Sustainability is one of the County Office of Education's five core practices to ensure the County Office and schools countywide meet the needs of present and future students through practices that are environmentally, socially, and economically responsible. The County Office of Education prioritizes integrating environmental sustainability and climate-ready practices across its campuses, curriculum, community, and culture.
The County Office of Education's Environmentally Literacy and Sustainability Initiative, Outdoor Education program, and Business Services Division directly serve San Mateo County's 23 school districts with their environmental projects and goals. The County Office of Education also strives to lead by example with many internal sustainability initiatives to curb carbon emissions, reduce resource consumption, and divert waste from landfills.
Since 2020, the County Office of Education has tracked and published utility data on a sustainability dashboard. Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative staff have also assisted school districts with creating and maintaining their own sustainability dashboards. These dashboards increase transparency and help track progress toward sustainability goals.
A school district or county office of education's Board of Trustees and Superintendent can encourage an overall institutional culture of sustainability through policies, resolutions, and other actions that make commitments to environmental literacy and sustainable and climate-ready schools efforts. Below are the County Office of Education's policies related to environmental literacy and sustainability:
- Superintendent Policy 3511: Energy And Water Management
- Superintendent Policy 3510: Green School Operations
- Superintendent Policy 5030: Student Wellness
- San Mateo County Office of Education 2023-28 Strategic Plan
The County Office of Education is a statewide leader in environmental literacy and sustainability curriculum and instruction for teachers, administrators, and facilities staff through its Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative. It facilitates a teacher environmental literacy fellowship, provides tailored professional development on environmental literacy, supports environmental experiences for students, and funds transportation for field trips.
In the 2022-23 school year, the County Office of Education gave out Living Schoolyard Grant awards of up to $5,000 to fifteen schools to continue the work of gardens and outdoor classroom space.
The County Office of Education's various school campuses, including Palos Verdes/El Portal, the Gateway Center, Camp Kemp, and Canyon Oaks Youth Center all have gardens and outdoor education space used by students during class time or after school.
The County Office of Education supports San Mateo County schools and districts with their own sustainability goals through:
- Climate Change and Environmental Justice Program
- Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Schools
- Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship
- Youth Climate Ambassadors
- Environmental Youth Leadership Summit
- Technical Assistance
- Community-Based Environmental Education Partners Network
- Zero Waste Education Alliance
Director, Sustainable Construction and Facilities
Phone: (650) 802-5608
Coordinator, Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Phone: (650) 802-5406
Green Facilities and Operations Analyst
Phone: (650) 802-5446
Administrative Assistant III