Commonwealth – to work toward meeting the Environmental Literacy Goal and OutcomesThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website of this landmark regional effort.

As a part of the regional reporting process, Virginia school divisions are asked to complete a web-based data collection instrument called the Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool (ELIT). The purpose of the ELIT is to assist school divisions in collecting information documenting their progress in meeting the Bay Agreement’s Environmental Literacy Goal and Outcomes.  The results from these data help the Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup most effectively support local efforts to implement strategies that support students’ environmental literacy.

The Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool will be launched on August 1, 2017.  The Chesapeake Bay Program asks the ELIT be completed by September 15, 2017.  Each school division is asked to assign one person to complete the ELIT.  The ELIT is designed to allow the person completing the web-based tool to begin entering the data and return at his/her convenience as long as the same log-on address is being used each time.  Please share the Virginia ELIT linkThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website with your school division designee.

The resulting Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool data are expected to help advance the implementation of environmental education efforts in schools and school divisions across the Commonwealth.  The data collected during the August to September period will serve as a baseline to gauge Virginia’s success in meeting this important K-12 education goal.  The ELIT will be administered every two years. 

For questions regarding ELIT, please contact Shannon Sprague, Co-Chair, Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Chesapeake Bay Office, by email at or by telephone at (410) 267-5664.  For more information about Virginia’s science and environmental education efforts, please contact Anne Petersen, Science Coordinator, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, by email at or by telephone at (804) 225-2676.