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Environmental Awareness

Tips for an Environmentally Healthy School Actions for an Environmentally Healthy School (EHS)

The NEISD Facilities Maintenance Department is helping schools to become an Environmentally Healthy School (EHS). This effort recognizes that policies and actions taken by schools can help ensure a healthy learning/teaching environment. The actions listed below are to be used by school principals to determine what actions to take safeguard their students, facility, and other personnel against environmental pollutants, and other potential environmental risks.

The following list includes actions that can be taken to help make your school and its buildings and grounds free from potential environmental health risks. Your school should strive to achieve the following actions to be an environmentally healthy school.

Outdoor Air Quality Actions

1) School enforces the School Bus Idling Reduction Program during bus pick-up time.

2) School has an AACOG Green Patrol “No Idling Zone” and encourages parents to turn off engines if the visit will take longer than 30 seconds.

3) School uses an Air Quality Health Alert Banner for announcing the days when there is a concern about outdoor air pollution. The school monitors the EPA’s Air Quality Index web site www.airnow.gov to obtain current information on actual air pollution levels.

Indoor Environmental Quality Actions

1) School has developed Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) procedures and checklists from the EPA’s Tools for Schools Kit to address sources of indoor air pollution.

2) School has its AHERA asbestos inspection records available for review.

3) School has been tested by Engineering for radon and it has levels of 4 pCi/L or lower.

4) School has tested by Engineering for traces of lead or has a lead control program.

5) School developed and implemented a Chemical Management Plan for purchasing, storing and disposing of chemical supplies. MSDS books are available for review.

6) School has applied Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices with the Facilities Maintenance Department instead of a regular program of spraying pesticides.

7) School removes visible surface mold using EPA Guidelines, Facility Maintenance practices and State of Texas regulations.

8) School has eliminated water retention on the grounds, including low spots and use of old tires. School inspects perimeter of buildings for sink holes and submits Work Orders.

9) Schools have removed mercury thermometers for mercury free thermometers and students are learning in a mercury free environment.

Asthma Management Actions

1) School has written criteria to identify students subject to asthma attacks and have developed individual Asthma Action Plans to assist those children.

2) School has presented the CDC’s Asthma Friendly Campus CD-ROM and has received the Asthma Friendly Campus Award.

3) School utilizes the School Health Index to identify and correct environmental issues.

Personal Hygiene Actions

1) School has KleenHanz dispensers and teaches proper hand hygiene practices.

2) School has posters about the prevention of Staph Infection and MRSA. School encourages personal hygiene practices.

3) Schools with K through 8th grade classes have an active EPA “Sunwise” program which educates young people to guard against exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays

Tips for an Environmentally Healthy School

Other Actions

1) School has a paper or aluminum can waste recycling program.

2) School has been implementing the Wattwatchers Program for energy management.
3) School has incorporated environmental educational information in their science or other appropriate courses.

4) Other environmental health and safety measure(s) taken by the school.

Safe Facilities Actions

1) School has completed its annual inspection by Safety Department.

2) School has it playgrounds equipment and fall surfaces inspected.

3) School has performed fire drills and has its fire extinguishers inspected annually.