K-12 ESD Stories

ESD Stories

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Boulder Valley School District                                                             The Boulder Valley School District is building on 20 plus years of environmental stewardship and embracing environmental sustainability at a new level. The district hired a Sustainability Coordinator in the summer of 2008 and is currently creating a Sustainability Management System. In doing this, BVSD is better coordinating existing efforts, as well as defining goals and visions around sustainability at a district level for the first time. 

Michael K. Stone - Rethinking Lunchtime: Making Lunch an Integral Part of EducatCenter for Ecoliteracy
Links to schools and projects that embody processes and practices for educating for sustainability.

Clearing Magazine
A quarterly publication for K-12 and non-formal educators in the fields of natural resources, environmental ed, and place-based education. In addition to topical articles and book reviews, each issue contains lesson plans and activities appropriate for the classroom.

Eco-Schools USA (A National Wildlife Federation Initiative)

Since November of 2009, the Eco-Schools USA program  has grown to 332 certified schools with close to 142,000 students and 4,000 participating teachers.  It is a new and growing part of an international network of 37,000 schools in 50 nations.
NWF's Eco-Schools USA team conducted a survey of these schools to start to measure program progress and results. The survey shows that the Eco-Schools program is helping improve the participating schools’ environmental footprint and in reducing facility expenses.  Early reports are the schools are seeing signs of  improved student behavior, morale, attitude for learning  and better academic scores.    There are real challenges for educators in implementing the program but they are making solid progress at integrating it into school curricula.   

  • The majority of schools have chosen the following four of the eight educational pathways: 1) Consumption and waste, 2) School grounds, 3) Water conservation and 4) Energy conservation.
  • The majority of schools have established action teams and those that haven’t yet are starting them soon.
  • About half of the schools have done audits, have developed plans and are monitoring progress toward goals.
  • A third have already seen decreases in facility expenses – most from 5% to 20%
  • Nearly half been able to integrate Eco-School into curriculum 


Environmental educator Susan Santone is national trailblazer

Susan Santone may have left the classroom, but she's still teaching students about the environment in an innovative way that's gaining momentum locally and around the country.

Green Teacher
Green Teacher is a quarterly magazine written by and for teachers, providing inspiration, ideas, and classroom-ready materials to help educators enhance environmental and global education across the curriculum at all grade levels.

Growing Green SchoolsGreening Schools 
Several short video clips highlight schools around the country that have implemented programs for reducing toxins and utilizing an integrated pest management program, and improving air quality and energy efficiency.

Interstate Renewable Energy Council 
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council's mission is to accelerate the sustainable utilization of renewable energy sources and technologies in and through state and local government and community activities. Site highlights P-16 schools around the country that have adopted solar energy use plans.

Poudre School District, Ethics of Sustainability
A description of the district's policy on developing Sustainable Design Guidelines that inform and guide school energy plans and waste management. In addition to individual site descriptions, website includes materials lists and other green design resources.

Student with ChickenPromise of Place                                                                                    A comprehensive website that focuses on the power and promise of place-based education.  In addition to wonderful case studies and vignettes the website has a searchable database of current evaluation and research on place-based education.

Sustainable Communities Network
An extensive listing of resources useful to K-12 educators interested in ESD.

State of Washington                                                                            In 2009, the State of Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) adopted K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Learning Standards. To support the implementation of these standards, OSPI solicited examples from teachers across the state of what it looks like when students are engaged in integrated environmental and sustainability education. These "Stories from the Field" represent real lessons, units, extensions, projects, and programs across grade levels and in different subject areas.