IAQ Tools for Schools
Find an IAQ Champion
EPA Region 10 Contact
Phone: (206) 553-1189
Address: Mail Code (AWT 107), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101-9797
Region 10 IAQ Champions
City and Borough of Juneau School District, Juneau, Ala.
Contact: Cathy Boutin, email@example.com
The American Lung Association (ALA) of Alaska helped Juneau School District implement the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance by coordinating training sessions and involving local experts on asthma and IAQ issues. The IAQ Team, led by Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA), encountered early resistance from district administrators. However, after sharing information on the importance of good IAQ in schools, they earned the support and approval of the district to continue the IAQ program. The team developed an IAQ plan, which included policies and procedures for maintenance and building management. Juneau School District continues to work cooperatively with ALA of Alaska, AANMA, and EPA Headquarters to keep up-to-date on IAQ issues, receive continued training for district staff, and fund building improvements to reduce asthma rates.
Contact your Regional representative to find an IAQ Champion in your state.
Portland Public Schools, Portland, Ore.
Contact: Patrick Wolfe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland Public Schools (PPS) began using elements of IAQ Tools for Schools in 1998 and fully implemented an IAQ management program after one of PPS' middle schools was closed in 2002 due to radon and mold problems. PPS established a centralized IAQ management program ─ focusing on informing staff about available IAQ services, developing a sophisticated IAQ management information system. This system included a standard procedure for responding to IAQ events with a key component that focused on ensuring that parents or teachers who file IAQ complaints are informed of the resolution of the problem. This institutional commitment ensures that IAQ repairs are addressed within five days. To regain community and staff trust and broaden awareness of IAQ, the health and safety department uses the school safety committee as the “hub” for IAQ management activities. Now, many school safety committees conduct IAQ walkthroughs each quarter and report findings to the school district community.
Bellingham School District, Bellingham, Wash.
Contact: Mike Anderson, Mike.Anderson@bellinghamschools.org
In the early 1990s, Bellingham School District (BSD) recognized how important IAQ was to the success of its education system. The district fought tirelessly to demonstrate this link to the community. After receiving community support, BSD worked with the Northwest Air Pollution Authority, Washington State University Extension Energy Program, and EPA Region 10 to incorporate IAQ into its maintenance and operations manual. Providing recognition and sharing information within the community became a centerpiece of the BSD program. The district fully engages staff into the program and provides custodians with an active role, including recognition, empowerment and training. After gaining more participation, the district created the Good Apples Program to recognize outstanding IAQ achievements within the school system.
Cle Elum-Roslyn School District, Cle Elum, Wash.
Contact: Evelyn Nelson, email@example.com
Cle Elum-Roslyn School District has applied a "never give up" attitude to challenges that few districts will ever face. Persistent mold problems at a district school resulted in a student walkout, formal complaints to state authorities, and negative media coverage. Cle Elum-Roslyn School District responded by remediating the mold as well as developing a communications plan that successfully won back community trust. A series of student assemblies and community meetings helped clarify the issues and explain the attempts to rectify past problems. Posters with a plan of the high school are updated yearly to show improvements. The results were extraordinary, as IAQ complaints from this issue dropped from 180 in 2001 to 10 in 2002, and continue to decrease.
Educational Service District 101, Spokane, Wash.
Contact: Eric Dickson, firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2000, ESD 101, determined to make its IAQ management efforts more effective. The District opened its doors to experts from the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Office in Spokane, which assesses implementation of IAQ Tools for Schools under an EPA grant. The Washington State University team conducted walkthroughs in more than 50 of ESD 101's 242 schools. The experts discovered small IAQ problems that were easily fixed and more serious concerns that were corrected using IAQ Tools for Schools guidance. Despite a lack of funds in rural communities, ESD 101 is working hard to advance IAQ management implementation in its schools.
Kent School District, Kent, Wash.
Contact: Beth Gilbertson, email@example.com
The success of Kent School District (KSD) is largely a result of constant and innovative communication. IAQ information is included in the orientation program for new administrative staff. Custodians receive semi-annual training. All employees receive a weekly electronic newsletter featuring tips on preventing and identifying IAQ problems. Engaging parents has also been a priority. When an IAQ issue has a potential impact on a group of students, their parents are notified by letter and automated phone message with key medical information and a clear explanation of how the problem is to be addressed.
Everett School District #2, Everett, Wash.
The Everett School District #2 (ESD) turned to the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance after a major IAQ issue. In 1994, ESD closed a middle school because children complained of watery eyes and nausea when they were in a particular classroom. ESD formed an Indoor Environment Program and used the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance as a starting point. Using recommendations from the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit, ESD gathered data about asthma and IAQ tests, which it shared with the public and school employees. This was an important step in maintaining the trust of the community. Now every school has institutionalized an IAQ management program.
Northshore School District 417, Bothell, Wash.
Contact: Brad Taylor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Northshore School District 417 formed an IAQ team in the mid 2000s in an effort to improve IAQ throughout the district. Seeking to build a "best in class" IAQ management program, the district implemented the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance in 2008. Northshore's current IAQ program is truly a team effort, including students, teachers, staff, IAQ coordinators and administrators. This diverse participation in the IAQ management program has enabled Northshore to provide innovative, meaningful and effective solutions to IAQ issues. The district's IAQ initiatives range from a student-led emissions study to assess the impact of bus idling, to in-class training on IAQ risks and how to prevent them, to implementation of a comprehensive preventative maintenance program to support IAQ management goals. The district has reduced reported IAQ issues to less than one per month per school, which represents a 40 percent reduction over previous years.
Northwest Air Pollution Authority and Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Mount Vernon, Wash.
Contacts: Dave Blake (Northwest Air Pollution Authority), Dave@nwair.org or Rich Prill (Washington State University Cooperative Extension), email@example.com
In 2000, EPA grantees Dave Blake, with Northwest Air Pollution Authority, and Rich Prill, with Washington State University Cooperative Extension, developed a condensed training manual, Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Implementation: 3 Easy Steps as a supplement to the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit. They coordinated several free training sessions for school district staff throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. During the 2001-2002 school years, Dave Blake and Rich Prill helped more than 240 schools implement the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance. They received extended funding from their organizations to continue the project and promote the training booklet at the Washington State National Environmental Health Association Conference and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council's Building Operator Certification courses attended by school facilities staff. They went on to develop a virtual school walkthrough video entitled School Walk-through: Identifying and Solving Common Indoor Air Quality Problems (see: www.nwcleanair.org/aqprograms/indoorAir.htm ), which has been used by dozens of school districts across the country to help complement their IAQ management programs.
Sedro-Woolley School District, Woolley, Wash.
Contact: Mike Riddle, firstname.lastname@example.org
High levels of CO2 became the focus of indoor air improvements after an IAQ Tools for Schools walkthrough revealed problems in an elementary school, particularly in the portable classrooms. The district approved special funds to address its IAQ issues. Upgrades and behavioral changes were implemented, and significant improvements in indoor air quality have already been achieved. A close relationship with the Northwest Air Pollution Authority has helped the district continue to strive for good IAQ and healthy classrooms.
Spokane Public Schools, Spokane, Wash.
Spokane Public Schools IAQ Team has been working tirelessly to continue, and develop new, effective strategies for IAQ management for even greater IAQ success. One strategy revolves around the collection and communication of IAQ information. An industrial hygienist and senior level technicians from numerous disciplines help track metrics and aid in implementation of IAQ practices. These staff members — along with upper-level administrators — meet regularly to move forward on all IAQ action items. The district disseminates information using the local public access television channel, as well as newsletters, video presentations and take-home flyers. This innovation and attention to detail adds to the legitimacy of the program and helps solidify the case for robust funding from the community for regular IAQ improvements that are part of the 25-year modernization plan for the district's buildings.
Vashon Island School District, Vashon Island, Wash.
Contact: Dave Wilke, email@example.com
Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools guidance was introduced in the Vashon Island School District in 2001 as a direct result of several challenging IAQ-related events. These discoveries led to the district-wide implementation of a comprehensive IAQ management program and dramatic improvements to IAQ. First, the Kit was introduced and piloted in three school buildings, before the program was implemented district-wide. The top priority for Vashon was to develop a work order system that involved all stakeholders and included immediate reporting tools. In addition, the District developed a preventative maintenance program. Vashon adopted an outstanding communication strategy enabling stakeholders to regularly hear about IAQ updates through emails, flyers, student assemblies, quarterly reports, letters home, and the Internet.