School business officials (SBOs) address facility and environmental issues on a daily basis and thus are more aware than many K–12 leaders about how environmental issues affect student learning and achievement. This puts SBOs in a unique position to create “teachable moments” that educate staff and students about facility construction, operations, and environmental issues, and the solutions that go with them. ASBO International executive director John Musso says that, “Whatever the issue—green building, hazardous waste disposal, recycling, indoor air quality—there is always a teachable moment. On a daily basis, we have the opportunity to add value to the educational process through these moments.” And there is no better time to create a teachable moment than today, as education stakeholders across the U.S. celebrate the 15th annual National Healthy Schools Day.
Since 2002, parents, teachers, school nurses, custodians, advocates, and education leaders have celebrated National Healthy Schools Day by promoting best practices in, and successes with, providing healthy learning environments for students. ASBO International is pleased to join the Coalition for Healthier Schools and more than 40 other education, children’s health, and parent advocacy organizations to celebrate this year’s National Healthy Schools Day. We would like to create a “teachable moment” of our own for ASBO members by sharing these resources on healthy learning environments and hope you will do the same for your colleagues.
- 2017 School Infrastructure Report Card.
This American Society of Civil Engineers report explains the state of public school infrastructure across the U.S. and highlights challenges and solutions to promote healthy school facilities.
- Resolve to Make Responsible Chemical Management a Priority this National Healthy Schools Day.
This blog, authored by the Green Schools National Network, outlines how schools can safely manage chemicals commonly found in science classrooms and storage rooms, and includes a checklist to evaluate your policies and procedures.
- Notify the Community About Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Program.
This sample letter template, provided by the Healthy Schools Network (HSN), can be used to communicate your district’s IAQ program with community stakeholders.
- Create Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools.
This U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website has best practices, learning and training materials, and other tools and resources to help districts promote healthy learning environments and create sound IAQ programs.
- Building Evaluation Checklist.
This checklist and survey sheet, created by the National Collaborative Work Group on Green Cleaning, can help identify potential IAQ, solid waste, and chemical management trouble areas in and around school buildings.
- Inventory Cleaning Products.
This worksheet, created by Cleaning for Healthy Schools, helps identify cleaning products currently used onsite and healthier substitutes for them.
- Women, Children, and the Environment: What’s Happening at Your School?This draft op-ed, created by HSN, outlines key statistics about school facilities and children’s health that can be customized for your city or state to publish on a blog, website, or social media.
- Healthy Schools Proclamation Toolkit.This toolkit created by HSN contains outreach materials to encourage local officials to support healthy school environments. It includes a letter template to elected officials, an outline of actionable steps to secure elected officials’ support, and a draft proclamation to support National Healthy Schools Day.
For more resources on promoting healthy learning environments and school facilities, visit the Healthy Schools Network website at www.healthyschools.org