Climate Change Education in Newton Public Schools

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Christina Perez
Christina Perez signed this petition

The bold leadership of 16 year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg demonstrates how powerful young voices are in making a difference for the future of our planet’s climate.  For this to happen individuals must become well-informed about climate change and the real consequences of our current course. Unfortunately, this education is not currently happening on a large scale.  In fact, according to a NPR/Ipsos poll from April 2019, over 80% of parents nationwide support teaching about climate change in schools - yet fewer than half of teachers report doing so.  Educators list insufficient materials and resources, their own inadequate knowledge base, and lack of administrative leadership as main reasons for not teaching about climate change. 

Therefore, as parents of children attending Newton Public Schools we ask for the School Committee and Superintendent to take the following actions:

  • provide teachers with resources and materials related to climate change for all grade levels;
  • develop climate change curriculum modules that can be embedded within the current curriculum at appropriate points;
  • offer teachers professional development opportunities to deepen their own knowledge about climate change;
  • and encourage and allow for teachers to develop lessons, with their peers, related to climate change during curriculum planning time.

Through explicit instruction about climate change for K-12 students across multiple subject areas, NPS students will gain the necessary knowledge to become the idea generators and problem solvers on this vital issue, as well as the ability to put their knowledge of civics into action.  Students will benefit from becoming knowledgeable about climate science solutions that are likely to be essential in their future career opportunities, in areas such as sustainable building and transportation alternatives. We ask for the Newton Public Schools administration to give our children the opportunity for this to happen.