Teachers learn about the local crab population, investigating their adaptations, ecological niche, and economic role in the region. Photo by Kristan Honaker, Chesapeake Classrooms participant Educators learn about the local crab population, investigating their adaptations, ecological niche, and economic role in the region. Photo by Kristan Honaker, Chesapeake Classrooms participant

Programs for Principals

"I will use this three-day experience to go back and effectively create a plan to implement environmental literacy at my school. I now have short and long term goals developed."

-2011 participant

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2017 registration is now open.

Through the "Environmental Leadership for Principals" program, CBF provides high-quality professional learning that meets the evolving needs of administrators and schools. The program supports school principals and administrators in environmental stewardship opportunities for their entire school community. Through experience, training, resources, and collegial discussion these key leaders learn how to design a school program that utilizes and benefits the local environment. Participants in CBF's principals program are able to gain first-hand experience on the Chesapeake Bay while strengthening their leadership capacity in environmental education.

Program Core

The core of the principal's program is a three-day program during the summer months (see details below) at one of CBF's island education centers. Participants are immersed in Bay culture and ecology, which serve as a foundation for the creative group work. During the program, participants will:

  • Learn the basics of environmental education and how to use it to meet curricular objectives in a way that engages students.
  • Discover hands-on learning investigations using the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
  • Learn how to use the schoolyard to increase students' environmental literacy.
  • Discuss how to implement a successful environmental education program at their school.
  • Network and share ideas with other principals from around the watershed.

Participants will create a plan to integrate the environment into their school curriculum, extra-curricular activities, maintenance operations, and school community outreach. CBF offers year-round support to help principals put this plan into action.


Each three-day program uses organizing and supporting questions to structure the flow of investigation and discussion. CBF educators create custom itineraries for each retreat, but agendas remain flexible to accommodate changes in weather, wind, and tides. During the program, participants will:

  • Explore the value of incorporating environmental education into school programs.
  • Learn to use environment as a context for meaningful student learning.
  • Explore the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and meet native wildlife face to face.
  • Identify resources, partners, experts, and educational opportunities that could assist in promoting environmental stewardship and academic achievement.
  • Develop an environmental action plan for your school.
  • Network with colleagues from around the watershed in a unique setting.
  • Immerse yourself in customs and culture of a historic waterman community.

Take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to network with fellow administrators, learn from experts, and explore unique waterman villages by canoe and workboat—all while traveling through the most pristine areas of the Chesapeake. You'll visit unforgettable people and places, and forge a connection between your school community and the Chesapeake Bay.

For more information, please contact chesapeakeclassrooms@cbf.org or call 410-268-8816.

"I participated in this program so I could better equip myself to lead my staff in the charge of environmental literacy. I can now encourage my staff and we can teach our students so much more about the environment by changing a few things that we currently do."

- 2011 participant


CBF's "Environmental Leadership for Principals" program is supported in part by the NOAA B-WET program.

U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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