You may think about your school’s learning environment in terms of classroom atmosphere, staff-to-student-ratios, resources and family engagement. However, environmental health is something that impacts a learning environment and affects everyone in a school ― from staff to students. To have healthy learning environments, it is vital to take care of the environmental health of our schools.
You’ll find information on the following topics:
A clean school is a happy (and healthy!) school. It’s not up to just the custodian ― everyone should do their part to make sure your school is clean. It can help prevent illness from infectious diseases, decrease issues from allergies or asthma, and more. An added benefit? In addition to being clean, your school will look great, too!
Cleaning for health is a widely accepted cleaning approach that protects public health, without adversely affecting the health of staff, building occupants, or the environment. Some traditional cleaning products that have been used in schools (and homes) contain ingredients that have been found to be hazardous to human health and the environment. Learn how to keep your school community safe.
A high performance or green school creates a healthy environment conducive to education and learning while saving energy, resources, and money. Did you know that on average, green schools save $100,000 per year on operating costs? We are sure your school could think of something to do with that extra money – hire a school counselor or nurse, get more resources, or, well, you get the picture!
You spend a lot of time at your school, and so do your students. That is why along with NEA, we believe that students and staff have the right to a great public school that fosters a safe and healthy learning and working environment. When you are in a situation with poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) caused by mold, chemicals, extreme temperatures or other pollutants, you don’t have the healthy learning and working environment that you deserve.
Keeping pests out makes schools healthier places for students and staff. A school Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program employs common sense strategies to reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests in school buildings and on grounds, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
When it comes to poison prevention, it is often talked about in reference to the home. However, schools can house many chemicals that can be dangerous, as well. It is important to be able to identify any concerns and handle them, giving you a safer work environment and your students a safer place to learn and thrive.
Managing Asthma in the School Environment: What NEA Members Need to Know is an online course that was developed by NEA Healthy Futures (as NEA HIN) and the Merck Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN) as part of NEA’s Online Academy. This free, 1.5 hour course will educate NEA members about asthma so that they can help students better manage their asthma while at school.