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Programs > Environmental Programs > General Information
State Regulations


Environmental Education

.01 Environmental Education Instructional Programs for Grades Prekindergarten — 12.

A. Each local school system shall provide in public schools a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary environmental education program infused within current curricular offerings and aligned with the Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum.

B. The Maryland Environmental Education Program shall:

(1) Provide a developmentally appropriate instructional program;

(2) Advance students’ knowledge, confidence, skills, and motivation to make decisions and take actions that create and maintain an optimal relationship between themselves and the environment, and preserve and protect the unique natural resources of Maryland, particularly those of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

(3) This comprehensive instructional program shall provide for the diversity of student needs, abilities, and interests at the early, middle, and high school learning years, and shall include all of the standards from the Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum as set forth in §C of this regulation.

C. Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum.

(1) Environmental Issues. The student shall:

(a) Investigate and analyze environmental issues ranging from local to global perspectives and;

(b) Develop and implement a local action project that protects, sustains, or enhances the natural environment.

(2) Interactions of Earth’s Systems. The student shall analyze and apply the properties of systems thinking and modeling to the study of earth’s systems.

(3) Flow of Matter and Energy. The student shall analyze and explain:

(a) The movement of matter and energy through interactions of each of the following earth systems:

(i) Biosphere;

(ii) Geosphere;

(iii) Hydrosphere;

(iv) Atmosphere; and

(v) Cryosphere; and

(b) The influence of this movement on weather patterns, climatic zones, and the distribution of life.

(4) Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems. The student shall use physical, chemical, biological, and ecological concepts to analyze and explain the interdependence of humans and organisms in populations, communities, and ecosystems.

(5) Humans and Natural Resources. The student shall use concepts from chemistry, physics, biology, and ecology to analyze and interpret both positive and negative impacts of human activities on earth’s natural systems and resources.

(6) Environment and Health. The student shall use concepts from science, social studies and health to analyze and interpret both positive and negative impacts of natural events and human activities on human health.

(7) Environment and Society. The student shall analyze how the interactions of heredity, experience, learning and culture influence social decisions and social change.

(8) Sustainability. The student shall:

(a) Make decisions that demonstrate understanding of natural communities and the ecological, economic, political, and social systems of human communities; and

(b) Examine how their personal and collective actions affect the sustainability of these interrelated systems.

D. Each local school system shall establish a support system to enable teachers and administrators to engage in high quality professional development in content knowledge, instructional materials, and methodology related to environmental education.

E. Student Participation. All students shall have the opportunity to participate in the comprehensive environmental education program required by this regulation to meet their graduation requirement in environmental literacy.


COMAR 13a.03.02.03
Graduation Requirements for Public High Schools in Maryland

.04 Credit Requirements.

A. — B. (text unchanged)
C. Beginning with students entering high school in 2011-2012, all students must complete a locally designed high school program of environmental literacy as set forth in COMAR 13A.04.17 that is approved by the State Superintendent of Schools.

Contact Information
Gary Hedges, Science Specialist
Division of Instruction
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0323
Fax:  410-333-1146
Email:  ghedges@msde.state.md.us
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