More than 3 million children and 115,000 adults spend a majority of their days in public, tribal and private school buildings in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Many of these buildings and grounds are aging and contributing to environmental conditions that inhibit learning and pose increased health risks to children and staff. Indoor air quality, lead, PCBs, asbestos, idling school buses and pest control are just a few of the concerns that plague our schools and ultimately the health of students and staff. Learn what you can do to protect children where they learn and play.
Healthy Schools Research Proposals Due October 8
As part of our Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, EPA is soliciting research proposal for projects that will inform school (K-12 educational facilities) building design, construction and operation practices in order to foster safe and healthy school environments and maximize student achievement and teacher and staff effectiveness. The results of this research will help ensure that the risks of environmentally-induced illness and injury to America’s students, teachers and other school staff are diminished or avoided and that students, teachers and staff are provided with optimal learning environments in their schools. Learn more about this funding opportunity
Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environments Webinar Series
This EPA webinar series outlines sensible, low- or no-cost steps that school communities can take to create healthier environments in their buildings. View the webinar schedule
Washington Schools Receive National Honor
Five Washington State schools received a national award in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program. Recognized for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways, EPA congratulates the following schools:
- Glacier Park Elementary School, Maple Valley
- Sacajawea Elementary School, Vancouver
- Tahoma Senior High School, Covington
- The Evergreen School, Shoreline
- Kent School District, Kent
Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education's national initiatives to keep our schools healthier, safer and more sustainable.
Simple Tools to Determine Your School's Health
The School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2012 is an online self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. It was developed by CDC in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies to identify the policies and practices most likely to be effective in reducing youth health risk behaviors.
Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honors exemplary schools that take actions to maximize energy and water conservation, work towards environmental literacy and reduce contaminants in and around the school. Many actions are no or low cost projects and can be achieved by schools with limited budgets. A series of free online seminars are available to provide training on creating healthy school environments. Check out the Green Strides Webinars
Check your state for applications and deadlines.
The School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2012 is an online self-assessment and planning tool developed by CDC in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies to identify the policies and practices most likely to be effective in reducing youth health risk behaviors.
Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program
Unhealthy school environments can affect children’s health, attendance, concentration, and performance, as well as lead to expensive, time-consuming cleanup and remediation activities. These new voluntary guidelines recommend six steps states can take to build or enhance a school environmental health program. To learn more about the guidelines Visit the State School Environmental Health Guidelines website.