California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

November  2016 Newsletter
Region 11 - Los Angeles County


State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces
Approval of Science Framework

California becomes the first state in the nation to adopt a Science Framework based on Next Generation Science!

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve a new Science Framework for California's public schools that will dramatically upgrade and modernize science instruction.

The Science Framework provides guidance to teachers, administrators, and textbook publishers for the teaching of the Next Generation Science Standards from transitional kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The Framework expands and refines discussion of climate change and for the first time includes engineering, environmental literacy, and strategies to support girls and young women in science.

Beyond updated science content, the Science Framework encourages a new teacher-student dynamic with the teacher becoming more of a facilitator, asking questions and encouraging discovery. Students conduct experiments and lead the scientific inquiry.

Throughout the spring of 2017, the California Department of Education (CDE), together with educational partners, will present California Science  Framework  rollout events around the state to start preparing educators and administrators in all aspects of Next Generation Science Standards instruction. In 2018, the State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt textbooks and other instructional materials aligned to the Standards and  Framework .

The CDE also is developing a new online science assessment that will reflect the Standards and Framework.  A pilot test of the new assessment will take place in spring 2017 in grades five, eight, and in one high school grade-ten, eleven, or twelve-that will vary for each high school.

For more information see  the CDE website.


- Candice Dickens-Russell, CREEC Coordinator, Region 11 

Saturday December 3, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM 

Hosted by The Wildwoods Foundation, t his interactive session will help teachers understand how to plan and conduct hands-on service projects that align with academic standards.

Teachers will:
  • Learn the basics of Environmental Service Learning project planning. 
  • Be able to identify several campus water project resources in Los Angeles. 
  • Be able to identify NGSS Science & Engineering Practices in various project ideas.
Limited to 30 participants.

Click here  to learn more about this event or here to register.

November 19, 2016 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Nothin' But Sand is a fantastic opportunity to show your local beach some love every third Saturday of the month.
It's easy, fun and kicks off your weekend with some excellent karma.
Singles, couples, groups and businesses are welcome, and you're encouraged to bring your friends-or make some new ones.
See you at the beach!

Click here to learn more about this event.

December 10 in Orange County,
January 21 in Calabasas,
January 28 in Los Angeles. 

The workshop is offered on the three dates above (you only need to attend one).

Cost: Offered at no cost. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Other workshop highlights:
  • Participate in engaging water quality lessons that help you meet NGSS!
  • Explore a new technology tool, SKIES, that encourages classroom interaction, increases student engagement, and promotes 21st century learning.
  • Learn about water issues facing Southern California
  • Connect with other educators
  • Get free water education materials
Click here  to learn more about this event.

Cal Water H20 Challenge    

Embark on an H2O Science Adventure with Your Classroom!

California Upper-Elementary Teachers:
Would you like to incorporate lessons into your classroom around our state's historic drought?  Perhaps you want to teach about water conservation, but need a place to start? California  Water Service (Cal Water) and the North American Association for Environmental Education  (NAAEE) have collaborated with field-leading educational organizations to develop a program  that:
  • Aligns with Common Core State Standards
  • Compliments Next Generation Science Standards
  • Follows a Project-Based Learning Methodology
  • Adheres to an Educator-Created Objective Rubric

Introducing Cal Water H2O Challenge
The Cal Water H2O Challenge is a project-based learning competition designed in conjunction  with NAAEE and WestEd K-12 Alliance. Over 4-8 weeks, classrooms initiate, develop, and  implement a project focused on caring for water, which must:
  • Explore Water as Both a Global Resource and Local Resource
  • Tackle a Local Water Issue

To compete, participants must be a 4th to 6th grade class within Cal Water's service area.

For more information see the  CalWater H20 Flyer or go to  the website.


Sources for teachers and providers

View Funding Resources
Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact,, STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

In Los Angeles, CREEC is housed and supported by TreePeople. Candice Dickens-Russell CREEC-LA Coordinator 818.623.4876


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