CELF in our Schools

Los Angeles Unified School District

Overview

The CELF-LAUSD Educating for Sustainability (EfS) program worked with three middle schools over a three-year period. The three schools sent 12 teachers and two principals to CELF’s Summer Institute, followed by additional local training, project and curriculum planning support, and regular update meetings. As participants gained experience and expertise, they in turn provided training to other teachers at their schools and shared their knowledge through professional workshops, LAUSD events, and social media.

CELF Supports the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Sustainability Initiative

The CELF-LAUSD Educating for Sustainability (EfS) program has produced impressive results towards achieving the LAUSD Strategic Goals and Sustainability Initiative Goals, the California Department of Education Environmental Literacy Blueprint, Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, and CELF program goals. A recent impact survey demonstrates progress towards LAUSD’s goal of becoming the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly large urban school district in the country.

Finally, the program supports California’s Environmental Literacy Blueprint, which aims to teach every California student in, about and for the environment, fully integrating environmental literacy into science, social science, and language arts.

Most important of all, teachers report that the program is having a real impact on students and their commitment and ability to create positive change. Here are some of the teachers’ comments on this topic:

  • “[It has been very meaningful to me to watch] the students take initiative and [see] their sincere desire to plan programs and projects to help our school and the environment.”
  • “Having been given the tools to start to talk about sustainability on our campus through CELF has ignited my students to action. I can’t help but continue on this trajectory to help the students realize their goals of making their world a better place.”
  • “Participating in the CELF project has empowered my students to be problem solvers and to not only think about themselves but think about the environment and others. They have become more empathetic and compassionate while they learn and solve real-world problems. And that is not an easy task to accomplish.”
  • “Place-based learning has had the greatest impact, as it has engaged and invigorated our students to work for change and to care about sustainability issues.”

Three middle schools participate in LAUSD’s three-year pilot program. The three schools have sent a combined total of 12 teachers and two principals to CELF’s Summer Institute. After participation in the Institute, CELF supports the teachers through additional local training, project and curriculum planning support, and regular update meetings. As participants gain experience and expertise, they in turn provide training to other teachers at their schools and share their knowledge through professional workshops, LAUSD events, and social media.

As interest in the program has spread within the schools, sustainability teams have grown to include a total of 23 teachers, principals, assistant principals, and other professional staff members. Each school has a Sustainability Coordinator who shares with colleagues knowledge and skills gained from the Institute, coordinates with school administration, and shares their school’s sustainability accomplishments to the education community.

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