Leading-edge Exemplars

Because environmental literacy helps districts reach their goals, we are working with a group of school districts around the state that include the full diversity of California’s students. The successful integration of the EP&Cs and environmental literacy into the frameworks has encouraged many districts to begin the process of formally integrating environmental literacy into their districtwide instructional strategies. These district-level pilots create and demonstrate successful and sustainable models of partnership which are relevant to local communities, and assure their success and sustainability.


Ten school districts located throughout California are participating in pilot programs to develop district environmental literacy plans that can be replicated in other districts. These plans will infuse standards- and environment-based learning as a foundational component of their students’ K–12 educational experience in science, history–social science, health, and other subjects. The ten pilot districts include Alameda, Pajaro Valley, Petaluma, and Campbell in the Bay Area; Glendale, Montebello, and Paramount in Los Angeles County; Rialto and Fontana in San Bernardino County; and Anaheim in Orange County.


We are partnering with several highly experienced organizations in this work including the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, the State Education and Environment Roundtable, Youth Outside, and Inverness Research.

At the regional level, we are collaborating with three organizations to support the work of these ten pilot districts: ChangeScale in the Bay Area, TreePeople in Los Angeles, and Inside the Outdoors in Orange and San Bernardino Counties.

We are engaging a wide array of community-based organizations, such as nonformal providers, local government agencies, and others with environmental and educational expertise in the district planning process. These organizations are an important component of our goal to create opportunities for classroom, campus, community and field based experiences that integrate with the districtwide environmental literacy plans currently under development.


Tools and resources are being developed that will be shared with school districts and county offices of education throughout the state. An example is the Local Control Accountability Plan Toolkit for Science and Environmental Literacy.




ChangeScale advances the cohesiveness, effectiveness, and prominence of the environmental education field in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Their mission is to ensure that every generation is inspired with the environmental know-how…

Lawrence Hall of Science

The University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science is the country’s only science center that is part of a top-tier, public research university. This distinctive affiliation allows the Hall to partner with world-class…


TreePeople inspires and supports the people of Los Angeles to come together to plant and care for trees, harvest the rain, and renew depleted landscapes. They unite with communities to grow a greener, shadier,…

Inside the Outdoors

The Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors turns nature’s classroom into a living laboratory for over 125,000 students each year.  Our field trips, Traveling Scientist, and Service-Learning community action projects…

State Education and Environment Roundtable

The State Education and Environment Roundtable provides professional development programs to meet the needs of schools and districts. Their programs are highly interactive, and are designed to help teachers achieve standards-based learning goals…

Inverness Research

Education improvement is a complex and demanding enterprise without simple answers. Inverness Research's goal is to help funders and project leaders improve their thinking, their investment strategies, their program designs, and their…