COVID-19 Environmental Education Policies and Resources COVID-19 Educator Support Database The N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs has added an extra search feature that provides online and remote professional development options for environmental educators, EE program managers, EE Center professionals and teachers. It also includes easy-to-access and integrate remote learning resources for parents, caregivers and classroom teachers. Go to our resource database and under "Resource Type" select "COVID-19 Education Support." Press enter or tap the orange search button on the bottom right. Note that we have also recently added "Virtual K-12 Outreach Programs" (live speakers or live virtual field trips for specific classes or educational groups) and "Online K-12 Videos and Lessons" as resource type search options. North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Temporary Policy Changes Due to Governor Cooper’s emergency declaration and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19, the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs will grant individual extensions to certification deadlines equivalent to the time frame that the North Carolina state of emergency is in place, if needed by the enrolled participant. For easier administration, extensions will be rounded into 30-day increments as needed. This pertains to individuals actively enrolled in N.C. Environmental Education Certification program and those already certified who are completing continuing education. The N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs encourages Environmental Education Certification Program participants to continue online training (Criteria III and Continuing Education), and remote and independent study outdoor professional development (Criteria II and Continuing Education) during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, but please keep your personal, family and community safety in mind. It is essential to follow national, state and local directives on closures and social distancing if an experience requires travel or outdoor activity. Criteria II. Please email the EE Certification Program Managers for approval before starting an independent study Criteria II or before offering a remote Criteria II experience. Note that due to COVID-19, several providers are offering remote and independent study Criteria II options. Follow the NC-EE listserv, the calendar and the COVID-19 Educator Support database for opportunities. Criteria III and Continuing Education. Note that webinars and online courses related to environmental education have always been eligible for Criteria III and CE. Please provide an EE Form and documentation of completion if possible, but we are being flexible during the state of emergency. If you cannot attach an EE Form, please clearly note the title of the experience, the date, hour(s) and give a brief description of the experience in your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Virtual Site Visits. Also, during the COVID-19 state of emergency the program is accepting remote site visits, using virtual tours that are offered by some parks, forests, gardens, arboretums, nature centers and museums. One source is the NC360 site that offers several virtual tours of state parks, the NC Zoo, the Aquarium on Roanoke Island, and the NC Museum of Art Park. Online Criteria I Options.This is a good time to complete the Basics of Environmental Education if you have not submitted it, which is always available on our website. It’s Our Water also has a free online version eligible for Criteria I. Contact Lauren.Daniel@ncdenr.gov if you have questions or to register. During the state of emergency, we are also approving the online versions of Project Learning Tree K-8 and Project Learning Tree Environmental Education for Early Childhood for Criteria I credit, even if you have taken the regular 6-10 hour PLT K-8 and/or PLT Environmental Education for Early Childhood workshops previously. If you have not taken the face-to-face versions, you will be allowed to retain the online credits even if you take the face-to-face versions later. The program is also temporarily crediting the PLT GreenSchools Online Course as Criteria I. Intro to Air Quality for Educators This is a free, online experience that combines the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s existing criteria one workshops. It pulls activities and materials from the in-person workshops for educators: Introduction To Air Quality, It’s Our Air, and Ground Level Ozone: Advanced Air Quality. Anyone enrolled in EE Certification can take this for credit, even if you have already taken any of the face-to-face workshops. Online NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence Workshops The Environmental Educators of North Carolina is now offering virtual workshops based on the North American Association for Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence. These 6-hour workshops include a combination of live group calls and independent online work. You can take multiple Guidelines workshops in person or online, so long as the workshops focus on a different set of guidelines. Keep a watch on the NC-EE listserv or visit www.eenc.org/events to find upcoming workshops. Remote Versions of Existing Criteria Is. Some Criteria I workshop providers are offering remote versions of existing Criteria Is that cover the same content through a combination of online instruction, homework assignments and documented outdoor independent study. Keep a check on the NC-EE listserv and the NC Office of Environmental Education calendar for opportunities. Examples so far have included online, interactive versions of Project Learning Tree and the Leopold Education Project, and others are being developed.