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THE LADDER Going Green

A Magazine for and about Future Teachers Los Angeles Unified School District Human Resources Division Career Ladder Office

Spring 2011


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THE LADDER A publication of the Career Ladder Office Los Angeles Unified School District LAUSD Board of Education

FIRST

M nica Garcia, District 2, President

RUNG FROM THE D I R E C TO R

Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, District 1

Tamar Galatzan, District 3 Steve Zimmer, District 4 Yolie Flores, District 5 Nury Martinez, District 6 Richard Vladovic, District 7 Ramon C. Cortines Superintendent of Schools John E. Deasy Ph.D. Deputy Superintendent Michelle King Deputy Superintendent of School Operations Vivian Ekchian Chief Human Resources Officer Career Ladder Office 333 South Beaudry Avenue, 15th Floor (213) 241-4571 FAX (213) 241-8465 E-mail: steven.brandick@lausd.net www.teachinla.com/ladder THE LADDER Staff Steven Brandick, Director Beverly Silverstein, Editor In Chief Sam Gonzalez, Layout and Design Leonard Zamora, Layout and Design Lorena Vazquez, Advertising Cover photo by David Blumenkrantz http://www.daveblumenkrantz.com/

The publication of this magazine is funded by advertising revenue. Reproduction of any images without written consent is prohibited.

This issue of THE LADDER focuses on conservation, always an interesting topic, but this time around it takes on increased significance. Conserving resources can save money and right now we need to save as much money as we can, any way we can. In times of abundance, it is human nature to take resources for granted. When there is plenty of food, we overeat. When gasoline is cheap, we drive everywhere. When heating oil and electricity are abundant, we crank up the heat or air conditioning and leave it on all day and night. Between droughts, Angelinos use up water like crazy. These days most everyone has stopped, at least for a moment, to consider ways to be more efficient. We pay attention to open doors and windows. We don’t go out to eat as much. We drive less and even, believe it or not in L.A., take public transportation once in a while. Saving money is on everybody’s mind and cutting out waste is an easy way to do that. Conservation is important for a very simple reason. Responsible people take care of their homes. They renovate and decorate them. They fix them up and make them comfortable. Even very busy people want nice places to come home to and do what they can to make them that way. The earth is our home. It is so big and vast that we don’t usually think of it in the same way as the place we go home to each day. Nevertheless, in a larger sense it is the only home we have and we had better take care of it. It is simply the responsible thing to do. Our natural resources, as abundant as

“The earth is our home. It is so big and vast that we don’t usually think of it in the same way as the place we go home to each day.” they seemed not so long ago, are not limitless. If we do not conserve them, we will run out eventually. What’s more, by paying attention to our environment and conserving resources, we save money. That is not a small thing these days. It cannot hurt to operate more efficiently and if there are ways to save, it would be reckless not to do so. There are many people in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and around the state, working to make the environment better and saving money along the way. We highlight them in this issue. If you know of a great program we missed, send me some information and we will publish it on our website. The best way to contact me is at steven.brandick@ lausd.net.

Steven Brandick, Director

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Urban Art-E-Cology

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Purple goes Green

THE LADDER

SPRING 2011 CONTENTS

10

Growing Green Energy Jobs

12

Book Review

14

Fossils, Cores, and Rings: Tracking Climate Change

18

A Habitat for Learning

20 The Greening of LAUSD 22 Tributary Stewardship 24 Reconfiguring the Learning Environment 25

LAUSD Goes Green One School at a Time

27

The Learning Garden

On the cover: Going Green

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Canoga Park High School’s Garden Learning Center caters to students interested in Veterinary and/or Environmental Science. The program offers hands-on experiences with various types of animals, green technology, an organic garden area, and greenhouses, which are all part of a 1.5 acre learning laboratory. (From L to R) Lissette Gutierrez and Anais Maseda, enjoy their Plant and Soil Science class where they learn about the factors that influence plant growth, including water, nutrients, light, soil, air and climate. Read more about the amazing garden-based learning centers on pages 18 and 27.


Earth is not promised to us. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we safeguard our natural resources. Still, for many of us, as much as we would like to change our behavior and conserve, it’s simply not that easy to go green. Apparently it is more difficult to reduce one’s carbon dioxide footprint when required to sacrifice established taste and habits tethered to over-production and consumption of non-degradable products. Just how many plastic toys does grandpa have to buy to teach his first grandbaby “A” is for apple? Many people, myself included, think that bottled water is superior to tap water. When, to my surprise the US Food and Drug Administration tests for bacteria and chemical contamination for bottled water is less rigorous than that for city tap water. Last year American’s penchant for bottled water cost roughly $35 billion dollars. Did you know that it takes 450 years to decompose one plastic bottle? Meanwhile, several restaurants in Europe, Canada, and the US have discontinued the sale of bottled water. Furthermore, the US population collectively, disposes in landfills each year billions of pounds of plastic bottles, plastic bags, diapers, pens, razor blades, car tires, color ink cartages, aluminum and other metals. The list of disposable consumables goes on and on. As I stood on the roof of the Ann Street School examining the newly installed solar panels, I could see the smog reveled on the horizon as it creeps across the defenseless, the dangers of abuse unmistakable and concrete. Whenever I visit an elementary school, pictures of my childhood memories surge to the surface and I can feel my entire body smiling. Yet the vision of the sky in my memories did not match my current view. It is obvious that the emissions and electrical pollutants that are released daily into the atmosphere from aerosols, vehicles, cell phones, computers, and factories, compromise public health and the longevity of planet Earth. Scientists had speculated that in “two billion years, the expanding sun will boil away our oceans, leaving our home in the universe uninhabitable.”1 However, given that the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic has stretched to the size of North America the oceans will burn away sooner than anticipated. What must we do to ensure life on Earth continues uninterrupted for future generations? To help us take that first step toward restoration of our planet the authors in this issue of THE LADDER, “Going Green” have offered some enterprising ideas to address the preservation of our planet. You will examine innovative pedagogy for sustainability, track climate change, and read about how one can utilize art to recalculate urban landscapes. You can explore garden learning centers that are rooted in a partnership of problem-based learning with a practical approach to instruction. Follow the Los Angeles Unified School District’s vision of eco-centered thinking, as new and renovated school sites “go green.” Additionally, we have suggested a few fun and exciting ideas for celebrating Earth Day, 2011. And, at the conclusion of reading this magazine we hope we have inspired you to reflect on your conservation habits and invite you to take the pledge to reduce your carbon dioxide footprint found on page 17. Now is the time to tilt our imaginations toward a shift in the types of production, accumulation, and disposal we employ. Many organizations worldwide are organizing people and helping to reshape ideas, values, and behaviors. It’s not easy, but being green will lead us to adopt a low-carbon lifestyle for the well being of the planet. We are adding “Your Thoughts” to THE LADDER magazine. Email me at bas8273@ lausd.net and share your conservation story.

Beverly Silverstein, Editor-in-Chief 1. Ben Austen, “After Earth: Why? Where? How? When?,” Popular Science, (March 2011) 46-52

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CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Marsha Alibrandi - Director Dr. Marsha Alibrandi is Director of Secondary Education and Secondary Social Studies Program Coordinator at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She taught at Cape Cod Technical High School for 15 years, and has worked with middle and high school teachers and students in several states, providing professional development and instruction in integrating Geospatial Technologies, Digital Archives, Geography, and Environmental History. Dr. Alibrandi published GIS in the Classroom in 2003, and co-edited Digital Geography: GeoSpatial Technologies in the Social Studies Classroom in 2008, and researches and writes frequently on these topics.

Tammy Bird - Teacher Tammy Bird is a National Board Certified Teacher, who has taught all levels of Biological Sciences including AP Environmental Science and Environmental Studies at Crenshaw and Carson High Schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the past 26 years. She and her students disseminated an environmental radio piece for National Public Radio/Living on Earth. One of her most famous programs, which she cofounded, is the international youth entrepreneurial program, Food From the ‘Hood’. Currently, at Carson High School Tammy involves her students in many outdoor experiences ranging from her projectbased garden, LAUSD’s outdoor classroom (Clear Creek), to the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She continues to broaden her knowledge base and experience with outdoor education, which manifest its benefits into her classroom curriculum.

John Zavalney - Coordinator John Zavalney is currently assigned to LAUSD San Pedro Math Science Technology (SPMST) Center and is responsible for coordinating field trips, conducting professional development for teachers and developing community partnerships. The transformation into a center for sustainability that models alternate energies, rain water capture, drought tolerant landscaping, and urban farming is a major focus of John’s vision for the future of the SPMST.

Douglas Cousins - Coordinator Douglas Cousins has been a high school agriculture teacher for 12 years. He now serves as the Director of the Green Learning Garden, the Magnet Coordinator, and teaches Veterinary and Environmental Science in the Magnet Program at Canoga Park High School in the Los Angeles Unified School 4 District.

Bridget Posson - Coordinator Bridget Posson is the Education Coordinator for the Coastal Watershed Council in Santa Cruz. Before working for CWC, Bridget worked as a naturalist at Exploring New Horizons Outdoor School teaching fifth and sixth graders from all over the San Francisco Bay Area about redwood, oak woodland, and marine ecology. An avid outdoors woman, Bridget enjoys fishing, hiking, and gardening.

Rory Cox - Director Rory Cox is California Energy Program Director at Pacific Environment in San Francisco, where his program’s mission is to “keep California’s clean energy promise.” He is also a 2010 Fellow with TogetherGreen, a project of Audubon and Toyota, and is on the Steering Committee for the Local Clean Energy Alliance of the Bay Area.


FRIEND OF THE LADDER Assemblywoman Julia Brownley

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley serves as chairwoman of the Assembly’s Committee on Education and as a member of the Committee on Higher Education, and the State Allocation Board. She served 12 years on the Board of Education of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, including three terms as president. Brownley was elected to the Assembly in 2006, re-elected to a second term in 2008 and a third term in 2010 from a district that extends from Santa Monica to Oxnard. She has carried bills to ban single-use plastic and paper bags, to create a new school finance structure to close the achievement gap, and to switch schools to green cleaning products. She also co-authored legislation setting stringent standards to clean up toxic and radioactive waste from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Brownley has a B.A. in Political Science from George Washington University, and an M.B.A. from American University.

Kira Walker - Teacher Kira Walker has been a classroom teacher since 1990 working in Title One Schools from Brooklyn, New York to Alameda, California and back to her home town Los Angeles, California. Currently Kira teaches at Open Charter Magnet Elementary School in Westchester, Los Angeles. She has collaborated on many publications with Anitoch University including, The Teacher-Learning Collaborative and The Whole Story. Additionally, she authored, Crafting Fiction in the Upper Elementary Grades with Heinemann Publications. Kira still believes that the most important job in the world is to teach.

Paul Guenthner - Specialist Paul Guenthner has been in education for over 17 years working in a variety of schools and departments. Presently he is a Specialist with Information Technology Division's Educational Technology Group, working with online learning programs. His primary duties include outreach, support, and professional development to all LAUSD schools and offices implementing online solutions. These online options range from supplementary classroom uses to complete online credit classes for both original credit and credit recovery.

J. Cynthia McDermott - Ed.D. J. Cynthia McDermott is a Professor of Education and the Department Chair at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She has been honored with a Fulbright Scholar Award and is currently in Bosnia teaching at the University of Sarajevo. She is the creator and Director of the Horace Mann Upstanders Childrens' Literature Award. More information about this award and the yearly conference (which is free) can be found at http://upstandersaward.org. She is a passionate activist to ensure that books and children are connected.

Stacy Vigallon - Director Stacey Vigallon is Director of Interpretation for Los Angeles Audubon. She is the recipient of the 2010 Toyota/Audubon TogetherGreen Fellowship. For her current project she is developing ways to combine art and science in an afterschool program context. Additionally, her Dorsey High School students team up with and teach Politi and Weemes Elementary School students lessons in science and nature through the restoration of a vital coastal sage scrub habitat in their neighborhoods.

Facilities Services Division Facilities Services Division (FSD) is charged with the maintenance and facilities operation of LAUSD’s more than 850 school and administrative sites. FSD is also responsible for the execution of the LAUSD’s $19.5 billion New School Construction and Modernization Program. The program’s goal is to provide every student with the opportunity to attend a safe and healthy neighborhood school operating on a traditional, two-semester calendar. Please visit our website (www. laschools.org) for more information. 5


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My Journey by Judith Fonarow “It is never too late to be what you might have been,” is a quote by George Eliot that continues to inspire me. I am definitely what one might call a late bloomer, and without the support of the Career Ladder, I may never have found my path to becoming a teacher.

OF

THE

LADDER

Prior to choosing a career path, I started a family. It was actually while my children were growing up that I discovered my passion for education. Over the years, I became more involved with their school; first, as a PTA member, and then as a volunteer librarian and classroom helper. After working as a teacher assistant for one year, I took the District Proficiency Test and Instructional Assistance Test to become a special education assistant. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to advance my education and career and found that I had a special connection working with children with special needs. However, I never imagined I would have the confidence, to manage my own classroom as a lead teacher. Without the support and encouragement of the Career Ladder, I may never have been able to achieve this goal. Based on my experiences at the Career Ladder, I realized that my work and education evolved from an often isolated experience to one of support and feedback. Their financial assistance, advisement services, and performance assessments helped me immensely. Through the Career Ladder, I was able to transfer from Los Angeles Valley College to California State University, Northridge. This is when my vision came into fruition, as my mother and father were forced to leave school to work at age fourteen. At CSUN I received my Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies, the credits necessary to receive my Clear Teaching Credential, and a Masters Degree in Special Education. Moreover, like my students, I was determined to set high expectations for myself, and therefore, in 2010, I achieved National Board Certification. Teachers are eligible to apply for National Board Certification if they have a bachelor’s degree and have completed three years of teaching in public or private school, along with possessing a valid state teaching or counseling license for that period of time. Those who volunteer to be

assessed for this certification process prepare a portfolio based on a detailed analysis of an assessment and videotaped segments of their teaching, along with written reflection. In addition, they must take a test demonstrating their area of content knowledge. This nationally recognized certification is more than just a way for acknowledging and rewarding accomplished teachers. Like the Career Ladder it is designed to guide the continuing development of the teaching profession. In this way, it is also a “career ladder” for teachers who want to remain in the classroom. It not only recognizes personal accomplishments, but also provides a platform for teachers to lead and share their expertise with their colleagues. I have been an educator at Polytechnic High School in the San Fernando Valley for fifteen years, initially as a Special Education Assistant. For the next eleven years as a Special Education Teacher in both the Special Day and the Resource Specialist Programs. In addition to designing curriculum and the day-to-day classroom activities, some of the most enjoyable and worthwhile experiences have been in working with my students to improve the environment of the school. For example, I helped students conceptualize and develop a school-wide recycling program that led to our involvement with Generation Earth, an environmental education organization that has assisted and supported us with field trips, training, and information. Participating in these activities provides valuable learning opportunities for my students by making them aware that they can make a difference in the world. Schools should constantly encourage its faculty and staff to grow and develop as educators. The Career Ladder and National Board Certification are two successful programs that accomplish this end. Both work with educators to further develop their teaching skills in order to support and inspire their students. As the Career Ladder helped me find my path, I try to do all that I can to teach my students that education is hope, and they too can find their individual roads to success. I am truly indebted to the Career Ladder for helping me find mine!

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URBAN ART-E-COLOGY

by Stacey Vigallon

As a biologist, science illustrator, and environmental educator for Los Angeles Audubon, I am extremely interested in finding multiple pathways to involve people in conservation. I believe this is especially important for students in urban areas where access to the natural environment is limited. Using art in a conservation context offers opportunities for students to become familiar with their subjects on a more detailed level. Like reading or math, drawing is a skill that requires commitment and practice. But, as a creative, communication-based endeavor, it’s also one that can help students share their knowledge with the rest of the world. Tackling conservation by using both sides of the brain pushes students to internalize scientific concepts and think critically so that they can share the knowledge with others. For some students, science and math are the obvious entry points to an interest in conservation. For students who are initially intimidated by science and math, art provides an alternative route to understanding a concept and an outlet for making a valid contribution. Science illustration emphasizes the intersection of art and science, demonstrating what both fields have in common, creativity and careful observation. Including artrelated activities in a science or conservation context underscores the idea that conservation is for everyone, not just scientists. Below is a micro habitat mapping lesson plan you might want to try with your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade class. Micro Habitat Mapping Lesson Plan The ability to understand and use maps effectively is extremely important in the fields of conservation and environmental science. Maps are also finely tuned examples of composition and color relationships. This lesson combines map fundamentals with concepts of habitat and survival. I’ve found it to be successful with students in grades 3, 4, and 5. By the end of the lesson, students will: 1) understand three important parts of a map (the legend, scale, and compass rose); 2) use observation skills to view wildlife habitat needs from an animal’s perspective.

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Materials Needed: • A wide range of maps as examples - road maps, Google Earth, field guides with range maps, as well as books about ancient maps are all good resources • Enlarged photos taken of the ground from about 2-3 feet away, looking straight down. This can be done by the teacher at a park or playground - anywhere where you can visually capture a “micro habitat”. For example, a small patch of grass that also has a few rocks or leaves on it. Students will use these to make their maps. • Paper and pencils for students to take notes • White paper and colored pencils for students to draw their maps

Procedure: 1. Spend 30-45 minutes introducing students to the diversity and usefulness of maps, emphasizing the legend, scale, and compass rose in each map. I like to do this through a Power point presentation, so I can project on a whiteboard and draw/write on the slides as I go. My presentations are extremely interactive: I prompt students for their ideas, I ask them to make predictions, and I require that they take notes throughout the presentation. 2. Introduce the concept of making a map of a tiny patch of habitat (micro habitat). I like to put this in the context of a beetle that needs to escape a predator: ask students to observe the important features of this tiny landscape and how, if they were a beetle, they would move through the habitat (speed versus concealment, obstacles, food sources along the way, etc.). 3. After handing out white paper and colored pencils, guide the entire class in setting up the page to include a legend, scale, and compass rose (about 10 minutes). For the scale in this assignment, “1 inch = 1 inch” is probably the most appropriate. 4. Once the students’ map pages are set up, hand out a copy of the micro habitat photo to each student. Students should then work independently for 30-45 minutes to complete their maps while the teacher circulates the room to make sure everyone understands the concepts. I’ve found that students need the most help remembering to complete their legends. For example, if a student tells you that a blue dashed line on their map means a trail for the beetle, make sure that a blue dashed line and explanation also appear in their legend. 5. Getting creative. Many students want to push the concept even further and include things not visible in the micro habitat photo, such as food sources and underground components. I typically support this artistic license as long as students are able to clearly articulate these new features with notes, arrows, and symbols in the legend. 6. Create a display of the maps in the classroom that can be viewed by students, parents, and other teachers.

Resources:

While not all the items on the list below will be appropriate for K-12 students, they are a great start for educators looking to learn more about how art and science intersect… •

Artists: John James Audubon, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Margaret Mee all created richly detailed works that address natural science subjects. Vital to their artwork was the time they spent in the wilderness observing nature first-hand.

Books: Inside Out (by the National Geographic Society) is a collection of stunning science illustrations that cover topics ranging from engineering to medicine to earth science. (continued on p. 16)


Purple

by Jackie Herst and Kira Walker Purple is going green. Fourth and Fifth Grade Students in the Purple Cluster classroom at Open Charter Magnet Elementary School are learning about the importance of conservation through their LA River Project. The LA River Project is a hands-on thematic unit meant to address the fourth and fifth grade state standards in science and social studies. The river serves as a scientific model of our local riparian1 ecosystem and allows the students to study both the geological features of the river as well as the local food web and the plant and animal life it sustains. In social studies, the river serves as a model for early California settlements including the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Most importantly the unit raises awareness of the Los Angeles River and the importance of water conservation in the City of Los Angeles. Working close-

goes

Green

of the Glendale Narrows section of the LA River. Follow-up lessons included observations of the micro-invertebrate life found living in our model river, testing the water for pollutants and cleanliness and designing and building eco-friendly recreation areas along the riverbanks for future LA River renovation ideas. Students in the Purple Cluster were asked if they felt it was important to study the eco-systems of the LA River. Ella Flores, a fourth grader summarized the importance of studying the LA River this way: “Actually, I didn’t even know Los Angeles had a river, but now I know how important it is. I learned a lot about our history and how important the river was to the Tongva people and to El Pueblo on Olvera Street. People needed the river for the clean water. But then everybody forgot about it and now we are trying to bring it back.” Most students were surprised at how beautiful the renovated, natural sections of the river are, such as the Sepulveda Basin and Yoga Park along the Los Feliz area. However, they also saw how neglected certain sections have been engulfed with garbage, trash, and spray paint have collected over the years. As Jacob March, another fourth grader in the class stated, “People keep trashing the river. If we just clean up the river then we can actually use the water to drink, water lawns, and just to play in.” Leo Scharf, a fourth grader in the class, added, “Yea, and we could stop the droughts too.”

ly with Friends of the Los Angeles River (F.O.L.A.R), students in the Purple Cluster were able to visit the river in order to observe, collect and examine its plant and animal life. After collecting water, sediment, and plant samples, students along with parent volunteers were able to build a working model

One important connection the students are beginning to make is the part they play in conserving water and protecting our waterways. Another student, Sabrina Sullivan stated, “We need to learn about the Los Angeles River so we can help it. Everyone can help by cleaning up their trash and by not using plastic bags.” Ella Flores summarized by stating, “When it rains all the trash gets washed into the river and then washed down into the ocean. The animals and plants that live there will start dying if we don’t take care of it now. The plants

1. A riparian ecosystem is the zone where a river or stream meets the river bank.

used to be clean and pretty, but now they’re filled with plastic bags. Some trees actually look like they are made out of plastic bags. Everyone should pick up ten pieces of trash every day,” Sabrina added, “And if

we keep the river clean, then the ocean will be cleaner too.” The LA River Project is just one example of going green here at Open Magnet Charter. Many teachers are utilizing conservation curriculums to teach the importance of going green. These curriculums include: The garden project, recycling program, composting projects, and partnership with Los Angeles’s Tree People. Green programs at Open Charter have served to inform our student’s academic program and our students have demonstrated that they know, understand, and appreciate the part they play in taking care of our Earth. Purple Cluster’s LA River project continues throughout the year with many followup lessons connecting the Los Angeles River to all curricular areas. The teachers of Purple Cluster, Ms. Herst and Ms. Walker, presented their LA River Project Thematic Unit entitled, A River Runs Through Us at The Annual 2011 Open Magnet Charter School Institute.

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Growing Green Energy Jobs by Rory Cox

Chances are, many students don’t spend time thinking about how their X-Boxes run, the lights in their homes stay lit, or their refrigerator stays cold. Until there’s a brownout (which is a rare occurrence in the Southland) electricity is largely taken for granted. However, this lack of awareness is a great opportunity, both for environmental conservation and education about one of the few bright spots in the U.S. economy. The reality is, electricity from fossil fuels is not in the best interest of the planet, and the energy industry is undergoing change, and with those changes comes job growth. While leaders in Washington drag their feet, and some continue to deny the reality of global warming, California is leading the way in clean energy development. As early as 2002, California enacted a mandate that requires utilities to purchase a greater percentage of energy from clean, renewable sources. (The state’s pioneering programs for energy efficiency date back to the 1980s.) One third of the utilities’ power must come from renewable sources. By 2020, the state plans to phase out polluting sources of power such as coal and natural gas. This is by far the most ambitious target in the nation. As a further example, Southern California Edison just announced that they will be developing 250 megawatts of solar power daily, most of which will come from smaller solar arrays on local rooftops and empty lots. That’s enough solar power to generate electricity in approximately 19,000 homes. This is just the begin-

ning, as newly elected Governor Brown has promised 12,000 new megawatts of local clean energy projects statewide. These initiatives will create thousands of new jobs in installation, engineering, finance, and marketing. Considering all of these initiatives, the question remains, whether our schools are adequately preparing students for these new jobs? A curriculum in clean energy is essential to the growth of a burgeoning green economy. Indeed, a major concern in the energy industry is that there is a shortage of qualified people to fill these new jobs, especially in the field of engineering. As math and science are the foundation of an engineering education, teachers in those fields should include lessons about global warming and protecting the earth in their regular curriculum. By demonstrating how math and science are the cornerstones to these environmental concerns, teachers can educate and train students for promising and exciting careers. To understand the potential of clean energy in California, it’s important to understand a few basics of the state’s energy policy. One of the simplest ways of breaking it down is to consider what is called the Loading Order, which provides the basis for energy planning in California. This is the guidance that California’s utilities have received on how to meet future energy demand, and it’s the basis for all energy policy-making and regulation. It’s an informative and accessible introduction into how energy is created in California. The Loading Order is prioritized as such:

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1. Energy Efficiency: Also referred to as “nega-watts”, the first priority for utilities is to get the best “bang for the buck” out of the electricity used. This is why utilities sponsor programs that encourage energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances and building weatherization. Van Jones, a green jobs activist, envisioned jobs in the clean energy industry as a path out of poverty for the unemployed. He is a pioneer in spreading the word about “green-collar” jobs, especially in the energy field. Energy efficiency is considered the top priority, as it’s the least expensive way to reduce pollution. While at the same time saving money for utility ratepayers. This prioritization is producing results, considering that the state’s per capita usage of energy is about the same now as it was in 1975, while the rest of the country has doubled. This is due, in part, to the state’s pioneering efficiency programs.

3. Fossil Fuels: The last resource the utilities may procure is electricity from natural gas plants, according to the Loading Order. Natural gas power plants are controversial as they emit pollutants that exacerbate respiratory ailments and are linked to cancer. Furthermore, they emit greenhouse gases that negatively impact the planet. Had the Loading Order been followed as intended since its passage in 2003, there would be very few natural gas plants in California. Instead, the state’s utilities have either opened or proposed dozens of new plants in the last 10 years, to the point where the state is now largely dependent on natural gas-derived electricity when it should have far more renewables.

2. Renewable Energy: The next order of priority for energy planners in California is renewable energy. It is state policy to obtain 33 percent of our power from renewable energy by 2020; currently, we get about 14 percent from it. The most well known sorts of renewables are solar and wind power, but at 6 percent of our energy portfolio, most of California’s renewable power comes from geothermal plants. Geothermal uses heat that occurs naturally deep inside the earth to generate electricity and can provide a good source of relatively clean power that runs around the clock. This is important as other types of renewables such as wind and solar are more intermittent in nature.

These sources are all in addition to three other main sources of power that provide California with energy, but for which there are no plans to expand: nuclear power from two large power plants in Southern California: hydro power from large dams like Shasta and Hoover: and coal power from out of state power plants. While California law mandates that utilities phase out coal power in coming years, the City of Los Angeles still uses a great deal of coal power. Coal is considered a very dirty fuel both in its impact on the climate and in the air pollutants it emits.

Solar power, which harnesses energy from the sun, has the most potential for growth as the drop in price for solar panels has made the technology more affordable. There are two main types of solar projects: Large, “utility scale” projects, which are currently proposed for California’s deserts, and “distributed generation” projects, which are smaller projects installed on rooftops and in empty lots in cities and suburbs. Because of increasing controversy over the giant utility scale projects and the difficulty in building transmission lines, the distributed generation projects are growing in popularity among policymakers and energy activists. They can be built quickly and with little controversy. In fact, in some circles, having a solar array on your rooftop is seen as a status symbol, and it can promote positive public relations for a business. While solar only makes up less than one percent of California’s energy portfolio, it’s certain to grow substantially as the price decreases. Wind power projects are also popular in California where large turbines are placed in windy locations and harness that power to create electricity. Wind power comprises about 2 percent of the state’s energy portfolio. Wind is another area that is sure to grow, though like utility scale solar projects, wind projects are often controversial due to the impact that wind turbines have on scenery and the debate over new transmission lines. There is also an argument over birds being killed by windmills, but relatively few birds are killed by wind turbines as compared to other hazards such as cars, buildings, and domestic cats.

Educators, community organizers, politicians, and energy producers working together can abate further harms to the environment. Understanding how California monitors, prioritizes, and develops its energy policy can be a way to augment the social science, math, and science curriculum with an “Introduction to Energy” course, whereby inspiring future careers that can grow green jobs for a challenging economy.

To learn more, visit: Energy Education Group www.EnergyForKeeps.org

Pacific Environment www.PacificEnvironment.org TogetherGreen www.togethergreen.org/ Local Clean Energy Alliance www.localcleanenergy.org

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Let’s Save the Animal written and illustrated by Frances Barry. This little flip book provides the reader with a clear list of animals who are in trouble however; it also provides some sensible things that young people can do to feel like they are making a difference. Simple text and art make this quite accessible for youngsters for whom English is not their first language. Felina’s New Home written by Loran Wlodarski and illustrated by Lew Clayton will take our young readers to Florida where they will learn about an endangered member of the feline family, a Florida panther. The story presents a hopeful account of rescue efforts that are being taken to keep not only the panthers, but many animals safe. This book is also full of interesting facts about nature. The Earth Book written and illustrated by Todd Parr is an enticing book for early readers with bright simple drawings and an accessible text. Like all of Parr’s books, he draws the reader in and points out what even our youngest children can do to be part of keeping the Earth healthy. Simple text and art make this quite accessible for youngsters for whom English is not their first language 12

Book Review All of these books and many others can be found at the Green Earth Book Award site at:


Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoi and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson is a beautifully illustrated book about Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and the Greenbelt movement that she began. Although there are several books for children about this remarkable woman, this particular one presents a well-researched look at Kenya. The art work is done with painted fabrics and is an attempt to reflect the aesthetic of East Africa. Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint written by Femida Handy and Carole Carpenter and illustrated by Adrianna Steele Card is a perfect book for Southern California children. Have you ever walked onto the beach and found trash? Well the main character in this story is excited to visit the beach, but finds too much trash so she does what any caring person would do; she begins to clean it up. The illustrations are done with an exciting array of natural materials that would easily encourage an art lesson as well.

http://www.newtonmarascofoundation.org/ programs/a_ge_pw.cfm

Poetrees by Douglas Florian is a collection of poetry about trees. Although that does not sound immediately appealing, the entire presentation of the poems invites readers to get to know a wide variety of trees but in the process learn how important trees are to the world. The author presents extensive end notes about each of the trees he presents. 13


Fossils, Cores, and Rings: Tracking Climate Change by Dr. Marsha Alibrandi

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How do we know that the Earth’s climate ever since the time of the dinosaurs. Comhas changed? What kinds of evidence ing forward in time, beginning 65 million would we need? years ago, the Cenozoic era marked the appearance of mammals. During the CenozoWhat happens when climate changes? ic, another significant climate change—the most recent Epoch of Earth’s history— Climate isn’t weather—the weather can came in the form of the Ice Age or Pleischange from day to day, or even within one tocene. During the Pleistocene, periods of day. But the types of weather are gener- expanding and contracting glaciers created ally common for the climate for each re- conditions that gave rise to a new type of gion. Climate is the general pattern of a megafauna, the mammoths, mastodons, region’s weather conditions based on sev- saber-toothed tigers, and other now-extinct eral factors. The most important factors are species. the region’s location on Earth, particularly its latitude, nearness to water, altitude (or One of the best fossil records of the Pleistoelevation) rainfall, and prevailing wind or cene is found in Los Angeles County, at the ocean currents. Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, where millions of species have been preserved in a naturallyYou already know from dinosaur fossils occurring pool or pit of asphalt! Starting 210 million years old, that Earth’s Juras- about 40 thousand years ago, the insects, sic period climate was much warmer than plant seeds and parts, small bones and other today, with huge ferns and trees that no items make up a rich micro-fossil record longer exist. When climate changes, the that actually tells us more about the Pleistospecies of plants and animals from that time cene paleo-climate than do the megafauna. may become extinct, their climatic condi- This is because the thousands of small spetions change, the plants and animals (flora cies that must be present to support a food and fauna) must either become extinct or chain of megafauna must be very diverse. change to survive the new conditions. Since This diversity has been preserved at Rancho they had evolved within those particular cli- La Brea (see: http://www.tarpits.org/educamatic conditions, most dinosaurs and many tion/guide/geology/micro.html ). plants from the Jurassic period became extinct. Those that survived had to adapt to Since Los Angeles County was not inunthe new climatic changes. Dinosaurs were dated by glaciers, its rich natural diversity the megafauna (or giant animals) of their gave it a desirable mixed diet for the Pleisperiod. tocene mammals that ended up trapped for 400 centuries, and is now visible to visitors. We know that the Earth’s climate has cooled So, while LA’s climate wasn’t that different

from today, its species diversity was certainly different, and many of those species are now extinct, so climate change can have different kinds of effects. Like the postJurassic extinctions, the post-Pleistocene extinctions have been massive. Therefore, when paleontologists, paleo-botanists, paleo-biologists, paleo-zoologists, archeologists and paleo-climatologists study ancient ecosystems, they have to use unusual methods to be able to reconstruct the conditions of the past to understand what kinds of changes caused what kinds of effects. Now we know that climate change isn’t just change in weather patterns—it’s more complex and relates to other global systems of plants and animals as well as weather patterns, precipitation and temperature. During the Pleistocene, geological evidence shows that there were several “glacial” and “interglacial” periods during the epoch. This means that were periods when the glaciers were expanding and later contracting. The last glacial period of the Pleistocene ended about 10,000 years ago, with the melting of the final massive glacier that covered half of North America. Therefore, the current Epoch is known as the Holocene. Glaciers in Europe and Canada that had been stable for hundreds of years have in the last 25 years shrunken to all-time lows, both in height and width. In the Arctic Circle, massive glaciers are now breaking up and Arctic species are threatened as a result. During the Holocene, we have seen continued extinctions of the wide diversity of species that had flourished prior to human habitation of the planet. There are many theories as to why the extinctions have both continued and worsened, so new techniques for understanding climate change have been developed to understand how diversity has been impacted. These methods are introduced individually. Pollen Core Studies: Studies of water basin pollen cores, drilled to reveal the layers of time during which deposits of pollens and diatoms or skeletal remains of microscopic life in water bodies can be measured. The diversity of pollens and diatoms, as well as the available oxygen during the periods cored can be analyzed. For an example, see: http://www.acer-acre.org/ClimateChangeCD/sec4/41e.htm . Pollen core studies have been conducted at Clear Lake, California, that show the past 13,000 years of tree


pollens that have been related to European studies (see: http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/9/8/373 ). Ice Core Studies: When it was seen that glaciers were more rapidly melting over the past 20-25 years, ice core sampling became an important view into the recent past. Studies in Greenland and Antarctica have provided information about the air trapped in the ices cores such as greenhouse gases, dust and sulphates produced by volcanic eruptions that become airborne and subsequently trapped in the glacial ice. For a video on Ice Core studies, see National Geographic’s video: http://natgeotv.com/ca/ extreme-ice/videos/nationalice-core-lab .

be compared to European samples, establishing global comparisons. “Chronologies from trees that are sensitive to climate can be used to reconstruct past variations in seasonal temperature, precipitation, drought, stream flow, and other climaterelated variables” (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/ slideset/18/18_355_slide.html ; see image at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/ slideset/18/18_355_bslide.html).

California is home to some unique and significant ancient trees that are keys to climate change in the region (see: http:// treeflow.info/cali/calichronologies.html). The new analysis of the age and climate information to be gathered from these trees represents a new area of study for California climate change information. To begin a classroom investigation, see the activity attached below.

Tree Ring Studies (Dendrochronolgy): Tree ring studies also provide information about precipitation in local environments that can be compared internationally. Dendrochronology was developed in the North American Southwest, where dry climates preserved wooden poles used in ancient Anasazi architecture at Cahco Canyon National Park in New Mexico. These tree rings can

Tree Ring Project for the Classroom: In 1999, teachers at a middle school in Raleigh, North Carolina witnessed a scene that occurs in many communities— in order to expand their school, trees in the schoolyard were being cut down. The teachers raced outside to ask the workers to save slabs of the historic trees that had witnessed much change over the course of their lives. To see the Ligon Middle School story see: http://ced.ncsu.edu/ligon/about/history/dendro1/sld001.htm . Like ice cores and pollen cores, the rings of trees can be “read” to determine age and, under deeper investigation, climate conditions during the period of the tree’s lifespan. We don’t suggest that you cut down trees just for a classroom activity, but tree ring dating can be used from wood found in both prehistoric and historic buildings. Considered possibly the Earth’s “oldest living thing,” the Methuselah Tree, is a bristlecone pine growing in California’s Inyo National Forest, in the White Mountains that was discovered in 1957 by Edmund Shulman. Shulman applied the relatively new process of Dendrochronology, developed in 1914 by A. E. Douglass to dating the tree and found that it dated far back into antiquity. “Methuselah” is now protected as it is a globally significant tree. Giving students some time to prepare their parts, ask for volunteers to read the 3 parts of the following transcript from Nova’s PBS Special on Methuselah, Methuselah, Narrator, and Tom Harlan. (continued on next page)

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Fossils, Cores and Rings (continued from p.15 ) METHUSELAH: Unlike words, tree rings never lie. One year was freezing cold and dark The sun was hidden in the sky I tasted brimstone and it left its mark Like a noose tightening, like a charred wreath. What is this thing, I thought, called death? NARRATOR: That acid taste of death came from a distant island in the Aegean Sea. The eruption of the volcano on Santorini was probably the biggest bang in history. Its devastating effects are thought to have wiped out the Minoan civilization of Crete. The exact date has always been in dispute. Could a tree 7,000 miles away provide the answer? Scientists now think that the volcano shot a plume of ash into the stratosphere which spread as far as China and North America. The thick veil of dust blocked the sun causing temperatures to plummet. METHUSELAH: You can read me like a book Open me up and take a look: History laid bare, a garland here a crown there. Plain as a pikestaff for all to see. Each year jotted down by me. The state of the nation, an annual report in ever decreasing circles. The wheels of fortune, the cycles of despair. NARRATOR: The Santorini frost ring made people realize that tree rings could date events in antiquity with incredible precision. But since the early 1960s, a group of tree scientists have been frustrated by the limitations imposed on the art by the age of the oldest living tree. They wanted a dating instrument that would go back much further. Tom Harlan, spends his time combing groves for pieces of dead bristlecone that may be even older than you.

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TOM HARLAN (University of Arizona): By taking cores and sections out of logs and dead trees, we can overlap our record and go further back in time. So here we have living trees just very close to 5,000 years old. But, by utilizing the logs and snags and what we call remnants, just the fragments of wood that are lying on the

ground, we go back to the year 6,700 B.C. or 8,700 years ago as a continuous record.

http://www.realtrees4kids.org/sixeight/ stemsrings.htm

NARRATOR: His technique is to slide together sequences of rings from wood of different ages until they line up. By 1969 the world had its first unbroken dating record, going back nearly 9,000 years. It was a perfect reference, which could be used to check other dating systems. It arrived at a time when the complicated chemistry of carbon-dating was found to be flawed. Carbon-dating depended for it's accuracy on there being a constant level of radioactive carbon in the atmosphere. However in the 1960s this was found not to be the case. Bristlecones came to the rescue. Scientists took wood of a known date and then subjected it to radio carbon dating to see how far out it was. They discovered it could be out by as much as a thousand years. Archaeology was turned on its head. Dates always assumed to be right were wrong. The leading theory of how European history evolved had to be revised. You see we'd all believed that the influence of the Eastern Mediterranean had radiated outwards to the barbaric north. We'd thought Stonehenge was inspired by the sophisticated Mycenaeans of Greece. In fact it turned out that Stonehenge was built long before.

References: Adam, D., Sims, J. & Throckmorton, C. (1981). 130,000-yr continuous pollen record from Clear Lake, Lake County, California. Geology; August 1981; v. 9; no. 8; p. 373-377; DOI: 10.1130/0091613(1981)9<373: YCPRFC>2.0.CO; 2© 1981 Geological Society of America Alibrandi, M., Laffitte, L., Johnson, K., John, M., and Oakes, C. If Trees Could Talk: A Curriculum in Environmental History. Accessed on 2/20/2011 from: http:// www.foresthistory.org/education/curriculum/ . Grissino-Mayer, H. The Ultimate Tree Ring Web Pages. Accessed 2/20/2011 http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/index.htm . Turvey, S. (Ed.) (2009). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford: Oxford University.

Urban Art-E-Cology (continued from p.8) •

The Intelligent Eye: Learning to Think by Looking at Art (David N. Perkins) offers a step-by-step approach to teaching students how to carefully examine and think critically about art.

Art/Science Inspiration in Los Angeles: Fallen Fruit, Machine Project, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation combine art and culture with issues of food, technology, and how the landscape is used, respectively. These organizations frequently host events, and Machine Project in particular offers a range of classes.

Environmental Inspiration: Visit the Los Angeles Audubon website (losangelesaudubon.org) to see galleries of student artwork in the Education section, find a nature walk in your part of the city, and learn how to get involved in wildlife conservation. Also be sure to check out the TogetherGreen website (togethergreen.org) and get inspired by the innovative ways that people all over the country are meeting ecological challenges.

Activities: • Do the Math! 60 x 60 x 24= the number of seconds in a day. Multiply this by 365 days each year, and that product by the number of years old you are now—that’s how many seconds you’ve lived! • Where are the bones? Looking at the picture from LaBrea Tar Pits, can you find the fossils? Work with a partner to see how many are visible to you (http:// www.rth.org/tarpits/foslrock.jpg ). • What kinds of bones?—or what parts of the animal’s body—do you see? Next Thanksgiving, if your family has a turkey, ask to help take the meat from the bones to make turkey soup—you’ll see some of the different types of bones birds have. Additional Resources: Excellent Background information for K-12 “Real Trees 4 Kids:” http://www.realtrees4kids.org/sixeight/ cycles.htm


NOW HIRING! $5,350 Fellowships Available The TEAMS/AmeriCorps Fellowship Program offers academic, professional and financial support to new and aspiring teachers, paraprofessionals and school counselors in the Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego and Seattle regions. TEAMS is dedicated to preparing and supporting a diverse teaching force for our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schools. Fellows are enrolled as AmeriCorps members using their current position as their service, and receive education awards and professional development training. By attending professional development seminars and developing a service-learning project into your current curriculum, you can earn an education award worth $5,350 and salary points.

Email for more information: teams.application@gmail.com

Early Childhood Education is hiring substitute teachers and aides. The minimum requirement for substitute aides is a high school diploma. Substitute teachers need to have at least twelve semester units in child development and fifty days of experience with children eight years of age or younger. For more information on the requirements and application process, visit www.TeachInLa. com/ECE.

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A Habitat for Learning by Tammy Bird

At Carson High School class lessons don’t always begin with bells ringing. Sometimes the crow of a rooster, the honk of a goose, or the incessant squawking of guinea fowls may start a relevant hands-on lesson in the sustainable garden and environmental outdoor laboratory. The garden is a complete learning environment for students in all grade levels at CHS and the community at large. Everyone who enters its gates learns something at their skill level and leaves with an experience that stays with them, potentially for the rest of their lives.

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Housed under the Technology Education Knowledge (TEK) Prep Small Learning Community, which includes the Community-Based Instruction (CBI) class, the garden is a hands-on tool for teachers of students with severe learning disabilities. CBI students either have some form of autism or mental retardation that requires a unique learning environment that caters to their learning styles. This garden provides that environment. Students are typically assigned a variety of responsibilities including watering of herbs, fruit trees, and vegetables. Through this activity they are able to witness the cycle of life from inception to consumption. Students often enjoy nutritious meals that are the end result of their own efforts made from ingredients borne of their own hands through planting, nurturing, and harvesting. The garden provides a vehicle not only for healthy eating but also improved cognitive and social abilities for many low ability students. In fact, several students with autism have shown vast improvement in their social and anger management skills. Students find the aromas of these herbs to have a calming effect and can often be seen sitting in herb patches, relaxing, or picking herbs to use as keepsakes. One notable example of marked progress involved a student known for violent tantrums. After being introduced to the “green lab”, the incidents of tantrums decreased dramatically and her attitude improved immeasurably. She now wanders the garden with a smile and calm demeanor. What is most encouraging is that she enjoys picking her favorite herbs and flowers and handing them out to others. The behavior of two other students was difficult and they are facing possible transfer—until they discovered dirt, shovels, and brooms. They are now

thriving and are always quite excited to work in the garden, alongside everyone else in the TEK Prep SLC class. Both have become social with their peers, other adults, and the general student body. For the general population of CHS, the garden represents a peaceful spot to learn and grow away from the cacophony of daily high school life. “If it weren’t for the garden, I would be out on the street causing trouble--the classroom is not for me,” said one student. He is now in a special accelerated program and on-track to graduate this June. His mother is elated and says the garden saved her son’s life! In addition to the community of CHS, another student population has found a home in the garden: group home and foster care students. A student’s therapist recently informed the student’s counselor that the garden has helped her client address core repressed issues that have plagued her since being taken away from her mother. Others find the garden a safe haven in which to talk to an adult about many things that otherwise might fester and cause even more turmoil. It’s not uncommon to see students in the garden on their own time (nutrition, lunch, or after school) asking each other, “What kind of math are we going to do today?” If only their math teachers could hear them! Lessons on cycles and ecology become relevant and useful when related to vegetable plots and fruit trees. Student essays have a new vitality as their senses have been awakened by the colors, sounds, scents and sights of the garden. Furthermore, the garden has become a studio for art students, who take inspiration from the natural world. Students have become environmental stewards on their own campus, keeping spaces free of graffiti


and trash and utilizing recycled materials wherever possible. For many, the garden is a primary motivation to attend school. Some teachers have reported a noticeable upswing in students’ grades after participating in the garden program. By requiring a passing Grade Point Average for student participation, the garden is surely a great “carrot” to keep students focused. CHS is located in the city of Carson and is surrounded by fast food restaurants. Many students often shop in markets that are poorly stocked. A Title 1 school, CHS has a significant number of students on free or reduced lunches. The bottom line? Students lack basic nutritional information and exercise. The garden has allowed our students access to free and nutritious food while engaging in physical activity. Currently, we are in our 4th year of planting fruit trees and over 300 varieties of fruit trees have been planted in the garden orchard. Over the years, students have taken fruit trees home to plant in their own yards. It is our dream that the garden will bloom and spread out into the community and offer home grown fruit to all those who walk by and are in need of free and healthy “snacks” straight from the Earth. Each year, we add trees to our orchard in order to ensure food and greenery for future students at CHS. Tree care and maintenance are minimal compared to the vegetable plots that need to be tended to on a daily bases. The garden also emphasizes planting diverse crops using only organic material so that pest control is natural and the land will not be tainted with toxins. A new addition this year is the sustainable energy projects. In progress is a solar-powered water element to showcase the power of the sun and add ambient sound to the garden atmosphere. A windmill is in the design process as well. Career awareness, biology, and

environmental studies students are taking the lead, and their class lessons are the perfect complement to a garden laboratory. Carson high school and its surrounding community are ethnically diverse with a large Pacific Island population. In this sense, the garden has also become a way to honor culture. Many garden plants have international origins and are a way to bridge culture gaps and foster conversations among students and aging community members. After a tsunami struck the Samoan islands in 2009, students planted coconut palms, bananas and taro to honor the memory of the victims of the tragic undersea earthquake. Many students at CHS had family members who were casualties of that natural disaster. Local churches at the time offered their assistance and expertise to ensure accuracy and success of the honorary plantings. Ultimately, the garden is becoming a focal point at CHS. It is a safe, tranquil haven that fosters personal and academic growth for students of all grade levels, races, and learning levels. The garden demonstrates a powerful metaphor for change. Students and plants grow alongside each other and rooted in common ground. Holding a seed in one’s hand, digging the dirt in which it will rest and later sprout into full bloom, observing its growth picking the fruit of one’s labor, eating a meal prepared from these ingredients are all tangible lessons of the learning garden. Students who have never experienced the cycle of life in this way are in awe of the process. Moreover, the garden allows for a natural transfer of knowledge; student mentors train new students, some in passing and some who commit and stay on to train others. And so, the garden connects one generation to the next, and is a lasting testament for those who come though the gates tomorrow. By planting a tree that will grow and produce for years to come,

students leave their mark in a real and tangible way. These are the lessons a teacher aspires to create and they grow in the garden everyday. CHS’s garden is a model for others to follow--grown organically with the love and dedication of those who care to touch the soil and plant a seed.

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The Greening of LAUSD by John Zavalney Going green is much more than reducing your carbon and environmental footprint. We should strive to conserve more energy and water by looking to alternate forms of energy. Perhaps most important is introducing students to real, green nature. After all if students don’t know and appreciate the natural world around them, they may not understand the need to reduce the human impact on the planet. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has set a goal to become one of the greenest school districts in the country. Through district initiatives, partnerships and individual efforts there are many opportunities for students, teachers and the community to learn about and become involved in programs that teach you how to make an environmental difference. The LAUSD district-wide energy and water conservation program is the School Conservation Project (SCP) and is headed by the Facilities Service Division (FSD) and Kim Kennedy Interim Director of Sustainability/ Leadership Energy Environmental Design (LEED). This year based on conservation efforts, schools will receive 50% of the cost savings realized for their site-based reduction in water and electricity cost. This will hopefully create a greater incentive for schools to participate in the program and conserve. Last year, Washington Preparatory Senior High School, under the leadership of Principal Dr. Ullah, led the district with over $45,000 dollars in savings and received almost $20,000 dollars toward the school’s general budget. To learn more about this program please visit http://mo.laschools.org/sustainability/ The Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) have partnered with LAUSD to help “green” one of the largest energy and transportation users in the state. The SCAQMD has provided the school district with over $9 million to purchase 100 Compressed Natural Gas busses (CNG), bringing the total number of (CNG) busses to 233, the largest in the state. These busses are not only cleaner and more energy efficient, but they also allow thousands of students to travel safely to and from school without harmful fumes wafting into the bus.

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LADWP is an amazing partner and has funded many programs including San Pedro Math Science Technology Cen-

ter (SPMST). With the combined support of LADWP and local school board member Dr. Vladovic, the SPMST has remained open and is now beginning to flourish. SPMST provides outreach to teachers and students through classroom visits and field trips at the center. Exotic animals enrich instruction and allow students a kinesthetic learning experience in the camouflage and adaptation units. I have also conducted over 100 Climate Change presentations based upon the training received from former Vice-President Gore and The Climate Project. The presentation informs scientific evidence about climate change, examines changes already occurring, and provides solutions for schools to reduce their energy and water usage. Other LADWP programs include: • Development, equipment and teacher training for model lessons that include 6th grade unit E-Motion focusing different ways to generate electricity • 20 three-day two-night Outdoor Education field trips: * 10 at Temescal Canyon - 6th grade, watershed issues. * 10 at San Pedro/Angeles Gate Park Hostelling International - 8th or 10th grade, Clean Water issues. The SPMST is now entering a new partnership with the marketing Firm Cause & Effect Evolutions and the non-profit organization Brighten A Life. Both organizations provide the greenest educational facilities possible to school districts across the country. Through generous donations, four schools in Arizona have received a donation of a 5,000 square foot platinum LEED schoolhouse that is fully furnished. Additionally, a 12,000 square foot platinum LEED Green schoolhouse facility for the SPMST is slated for completion during the 2012/2013 school year. For more information about the green schoolhouse project please visit http://greenschoolhouse.homestead.com/ . Teachers and students all over the LAUSD are involved in school wide projects that are making a difference. The Tree People and Generation Earth offer several workshops that many LAUSD teachers have attended.


These service learning training workshops help teachers plan and implement projects from planting a garden to conducting water, energy, and trash audits as well as make curricular connections to these projects. To learn more about these programs please visit http://www.generationearth.com/ or http://www.treepeople.org/. Service learning is also a major component of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program. This program asks students to conduct three projects a year: one for animals, one for his environment, and one for the human community. Examples of projects include: • The Environmental Club: Jefferson Middle School & High School Jefferson Middle School teamed up with Jefferson High School to create a Native School Garden within their Campus. The students collaborated each Friday after school to create a plan and landscape ideas for their garden. They followed up with their plans and now have native plants growing within their campus. In addition, they have begun to integrate special education students from their school in the maintenance of the garden. • Urban Empowerment Roots&Shoots: Miguel Contreras Learning Complex The students at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex in Los Angeles wanted to maintain a clean environment in their neighborhood, which they noticed was overwhelmingly covered with trash. Every Saturday morning, students and other members of the community joined forces to clean up their streets and make it a better place for the inhabitants of the area. These are just a couple examples of how Roots & Shoots has helped schools make a difference in their community. To learn more about Roots & Shoots, please visit http://www.rootsandshoots.org/ . Individual administrator and teachers can also make a significant difference. At Taper Elementary School Principal Doreen Steinbach dedicated two Tuesday professional development days in which I could train the entire staff in Project WET. The Water Education for Teachers program is a great K-12 program that provides teachers with the resources to educate students about water issues such as, water rights, point source pollution and basic properties of water. Training the entire staff will allow the concepts to spiral up through all the grade levels and across the curriculum. To learn more about project WET please visit http://www.projectwet.org/.

Los Angeles Apprentice Teacher Program (LA-ATP) by Randy Murphy

The Career Ladder’s Los Angeles Apprentice Teacher Program is an innovative model to recruit quality future teachers in special education and mathematics. The Career Ladder Office implemented the Los Angeles Apprentice Teacher Program (LA-ATP) to prepare LAUSD paraeducators to become future teachers in secondary special education, mathematics, and science. Since it’s inception with CSULA in 2007 the program continues to expand to include CSUN and National University. The program offers an innovative opportunity for paraeducators to work in their current position through the lens of an apprentice teacher. The hands-on apprentice activities better prepare individuals to handle the challenges of teaching in an urban school setting. Apprentices are supported by a master teacher while working as a paraeducator and attending the university. They are provided support from both district and university personnel in the areas of academic advisement, scholarship opportunities, CBEST, and CSET test preparation reimbursement, and the potential for paid student teaching experience. Eligibility Requirements: • 2.75 GPA • Passed CBEST • Enroll in or eligible to enroll in a credential program • Complete credential program by June 2012 • Two years experience as a paraeducator or BA completed • Special education applicants must be currently employed in a permanent LAUSD paraeducator position For special education inquires contact Randy Murphy at 213.241.4571 or email: randy.murphy@lausd,net For mathematics inquiries contact Kimberly Dunbar at 213.241.4571 or email: kimberly.dunbar@lausd.net For science inquiries contact Gwenda Cuesta at 213.241.4571 or email: gwenda.cuesta@lausd.net

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by Bridget Posson The Coastal Watershed Council (CWC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to preserve and protect the coastal watersheds of the Monterey Bay region through community stewardship, education and monitoring. Education programs are one of these three pillars to which CWC staff and volunteers dedicate their time and energy. CWC is currently working with teachers to develop curriculum, classroom presentations, and field trips for students in Santa Cruz County.

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CWC staff reaches out to schools and teachers located near a water source, whether it is a small creek, large river, lake or wetland. San Lorenzo Valley Elementary and Middle School are two of the schools that CWC is currently working with. The San Lorenzo Valley watershed is a life-line to Santa Cruz County residents, and there is great concern about the health of the San Lorenzo River. Through a contract with the City of Santa Cruz CWC and San Lorenzo school teachers have worked to create hands-on lessons that educate students about their watershed, its specific environmental problems, and how they can become its environmental stewards. Students learn about stream ecology, erosion, sedimentation, water quality and the history of the San Lorenzo Valley. Finding solutions to storm water runoff and reducing pollution and sedimentation is also a goal for San Lorenzo students. CWC is also partnering with

students and school officials to implement a Best-Management-Practice, or BMP, on the campuses. BMPs are structural changes to the school property that improve water quality and serve as a demonstration site to reinforce watershedfocused lessons. CWC has earned a competitive grant through the Bay Watershed Education and Training (BWET) program, which is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). CWC has also been the recipient of four such grants since 2006, which have funded our Get Outdoors! (GO!) Program. The GO! Program supports hands-on, outdoor educational experiences for students at our target schools. Schools with high percentages of disadvantaged students and low science literacy rates are targeted to receive support in the areas of science, art, history and writing. The field experiences of interacting with nature and making connections between classroom lessons and the natural environment represent some of their first encounters with nature. To help aid field and classroom lessons, CWC also has the opportunity to purchase a variety of Water Quality Monitoring equipment and supplies for participating schools. Other examples of equipment purchased for schools include a 3-D watershed model, field journals, microscopes and binoculars.

CWC has devised a five year life cycle of building school programs with three full years of interaction among school administrators, teachers, students, and CWC staff, followed by two years of less hands-on “support years”. At the end of the five year cycle, there is no formal CWC staff involvement at the school site; the program is self-sustaining and continues on its own. CWC has completed this cycle with teachers and students in fourth through sixth grade at Valencia Elementary in Aptos. Landmark Elementary in Watsonville is in their first ‘support year’ and K-5 teachers have received a GO! Program activities binder to assist them in instructing watershed related lessons. Sixth graders at New Brighton Middle School in Capitola and fourth, fifth and, sixth graders at Alianza Elementary in Watsonville are visited monthly by CWC staff. Amesti Elementary in Watsonville will be added to CWC’s roster of schools participating in the GO! Program beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. New Brighton Middle School is in their second full year of the GO! Program. The City of Capitola has also funded additional storm water education for this school to complement the lessons already taking place through the BWET grant. Students in Kathy Kelley’s sixth grade math and science classes have designed storm drain markers to be adhered next to the many storm drains on campus. Students decided that marking storm drains is important because the runoff from campus goes directly to nearby Noble Gulch Creek and eventually out to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These students are involved in a monthly field trip to Noble Gulch to learn about and carry out


water quality monitoring. By installing these storm drain markers, students can pass on the message that humans and the ocean are closely connected and that t is everyone’s responsibility to be aware of what goes into the storm drains and where that water ends up. School administrators and teachers are contacted during the drafting of CWC educational grant proposals. Lesson plans for K-6 grade classes have been developed to not only meet California content standards and provide experiential learning, but also to focus on learning about local watersheds. Teachers and administrators are interested in CWC’s programs because of the support we offer in terms of hands-on learning and because CWC staff closely follow standards and provide materials and supplies. Through feedback, student assessment, and teacher surveys, CWC is able to improve the effectiveness of its educational programs. Students participating in the GO! Programs take pre and post-tests that demonstrate progress towards learning objectives. CWC also contracts with an evaluation consultant, Applied Survey Research, to evaluate and conduct in-class observations. Using these results, CWC’s education programs continue to improve and evolve to meet the needs of participating students and teachers. To learn more about the Coastal Watershed Council’s goals and what you can do to improve the health of your local watershed, visit: http://www.coastal-watershed.org/ .

CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL of

EDUCATION GRADUATE PROGRAMS

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Offering Masters, Doctorates, Credentials and Certificates For more information or to attend an Information Session, call or visit us online today!

1.888.CLU-GRAD | www.callutheran.edu/soe

THREE CONVENIENT LOCATIONS: THOUSAND OAKS, OXNARD AND WOODLAND HILLS


Reconfiguring the Learning Environment Online (or virtual) learning always provides students access to high quality, standards-based, content-driven learning experiences that meet their learning needs. Virtual learning expands the boundaries of the traditional classroom since online content and learning are available anytime and anywhere there is a computer and an Internet connection. As in regular classrooms, these online learning experiences provide increased opportunities to ensure equitable access to quality education for all students within the Los Angeles Unified School District. An often-overlooked benefit of online learning and digital content is the green factor. With California’s online textbook initiative and organizations like the National Repository of Online Content (NROC), paperless (or nearly so) classrooms now exist. The overall impact is less printing and additional resources are now devoted to the development of content teaching and learning in an alternative environment. The City of Angeles Virtual Academy (COAVA) students complete all of their assignments online and at home. Although they have the opportunity to visit with their instructors in person, many utilize web conferencing instead. The end result? Less busing and driving and a smaller carbon footprint! This alternative way of learning can potentially reduce the number of buses and cars on LA streets and freeways and further help LAUSD to go green. COAVA is LAUSD’s online program. The program opened this Fall 2010; COAVA now serves 9th and 10th grade students and will be expanding to include 11th and 12th grades in the coming years. City of Angels School, the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and School Support (OCISS), and

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the Information Technology Division’s Educational Technology group work together to make the program run. To get their feet wet in the proverbial pool, COAVA and the Beyond the Bell Branch offered online classes last summer for students needing to make up credit. Courses offered included English, mathematics, history, health, music, and physical education. Beginning January 2011, a concurrent enrollment program is available to even more LAUSD high school students. Though students are limited to one class per semester, they do not need to leave their current school and can take the course at home, before and/or after school as their schedules permit. These courses are standard A-G (with a few exceptions) and are a standard semester (20 weeks) in length. These online courses are accessed through LAUSD’s learning management system called Moodle. Any LAUSD high school student with a district student email (@mymail.lausd.net) can take advantage of this opportunity. Students must visit their school’s counselor to enroll in an online course. Higher student achievement is the first priority in LAUSD. The district’s online learning program is helping to meet that goal while also contributing to a greener environment in Los Angeles. For more information on LAUSD’s online learning program, please contact Paul Guenthner (paul.guenthner@lausd.net), Online Learning Specialist at (213) 241-1159 or LAUSD Educational Technology (edtech.lausd.net) at (213) 241-3837. To learn more about COAVA, please visit http://coava.lausd.net.


LAUSD Goes Green One School at a Time LAUSD school sites are getting paid to go green! Over the past ten months, school sites enrolled in the School Conservation Project (SCP) have been working hard to reduce their electricity and water usage, and schools that save a minimum of one percent will receive 50 percent of the cost savings. For example, if a school site saves five percent in the water and electricity usage from the previous year with a total savings of $10.000, the school site would receive a $5,000 reward. The program year runs April through March and will begin enrolling sites for the new program year in April 2011. Even with such great incentives, the SCP is only one part of the Facilities Services Division (FSD) Sustainability program. FSD is also moving forward with infrastructure upgrades designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce potable water usage, and generate its own power. In addition, FSD continues to build to the highest green standards. To reduce the district’s utility usage, FSD is moving forward with implementing high efficiency transformers, energy efficient light bulbs, and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs and fixtures. FSD is also in the process of conducting energy audits to assess and reduce energy usage at some of the District’s highest energy consuming sites. FSD is also investing in the reduction of water and potable (drinking) water usage. LAUSD is installing smart weather-based

irrigation controllers at a number of sites. These systems not only monitor the water usage at particular sites, but are also capable of being centrally monitored so that over-watering is less likely to occur. These systems can be used to detect leaks in irrigation system or settings that do not comply with local watering ordinances, thereby keeping the district from wasting money through fines. In addition to reducing the use of potable water LAUSD is also using recycled water for irrigation as it becomes available to school sites including Van Nuys High School in the San Fernando Valley. They are preparing to include five additional sites over the next two years. Not only is LAUSD reducing costs by using recycled water (the payback period is three years), but the District is also reducing the amount of potable water consumed, which reduces the demand in Southern California. FSD’s efforts to be responsible stewards of the environment do not only include reducing usage. In fact, over the next three years, the district will have 60 solar systems generating power. Four systems are already generating power, and three more, are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. The largest of these systems is a one megawatt installation at the Pico Rivera warehouse. These systems combined will generate nearly 17 megawatts of power. The 60 installations are expected to avoid $122 million in electricity costs to

the General Fund over the next 20 years. FSD has also “greened” its construction policies, procedures and practices over the past ten years. In 2001, and then reaffirmed in 2003, LAUSD’s Board of Education required that the building program implement green building practices in all of its major construction projects. Since the 2003 resolution FSD has built new schools using the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) standards and is constantly striving to enrich their environmental stewardship. LAUSD was the first school district in the state of California to adopt the sustainability standards of the CHPS. The pointbased system defines a high performance school as energy, material and water efficient, as well as healthy, comfortable, and easy to maintain and operate. New schools designed to CHPS standards can save 30 to 40 percent on annual utility costs over conventionally built schools with similar features. FSD is proud to be a part of LAUSD’s green efforts. Not only does it espouse sound environmental policy, but it also it helps reduce the district’s General Fund expenditures for utilities. By realizing and acting on the relationship between these two issues LAUSD will become the greenest school district in the nation!

El Dorado Elementary School 25


$cholarship Talk Question: I recently completed my preliminary teaching credential; will I have to pay back the funds if I am unable to find a teaching position with LAUSD? Answer: Congratulations on your hard-earned accomplishment. All scholarship recipients’ commitment to teach for each year of funds received from the scholarship. However, this commitment is for teaching at the K-12 level at a public school within the state of California. If LAUSD is not hiring your subject area at this time, document this fact anyway possible and apply with other districts, counties and charter schools as well. Also, if you are able to substitute for a majority of the school year, that will also count as a year of service towards the commitment. The key is to document all of your efforts to try to fulfill your commitment, when the funder of the scholarship, the state of California, follows up.

Question: When is the next scholarship disbursement and what will be required to receive it? Answer: The scholarship is distributed into two disbursements; one in October for the beginning of the year and one in July after the completion of the academic year. The next disbursement will be paid out beginning July 2011. The disbursement letters with required forms will be mailed to current participants in May 2011. To receive the payment, the following documents will be required: • July 2011 payment request form • 2010-2011 Information Update • Transcripts documenting the successful completion of the equivalent of 18 semester units with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 • Performance Assessments as necessary Question: Since the scholarship is a set amount, why do I need to complete Performance Assessments to receive the scholarship? Answer: The Performance Assessments are designed as an activity to focus Career Ladder participants on developing teaching skills. The Performance Assessments are aligned to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession, and California’s Teaching Performance Expectations. All Career Ladder participants, regardless of educational assistance option (tuition reimbursement or scholarship), are required to complete the Performance Assessments as part of the Career Ladder program. Performance Assessments were designed to be completed as one per year for a starting college freshman. Scholarship participants joining the Career Ladder later in their academic program will be required to complete a minimum of two Performance Assessments a year until “caught up” with their academic levThe Career Ladder Scholarship el in order to receive the year-end scholarship disbursement provides up to $3000 annually to in July. qualified paraeducators seeking a K-12 credential. For more information, please call (213) 241-4571.

Gwenda Cuesta 26


The Learning Garden

Three years ago, Lowe’s Home Improvement Charitable Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to Canoga Park High School to acknowledge our rich history and vision to create a Green Learning Garden. This project was designed to educate our students, and all other members of the by Douglas Cousins community, about the importance of saving water and energy. The Green Learning Garden is located in the agricultural facility used by the Veterinary and Environmental Science students. The garden plans include the following features: Two greenhouses (20’x40’) for propagating and growing California-native and drought-tolerant plants; accessible raised garden beds for organic gardening; a rose garden with Greek labyrinth walkways reflecting the historic architecture of CPHS; a 250-seat amphitheater with an ‘I Have a Dream’ wall; a spacious BBQ and picnic area; a rain forest area; an animal show ring in which the Future Farmers of America students can work with sheep, pigs, rabbits, poultry and horses; and, finally, a farmers’ market for selling organic produce and drought-tolerant plants grown in the garden. Even more exciting, this learning facility will implement various green technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, hydroponics garden units, and a rain/run-off water-capture system that filters and reuses water for the landscaped areas.

ronmental Education as our main focus. The Veterinary and Environmental Science course of study includes: Introduction to Agriculture; Plant and Soil Science; Agriculture Biology; Landscape Design and Construction; and Advance Placement Environmental Science. Through these courses, students have the opportunity for hands-on experience in the Green Learning Garden. Once the project is completed, our students will lead tours of this facility and lecture on ecological issues. Consequently, the skills they acquire are directly applicable to green technology jobs. Thanks to our parents, students, teachers, and community members, the construction on the garden is nearly completed. Our greenhouses are full of annual color plants. Our first crop of organic vegetables will also be ready for harvest soon and the raincapture system will be installed this spring. Additionally, once we put the final touches on our propagation area, we can begin to grow drought-tolerant shrubs and trees. To date, we have $2.3 million in funds and services invested in this project. We would like to thank Broderick Landscape for the design of our original architecture plans. Those plans were developed into a 3-D video by the Landscape Architecture class at West Valley Occupational Center, which can be seen on YouTube simply by searching Canoga Park Green Learning Garden or visit http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QXIU_iTdsA&feature=player_detailpage. We would also like to acknowledge West Valley’s Landscape Construction classes, who have also helped us with the construction of the garden. Other supporters we would like to thank include Boeing Co., the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Valley Economic Alliance, and Green-Set Inc.

By creating this green garden, CPHS is striving to establish Envi-

Earth Day Activities in the Month of April 2011 Celebrate with family and community at festivals, fairs, and museums. Earth Day is April 22, 2011.

Saturday April 23, 2011 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Permanent Exhibit 10:00 am - 5:00pm

Sunday, April 17, 2011 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Earth Day San Francisco Hope and Beyond

California Science Center ECOSYSTEMS

Civic Center Plaza San Francisco, CA 94102

Exposition Park L.A., CA 90037 www.californiasciencecenter.org

Earth Fair 2011 San Diego, Balboa Park earthdayweb.org/EarthFair.html Saturday, April 23, 2011 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Sixth Annual Los Angeles Earth Festival Kenneth Hahn Park Concert in the Park & Expo earthfestla.org

Saturday April 23, 2011 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Junior Center of Art & Science Lakeside Park Oakland, CA 94610 www.juniorcenter.org

EnviroLink Network Serves as the online clearinghouse for 2011 Earth day activities and environmental information Earthday.envirolink.org

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” Gaylord Nelson

27


BECOME A MEMBER GPA REQUIREMENTS Career Ladder participants need to be aware that there is a grade point average (GPA) requirement for entrance into teacher education programs at all universities. Anyone with a GPA below 2.75 requesting tuition reimbursement will be required to see a Career Ladder On-Campus Advisor about their options before tuition reimbursement is approved.

Lifestyles of the Carbon-Free: 6 Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint • Recycle as much as possible. • Use your own reusable grocery shopping bags • Keep your clothes dryer lint filter clean. This will save energy, money and preserve the environment. • Water is precious and scarce. Reduce energy use and save money by filtering your own water rather than purchasing bottle water, fixing leaks, use more efficient equipment, and water your landscape only on odd or even days for only 10 minutes.

APPLICATION To become a member, please visit JOIN NOW on our website at: www.teachinla.com/ladder. Career Ladder participants are LAUSD employees in Bargaining Units B or F with one of the following educational goals: • completion of 60 units; • an Associate of Arts degree; • a degree that will lead to a job in teaching, counseling, or school psychology, or • a teaching credential.

• Plant trees - trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, add beauty and tranquility, as well as provide shade for your home; and reduce your use of air conditioning. • Take your own reusable mug to your favorite coffee house.

Need Advisement? EDUCATIONAL ADVISEMENT Career Ladder on-campus advisors are available to Career Ladder participants. You do not need to be enrolled at the school to seek advisement. These advisors can help guide you on the right path. Call an on-campus advisor and schedule an appointment. Be sure to bring a recent copy of all college transcripts.

On-Campus Advisors

CSUDH Cal State University, Dominguez Hills Undergraduate/Graduate/Liberal Studies and TED Nancy Maruyama (310) 243-3832 CSUN Cal State University, Northridge Undergraduate students call (818) 677-3300 Graduate students call (818) 677-3002 CSULA Cal State University, Los Angeles Nicole Cravello (323) 343-4342 King Hall, Room D-2078 ncravello@calstatela.edu CSULB Cal State University, Long Beach Jan Condou (562) 985-1765 Education 1, Room 64 condouj@csulb.edu National University Los Angeles Campus Christopher Page (310) 662-2012 Debbie Magana (310) 662-2006

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Sherman Oaks Campus Diana Guillien (818) 817-2465 Melissa Pinkerton (818) 817-2464

C areer L adder P ol i c i e s

For more ways to reduce your carbon footprint, visit http://www.squidoo.com/Carbon-Footprint-2

FOREIGN EVALUATIONS OF TRANSCRIPTS Career Ladder participants who have completed the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher are charged $25 to have their foreign transcript evaluated. For an application or for more information, call the Career Ladder Office.

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS Performance Assessments (PAs) are used to verify proficiency in performance areas related to teaching. Completion of PAs is a requirement for movement from one Ladder Level to the next. Completed PAs, along with the number of units completed at a college or university, determine Ladder Level and the amount of Tuition Reimbursement awarded. Please remember the following: * PAs are only accepted one at a time and in order; * PAs are required to receive Career Ladder support for test-preparation reimbursement, scholarship awards, and hiring assistance; * PAs must be submitted and approved 2 weeks prior to the tuition reimbursement deadline to apply for the ladder level; * Performance Assessments can be obtained online at: www.teachinla.com/ladder/FinancialAid/ DownloadForms/tabid/86/Default.aspx.


WHAT LADDER LEVEL AM I ON?

TUITION REIMBURSEMENT Tuition reimbursement is given to Career Ladder participants for courses leading to a degree or credential for which a grade of C or better is received. The amount of tuition reimbursement is determined by both the Ladder Level of the participants and the number of units successfully completed in a particular semester or quarter. NOTE: Any Level 3, 4, or 5 participant who takes a community college course will be reimbursed at Level 2 amounts. In order to receive a prompt tuition reimbursement, the following must be submitted and approved prior to the deadlines: * Tuition Reimbursement Request Form (complete); * Current unofficial transcripts signed by a campus advisor OR official transcripts; * Completed Advisement Form (if necessary); The reimbursement rates and deadlines for tuition reimbursement are listed. CBEST REIMBURSEMENT The Career Ladder offers reimbursement for current CBEST registration fee, up to two times, to participants at Ladder Level 2 or above. CBEST Test Reimbursement forms are available online: www.teachinla.com/ladder/FinancialAid/ TuitionReimbursement/tabid/68/Default.aspx.

REIMBURSEMENT DEADLINE TERM

ALL PAPERWORK DUE

FALL

March 31

WINTER

May 31

SPRING

September 30

SUMMER

December 31

LEVEL

EDUCATIONAL BENCHMARKS

PERFORMANCE AREA

5

- Completed B.A. or B.S. Completed Performance Assessment #4 - Delivery of a lesson plan prepared by teacher - Enrollment in a Teacher Education Program

4

- 90 semester or 135 quarter units completed

3

- 60 semester or 90 quarter units completed Completed Performance Assessment #2 - University enrollment - Behavior Management - Declaration of credential to be pursued - Student Supervision

2

Completed Performance Assessment #1 - Knowledge of Programs and Policies - 12 semester or 18 quarter units completed - Communication Skills - Basic Classroom Organization

1

- High School Diploma

and participant

Completed Performance Assessment #3 - Introduction to Lesson Planning - Instructional Assistance

All forms are available for download from the Career Ladder website:

www.teachinla.com/ladder

C areer L adder P ol i c i e s

REIMBURSEMENT

TUITION REIMBURSEMENT RATES SEMESTER UNITS

QUARTER UNITS

1-6

7 or more

1-8

9 or more

LEVEL 5

$30.00 per unit

$60.00 per unit

$20.00 per unit

$40.00 per unit

LEVEL 4

$25.00 per unit

$50.00 per unit

$17.00 per unit

$33.00 per unit

LEVEL 3

$20.00 per unit

$40.00 per unit

$13.50 per unit

$26.50 per unit

LEVEL 2

$8.00 per unit

$10.00 per unit

$5.50 per unit

$7.00 per unit

LEVEL 1

$5.00 per unit

$7.00 per unit

$3.50 per unit

$4.75 per unit

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333 South Beaudry Ave., 15th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90017 www.teachinla.com/ladder

FIRST CLASS U.S. POSTAGE PAID LOS ANGELES, CA PERMIT NO. 22194

Ladder Magazine - Spring 2011 Issue  

The Ladder Magazine is a publication for and about future teachers.

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