IAQ Tools for Schools
Improved Academic Performance
What YOU Can Do
- Take Action to Ensure that Schools Are Well-Maintained
- Establish an IAQ Management Program
- Coordinate or Integrate Health, Environmental and Maintenance Programs into a Unified Effort
- Additional Resources
Take Action to Ensure that Schools Are Well-Maintained
When school budgets are tight, school boards and school administrators often consider the maintenance budget as "soft money," an expense they can cut without affecting the core academic program needs. Indeed, the percentage of school budgets dedicated to maintenance has declined over the past two decades. Yet a good maintenance program is integral to ensuring that school health and academic programs achieve their fullest potential. In addition, an effective maintenance program can reduce both energy costs and long-term repair costs.
Establish an IAQ Management Program
Poor IAQ often results from neglect. Take a proactive stance to managing potential IAQ hazards by demanding regular and proper maintenance of indoor environments and HVAC systems. Programs can be targeted to the maintenance of existing school facilities and to new school construction.
Coordinate or Integrate Health, Environmental and Maintenance Programs into a Unified Effort
Highly coordinated and integrated programs can save resources and improve results from all programs, and can be a key driver of improved academic performance.
EPA’s IAQ Tools for Schools Program has published voluntary guidance that addresses IAQ for school districts. By applying approaches outlined in the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit, schools can find cost-effective approaches for making the school environment more conducive to teacher and student health and performance. The IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit is free to schools and school districts.
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A searchable resource list of links, books, and journal articles (including abstracts of some of the references cited in this fact sheet) is available through the National Clearinghouse of Educational Facilities
An IAQ Scientific Findings Resource Bank is being developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with funding support from the EPA provided through an interagency agreement. It is a resource for public health professionals, building professionals, and others who seek scientific information about the effects of IAQ on people’s health or work performance.
The IAQ Scientific Findings Resource Bank provides information summarizing the state of scientific knowledge about the relationships between people’s health and productivity and the IAQ conditions or associated building characteristics in which the people work or reside.
- Why is the Physical Environment of a School So Important?
- What Environmental Factors are Important and Practical to Address?
- What Actions Have Real School Districts Taken and What Results Have They Seen?
- How Much Improvement Can You Expect in Academic Performance and Health?