Mayor Gray Announces Release of Draft D.C. Environmental Literacy Plan for Public Comment |
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From Robert Marus: Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced today that the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) has released a draft of the D.C. Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP) for District-wide implementation and integration of environmental education throughout the K-12 curriculum.
The draft plan, published in today’s D.C. Register, Volume 59/29, describes relevant teaching and learning standards adopted by the State Board of Education and necessary professional development opportunities for teachers. It also identifies governmental and non-governmental entities able to assist schools with integrating environmental education in teaching, as well as recommendations on implementation and evaluative measures.
“Educating the next generation about the environment is a critical part of my vision for a Sustainable DC,” said Mayor Gray. “Therefore, it is important that we get input from the community on this crucial strategy for integrating environmental education into our schools’ curriculum.”
The Mayor added that he is willing and ready to work with Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to ensure that the plan, once completed, is implemented.
Environmental literacy is defined as the development of knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to make informed decisions concerning the relationships among natural and urban systems. In the District, an environmentally literate person will be able to discuss and describe ecological and environmental systems and human impacts on these systems; engage in hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that involve discovery, inquiry, and problem solving; formulate questions and analyze information pertaining to his or her environment; and understand how to take actions that respect, restore, protect and sustain the health and well-being of human communities and environmental systems.
“I am very pleased that we have reached this milestone and have created a framework for environmental standards, achievement, assessment and leadership for our students,” said DDOE Director Christophe A.G. Tulou. “With this draft plan on the table for discussion, we can now come together and put a coordinated strategy in place to ensure that our youth develop into environmentally literate adults.”
DDOE collaborated with the D.C. State Board of Education, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, D.C. Public Schools, Public Charter School Board, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the University of the District of Columbia to develop the plan. Non-profit organizations, such as the D.C. Environmental Education Consortium, played an integral part in the development of the plan.
As mandated by the D.C. Healthy Schools Act of 2010 (as amended in 2011), DDOE is required to submit a final environmental literacy plan to the D.C. Council by June 29, 2012. The completion of the ELP will also allow the District to join the other nine states working toward the goal of an environmentally literate citizenry as part of the “No Child Left Inside” movement. There are more than 48 states in the U.S. working toward developing or implementing an ELP.
The draft ELP is available online here, beginning today, for a 21-day period of review and comment. For an e-mail version of the draft plan, contact Grace Manubay at email@example.com. Scheduled public meetings on the ELP are:
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 21, 2012, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
University of the District of Columbia Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
4200 Connecticut Avenue NW Building 41 A-03 901 G Street NW, Room A-5
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
District Department of the Environment Wilson Senior High School, Room TBD*
1200 First Street NE, Room 719* 3950 Chesapeake Street NW
* Report to the 5th floor reception area. * Please visit www.ddoe.dc.gov for updated room assignment.
All comments are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, 2012 and must be in writing. Comments should be submitted to Grace Manubay, Environmental Protection Specialist, DDOE Watershed Protection Division, at 1200 First Street NE, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20002, by U.S. Mail, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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