Healthy School Environments

More than 53 million children spending a significant portion of their day in the classroom, poor indoor air quality can pose health risks in schools for both students and staff and lead to asthma attacks, decreased performance and diminished concentration.

AASA began its work on healthy school environments and indoor air quality in 1992 and worked with school districts across the nation to elevate the importance of a healthy school environment. Poor indoor air quality continues to be a serious risk to children’s health and academic performance. To prepare schools for children, this program promotes holistic improvements to the school environment, while educating students and staff. Funded through a cooperative agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, AASA provideed outreach, technical assistance, training opportunities, and other resources.

The initiative ended in 2012. Publications on indoor air quality and healthy school environments include:

  • Putting the Pieces Together: A School Leader's Guide to Healthy Indoor Environments: This document introduces six common challenges that may be encountered when implementing and sustaining a healthy indoor environmental plan/program: 1) Maintaining strong leadership, 2) Dealing with overcrowding, 3) Increasing awareness and prioritizing IEQ, 4) Implementing effective communication strategies, 5) Overcoming financial barriers, and 6) Creating networking opportunities. Click here for the PDF version, or request a hard copy from
  • Superintendent Issue Briefs: There are six common challenges to achieve school indoor environmental quality outlined in Putting the Pieces Together (above) are further discussed from the superintendent's perspective. Click here for the PDF version of all six Issue Briefs.
  • Building Success, Leading Change: Stories of Healthy School Environments: This publication explores the parallels between urban and rural school districts that have successfully implemented and sustained a healthy learning environment by addressing indoor air quality. Click here for the PDF version, or request a hard copy from
  • Green Schools and Indoor Air Quality--Improving Efficiency and Health: The PowerPoint presentation address the state of indoor air quality and energy usage within schools. In addition, these slides address how environmentally-friendly initiatives can exist within an IAQ management program. Check out the YouTube video or view and download a PDF

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