Healthy School Environments
EPA Guidance and Tools
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These resources address a broad range of issues that affect children's health in schools, from selecting appropriate locations for schools to maintaining the buildings and grounds. Use them to assess your school's environmental health efforts and implement or improve related programs, policies and procedures.
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EPA and Federal Partners
- Creating Healthy Indoor Environments in Schools is an EPA website that offers information and resources for school officials, facilities staff members, teachers, health care professionals, parents and students to help improve IAQ in schools. The website includes:
- Idle Free Schools Toolkit by EPA Region 8 includes information on running an effective idling reduction campaign at school in order to reduce student exposure to toxic vehicle exhaust. Resources are also provided to make the campaign a student-run science or community involvement project.
- ENERGY STAR for K-12 School Districts describes EPA's partnership with schools across the country to provide technical support, guidance on financing options and recognition for schools wanting to use energy more efficiently. ENERGY STAR has coordinated with EPA's Indoor Air Quality program to address the overlap between energy efficiency upgrades and indoor environmental quality, and it has launched an energy performance rating tool in schools.
- Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Planning Guide for Construction and Development is an EPA guidance manual for owners, contractors, architects and other personnel involved with construction and development that provides comprehensive environmental information to assist with pre-construction and construction phases as well as continuing self-audits.
- The Coordinated School Health Strategy (CHS) section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website outlines the rationale and goals for CSH, provides a model framework for planning and implementing CSH and offers resources to help schools, districts and states improve their school health programs.
- Inventory of Federal School Environmental Health Activities (PDF) (41pp, 369K) describes major school-related programs and activities of EPA and other federal departments and agencies. The inventory was prepared by the Schools Workgroup of the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children.
- Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environments is a guide to cost-effective, affordable measures to protect the health of students and school staff.
- EPA Region 7's Healthy Schools Toolkit offers up-to-date, school-focused environmental health education information, including fact sheets and basic presentations on a range of topics, listings of local and national information sources and helpful contact information.
- The Guide for K-12 Schools Food Recovery (2pp, 664K), developed by EPA Region 9's Pollution Prevention Program, provides a number of resources on reducing food waste.
- Environmental Health Legislation Databases Guide by the National Conference of State Legislatures includes summaries of state legislation on topics such as air quality, asbestos, lead, mercury, pesticides, radon, water and more. The database is searchable by keyword, year, state, topic and citation.
- Information for Schools That Serve Kindergarten Through 12th Grade is offered on the Campus Environmental Resource Center (ERC) for Higher Education. The website provides materials and tools designed as an environmental compliance assistance resource for principals, facility operators and managers, maintenance staff and environmental professionals, as well as other community stakeholders.
- Environmental Health is addressed on the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) website, providing links to information on air, water and sanitation safety; biological and chemical safety; and more.