SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 85
October 1, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Chesapeake Bay Education Initiative|
In December 1998, Governor James S. Gilmore, along with the governors of Pennsylvania and Maryland and the mayor of Washington, D. C., signed into effect the Chesapeake Bay Education Initiative (Directive 98-1). This multi-state directive was designed to emphasize the role of K-12 education in the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. Over the last year, representatives of several state agencies working with school personnel, private foundations, professional associations, and Chesapeake Bay Program staff have begun to augment Virginia's already substantial educational focus on all of the Commonwealth's watershed resources. As Virginia continues to renew its emphasis on sustaining and improving the quality of the environment, this important initiative provides an opportunity to examine some of the educational efforts underway in state programs and within local school divisions. As required by the directive, the Department of Education will report to the Governor on the status of the Commonwealth's Chesapeake Bay and watershed education. Your help in this effort is needed. One component of this report will be a compilation of local school division watershed-related activities and programs. Gathering and analyzing this information will provide a clearer perspective on the status of Chesapeake Bay and watershed education. As Virginia's natural resources are a key topic across several grade levels and subject areas in the Standards of Learning, these data will be very useful for planning future programs to support students' achievement of the standards. The attached survey has been designed to require minimal time and background research on the part of your science curriculum leaders. Though nearly one third of Virginia's school divisions lie outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, watershed education in general is critically important for every region of the state. We ask that all divisions complete and return the survey. Please fax or mail the survey back to the Department of Education on or before October 15, 1999 to: Ms. Janice Skipwith, Chesapeake Bay Education Survey, James Monroe Building - 20th Floor, Virginia Department of Education, P. O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120, FAX (804)786-1703. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Delores Dalton, secondary science specialist at (804) 371- 0778 or Jim Firebaugh, elementary and middle science specialist at (804) 225-2651. Thank you for your attention to this matter. PDS/JF/jms Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office. Attachment to: Supts. Memo No. 85 Chesapeake Bay / Watershed Education Programs Division Survey Division: Person Responding: In December 1998 at the Chesapeake Bay Program Executive Council meeting Governor James S. Gilmore, along with the governors of Pennsylvania and Maryland and the mayor of Washington, D. C., signed into effect the Chesapeake Bay Education Initiative (Directive 98-1). This directive was designed to emphasize the role of K - 12 education in the protection and restoration of the Bay and its watershed. The following survey is part of a data gathering effort to determine a baseline of educational programs and efforts currently in place in Virginia related to watershed education and to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. 1) YES NO Are there objectives related to watersheds in your division's curriculum? 2) YES NO Does your division's curriculum allow teachers to include real world examples, such as the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, when teaching important SOL concepts? 3) YES NO Does your division's curriculum include specific objectives concerning the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed? 4) YES NO Has your division developed watershed or Chesapeake Bay-related instructional materials? 5) YES NO Has your division developed system-wide innovative science or interdisciplinary programs that emphasize watersheds/the Chesapeake Bay watershed? 6) YES NO In meeting the objectives of your K-12 science curriculum, do teachers use authentic watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed data/information (from resources such as technical websites or recent publications)? 7) YES NO Has your division provided recent professional development activities focusing on watersheds/the Chesapeake Bay watershed? 8) YES NO Do students participate in watershed field experiences (e.g., estuarine canoe trips, Bay research vessels, etc.)? (Questions 9 - 16) Do schools in your division participate in any of these watershed restoration programs or activities? 9) YES NO Clean up efforts (e. g., Fall River Renaissance, Coastal Cleanup, etc.) 10)YES NO Streamside plantings/erosion-sedimentation control/riparian buffers 11)YES NO Water conservation projects 12)YES NO Aquatic organism restoration (e.g., oyster gardens, etc.) 13)YES NO Aquatic grasses (SAV) restoration 14)YES NO Adopt-a-stream/stream monitoring programs 15)YES NO Internet sharing/communication of watershed data 16)YES NO Waste management/recycling programs Using the scale below, rate item #17 - 25 by circling the number in the scale that best applies. 1 = Strongly disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Agree 4 = Strongly Agree 17)1 2 3 4 State agencies provide sufficient materials to enhance the teaching and learning of important watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed concepts. 18)1 2 3 4 The division science curriculum has an appropriate emphasis on Chesapeake Bay watershed concepts. 19)1 2 3 4 An optimum number of students in this division is involved in watershed monitoring and restoration activities. 20)1 2 3 4 An optimum number of students in this division is involved in watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed-related field experiences. 21)1 2 3 4 Teachers have access to "hands-on" equipment necessary for student water quality investigations and field experiences (e.g. dip nets, water monitoring kits, probeware, etc.) 22)1 2 3 4 The use of authentic watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed data and information is an important instructional tool for helping students meet many science standards. 23)1 2 3 4 Teachers are generally aware of important Internet sources of data and information for teaching about watersheds/the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 24)1 2 3 4 Teachers are generally aware of public and private agencies and groups that provide watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed teaching materials and assistance. 25)1 2 3 4 Teachers have access to professional development activities related to teaching about watersheds/the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 26) List a few major watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed teaching resources used by your: * elementary school teachers * middle school teachers * high school teachers. 27) What, if any, watershed/Chesapeake Bay watershed education staff-development opportunities and providers have your teachers found particularly informative/worthwhile? 28) What instructional techniques/strategies have been particularly useful in helping students learn important watershed concepts? 29) What, if any, are obstacles to helping teachers teach and students learn important Chesapeake Bay watershed concepts? Please FAX (804/786-1703) or mail this survey by October 15, 1999 to: Ms. Janice Skipwith Chesapeake Bay Education Survey James Monroe Building - 20th Floor Virginia Department of Education P. O. Box 2120 Richmond, VA 23218-2120 .