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Local, Regional and National Environmental Literacy Efforts

  • Healthy Schools Act of 2010 - (DC Official Code § 38-821.01 et seq.,) is a comprehensive piece of legislation that ensures District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), public charter schools, and participating private schools are healthy places for all students. The Healthy Schools Act includes many health and nutrition requirements for District schools and agencies, including programs for promoting farm-to-school, locally-grown, and sustainable agriculture practices; the Environmental Literacy Program; and the school gardens program.
  • Sustainable DC Plan, updated in 2019, focuses on making the District the healthiest, greenest, most livable city for all District residents. OSSE works in partnership with agencies across District government towards the following education goal, target, and actions:
  • Education Goal: Ensure every student in the District graduates with the knowledge to protect and restore their local environment.
  • Education Target: By 2032, teach 100% of children in the District about environmental and sustainability concepts.
  • Education Actions:
  • ED1.1: Modernize all public school buildings, recreation centers, and libraries to reduce their environmental footprint and integrate sustainable and healthy practices into their operations
  • ED1.2: Implement a program to encourage all District schools to adopt healthy, green, and sustainable practices.
  • ED1.3: Implement the Environmental Literacy Plan.
  • ED1.4: Provide adequate support so that every student will have access to meaningful environmental experiences in elementary, middle, and high school.
  • ED1.5: Provide dedicated scholarship funding to allow District residents of color to major in sustainability programs in higher education.
  • Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement of 2014 was signed by the governors of Chesapeake Bay states and the mayor of the District, which is a commitment across the Chesapeake Bay region to collaborate and establish goals and outcomes for the restoration of the Bay, its tributaries, and lands that surround them.  It includes the following goal and outcomes:
    • 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.
  • The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) tracks the status of environmental literacy plan development, adoption, and implementation nationally. The District was featured in its 2014 and 2019 State Environmental Literacy Plans Status Report.