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SB 373 (School DEEL) Implementation Updates: 2002-2003

Through many months of meetings with partners named in the legislation and a variety of other stakeholders, the project team developed an implementation plan for the School Diversion and Environmental Education Law (DEEL), formerly referred to as SB 373. The plan went to the Board for approval on September 17, 2002 and was unanimously approved.

The following updates show progress during the implementation phase of SB 373 in 2002-2003. For current information, please see the School DEEL home page.

Environmental Ambassador Pilot Program (EAPP)

June 2003 Update
Scoping meetings and waste assessments have been completed. EAPP teams are gearing up for participation in the professional development institutes scheduled for summer 2003. Web pages specific to each Ambassador are now available to view and will be updated throughout the life of the program.

March 2003 Update
Scoping meetings have tentatively been set up with each Ambassador team during the month of April. The purpose of these meetings is to meet all of the team members, review current efforts taking place within the district, create a joint vision statement, and discuss other "housekeeping" items necessary for getting the program underway.

December 2002 Update
On December 10, the Board approved the selection of the following six school districts to participate in the Environmental Ambassador Pilot Program (EAPP): Burbank Unified, Desert Sands Unified, Oak Grove, Pacific Union (and the Humboldt County Office of Education), San Juan Unified, and Warner Unified. Fresno Unified School District will also participate in the EAPP, thanks to a grant from the State and Consumer Services Agency.

September 2002 Update
The Environmental Ambassador pilots are designed to support and expand sustainable elementary and secondary school programs for environment-based education and environmental science and technology through documenting replicable education and resource conservation programs.

The Board will select approximately five school districts with existing integrated educational and resource conservation programs. These pilot projects will require a two-year partnership with the Board. Activities conducted as part of the project will include: professional development and training for each districts' project team; site visits by Board evaluators; mentoring by the pilot district to other districts; application of rubrics for student assessment; and tracking and evaluation of the districts' resource conservation efforts.

Please access the following document for more details on this program.

Unified Education Strategy (UES)

June 2003 Update
On May 14th, the Board approved funding for the following 12 school districts to receive a competitive Unified Education Strategy (UES) grant: Anderson Valley Unified, Belmont-Redwood Shores, Beverly Hills Unified, Chico Unified, Emery Unified, Etna Union Elementary, Hawthorne, MIT Academy, Pacific Unified, Petaluma City, San Carlos, and Los Angeles Unified (to include local districts A, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I). Mariposa County Unified School District will also participate in the UES, thanks to a grant from the State and Consumer ServicesAgency.

March 2003 Update
Applications were submitted by the February 28th, 2:00pm deadline for the first cycle of UES Grants. There is a second chance to receive UES grant funds thru cycle two, just announced. It is anticipated that the Board will award funds in May.

December 2002 Update
The Notice of Funding Availability for the Unified Education Strategy Grant Program has just been posted on our Web site. Applications must be submitted by February 28, 2003.

September 2002 Update
The principal goals of the Unified Education Strategy as described in the legislation, are to:

  • Coordinate instructional resources and strategies for providing active pupil participation with onsite conservation efforts.
  • Promote service-learning opportunities between schools and local communities.
  • Assess the impact to participating pupils of the Unified Education Strategy on student achievement and resource conservation.

A competitive grant program is being developed. The Board will announce the grant program in November 2002. Grant writing workshops, tentatively set for January 2003, are being organized. Grant applications will be due in February 2003, with the Board awarding grants in May 2003. The grants are based on a two-cycle funding allocation. Cycle one would be for the districts to audit their campus resources, such as waste, energy, water, and air systems, and develop implementation plans based on their audit findings. Cycle two funding, disbursed in May 2004, would help the districts to implement their plans. The dollar amount per district is  up to $27,000 in cycle one and up to $38,000 in cycle two.

June 2002 Update
The project team presented a conceptual design for the strategy to an executive advisory committee on May 16, 2002. The advisory committee's comments and questions were provided to the steering committee. The steering committee met for three hours on May 23, 2002. The meeting provided valuable feedback and input on the most effective approach to use for developing the Unified Education Strategy and associated grant program.

April 2002 Update
Before the Office of Education and the Environment could develop a unified education strategy on the environment for grades K-12, we had to conduct a needs assessment survey of active California teachers and administrators to gain input and insight on the needs and current state of environment-based education. You can view the survey and its results by downloading the appropriate documents.

Technical Assistance and Training

July 2003 Update
The School DEEL Desktop Reference is now available. This document is in draft form, currently being reviewed and evaluated by California school districts. If you've ever had a question about how to start a school district composting program, where to purchase recycled content paper, or how to build a better school campus while conserving air, energy and water resources, this reference was created with you in mind.

September 2002 Update
The Board is required to provide training and ongoing technical and informational assistance to local agencies, offices, schools, and school districts on implementing waste reduction programs. Board staff respond to technical assistance requests from local agencies and school districts on an ongoing basis. Additionally, Board staff work in coordination with local agencies to provide assistance with waste assessments, developing district wide waste reduction programs, and providing tools and information on institutionalizing waste reduction programs.

The Board is planning to conduct regional training workshops for both school districts and local governments. The dates of these workshops will be provided in future School DEEL updates. In addition to sharing information and tools the Board offers, this training will be a networking opportunity for school districts and local agencies, as well as other important stakeholders (e.g., haulers, local recyclers, non-profits). These workshops will be a coordinated effort between various Board programs, including Diversion Planning and Local Assistance, Waste Prevention and Market Development, and Special Waste Divisions, and OEE.

School Waste Reduction Tools

June 2003 Update
Case studies of model programs throughout the state continue to be added to the Board's School District Waste Reduction Resources Web site. Recent additions include Prairie Elementary School in Shasta County.

The Waste Stream Profiles for public school districts have been updated to provide additional assistance. By selecting a county and school or district, the Profile will be displayed with tabs that now include diversion program information and local government contact information.

September 2002 Update
The School DEEL requires the Board to develop web-based waste reduction models and tools for schools, school districts, offices and local agencies to implement waste reduction programs. The School District Waste Reduction Resources provide information relating to:

  • The School District Diversion Project (including final report);
  • School district waste composition;
  • Specific waste reduction strategies for school districts;
  • Model program case study information;
  • Other state's school waste reduction programs; and
  • School District profiles.

More waste reduction tools are under development. Check back frequently to discover new resources that can assist you with your district wide waste reduction efforts.

Materials/Products Listings

September 2002 Update
Pursuant to the legislation, the Division of State Architect (DSA), in consultation with the Board, shall develop and maintain on its Web site, a list of recycled [content] materials and a list of environmentally preferable products that may be used in the construction and modernization of school facilities. By complying with this mandate the DSA will also be fulfilling some of the requirements under the Governor's Executive Order D-16-00, as implemented in the action plan, Building Better Buildings: A Blueprint for Sustainable State Facilities, and relates to school construction. To complete this project, the DSA will be using the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

When the database(s) are completed, this information will be available to school districts and county offices of education as they select sustainable building materials to construct and modernize public school facilities.


September 2002 Update
The School DEEL requires the Board to evaluate the implementation of schools waste reduction programs by January 1, 2004. If  less than 75 percent of California's schools have programs in place at that time, the Board is required to make recommendations for statutory changes that would require schools to implement such programs.

Also due to the Legislature, by June 2005, is a report on the results and progress of the EAPP and UES programs that the Board implemented.

School DEEL Home

Last updated: March 1, 2002
Office of Education and the Environment
Contact: (916) 341-6769