A Southern California charter school teaches environmental practices with a twist. Not only does the school teach its students, but the students also go one step further to educate the community. This is Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Lawndale, CA. A group of educators, parents, nonprofits and for-profit businesses collaborated in 1999 to create a school that met the community’s needs. ECHS has been enrolling Los Angeles area students since 2000, when it received its California charter. On September 10, 2010, Environmental Charter Middle School opened. According to ECHS, plans to launch an elementary school with the same academic and environmental focuses are in the works. The elementary school should open in the fall of 2012. The school prides itself on strong academics and environmental education. Students must apply and be accepted into a university to meet graduation requirements. According to ECHS, “Students complete community service, participate in service learning projects, attend outdoor education field trips, and are encouraged to take internships.” ECHS has a YouTube channel where environmental videos are posted by innovative, green-minded students. On the school’s Facebook page, students are encouraged to donate old school uniforms to be reused for younger students. The ECHS campus has a living stream, edible gardens and a water-catching system as well.
California’s Eco-Pioneer Charter School
Conservation, green education and recycling are just a way of life at Environmental Charter High School.