California is home to some of the country’s most unique and precious cultural, natural, and historic resources. The passPORTS project is making great strides in providing students with access to California State Parks through a blended access approach. 

The passPORTS project was born out of a long-standing partnership between CUE and California State Parks and a shared objective to engage students in deep and meaningful learning experiences both in and outside the classroom. Since introducing blended access to California State Parks for K-12 students in September, the program has more than doubled access to available parks and tripled the impact from previous years. Additionally, park interpreters are connecting digitally with students all across the state, and the program is experiencing increased demand in 2021. 

Parks are learning laboratories. A significant component of the online adventures includes a wide variety of curriculum engagement, such as the California State Parks Reading list. The tool, created in collaboration with the California State Library, has more than 100 titles related to the California State Parks PORTS program. The Reading List empowers teachers to leverage literacy to inspire access to California State Parks and create engaging, interdisciplinary learning experiences for their students. Learn more about the environmental literacy project.

What’s Next for passPORTS?

In light of the recent COVID-19 surge across the State of California and the increased regional Stay Home orders, the passPORTS program is collaborating with educators and administrators from across the state to design low prep, customizable resources for teachers to use in their virtual and in-person classrooms. For project examples, view:

Cajon Valley School District recently partnered with passPORTS to rethink their World of Work curriculum to highlight careers in California State Parks. The framework connects the PORTS program with students to “meet a pro” and to access the natural, cultural, and historic resources of California parks. 

Get Involved

passPORTS is seeking feedback from educators (teachers, principals, administrators, and staff) in school districts or county offices of education around the state. Please take about 10 minutes to share your opinion and experiences with field trips to help the project develop an innovative field trip model.

For more information on the passPORTS program and to connect your district, school, or classroom to the project, contact Scott Shepherd, K12 Project Access Coordinator at California State Parks.

About Mercedes Maskalik