Foundations of Building Health: Scientific Evidence for Action

With another school year approaching, it is essential that we find novel ways to optimize student learning, promote teacher quality and retention, and support staff and facilities effectively. An evidence-based approach is a step toward this goal.

In 2017, the Healthy Buildings Team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health released the report Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success, which clearly demonstrates that health is foundational to student thinking and performance. The report includes findings from over 250 research articles and more than 70 health and performance metrics. The goals of the document were to—

  1. Synthesize more than 30 years of scientific research about the impacts of indoor environmental quality in schools.
  2. Identify diverse metrics of success beyond standardized test scores.
  3. Provide an accessible, evidence-based guide to the acute and chronic effects our school buildings have on us each day.

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Better Together: Gaining Buy-In for Optimal Ventilation

This webinar is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency on September 22 from 1 PM to 2:30 PM ET.

Webinar participants will learn how to—

  • Gain buy-in from senior management and other stakeholders by successfully communicating how academic performance can be improved with a comprehensive IAQ management program, which includes providing optimal ventilation.
  • Improve ventilation and save energy by taking critical steps and implementing proven Technical Solutions from the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit.
  • Use the School IAQ Assessment Mobile App to increase participation in and accountability for regular assessments of the indoor school environment.
  • Replicate proven strategies used by a successful school district to garner broad stakeholder support for implementing preventive maintenance plans for optimal ventilation.

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New webinars on indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality Plus Energy Efficiency:  A Formula for Saving Money While Protecting Health

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET

Want to learn how to put in place key strategies for improving energy efficiency in your school buildings?  Join IAQ experts as they explain the link between IAQ and Energy Efficiency and how school districts are saving money and energy while improving occupant health and performance.

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New brochure for school IPM available

The Ounce of Prevention Integrated Pest Management (IPM) For Schools and Child Care Facilities is intended for school and childcare facility staff, parents, and pest management professionals.

Everyone has a role in IPM to prevent and manage pests in and around schools and childcare facilities. The base of any good indoor air quality program, pest control program or environmental health program all hinges on good your IPM program is. Do you inspect? Do you monitor?

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EPA’s Back-to-School Webinar:
 Managing Asthma in Schools

Are you interested in expanding your approaches for improving the indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools to help students and staff manage their asthma? If so, join this webinar to learn how two innovative asthma programs with unique challenges have worked to improve asthma outcomes in their local schools.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT

Click here to register

This webinar will feature:

  1. A school nurse from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who champions asthma management for her district and will share tips and lessons learned for flood preparedness; and
  2. A professor from University of Turabo, Puerto Rico, who leads innovative interventions in over a hundred schools facing some of the highest asthma rates in the U.S.

Both speakers will discuss the ways in which their programs are grounded in EPA’s IAQ Tools for Schools guidance.


  • Laura Wheeler, RN, School Nurse, Cedar Rapids School District, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has led the charge in her school district to address IAQ issues that exacerbate asthma symptoms, including addressing the challenges raised by the record-breaking Iowa floods of 2008. Learn how Ms. Wheeler secures leadership buy-in and uses the National Association of School Nurses’ Managing Asthma Triggers program to build awareness of asthma triggers within school environments.
  • Teresa Lipsett-Ruiz, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science and Technology, Universidad of Turabo, Puerto Rico, saw a rapid increase in the number of K-12 students with asthma and wanted to help the schools respond. Knowing the solution had to be community-based in order for it to succeed, she engaged a diverse group of school district and community representatives, parents, undergraduate and graduate students to implement a series of school-based interventions.


  • Tracey Mitchell, RRT, AE-C, U.S. EPA, Indoor Environments Division, is a registered respiratory therapist and certified asthma educator. She has led the patient and professional education efforts of EPA’s asthma program for 16 years. Tracey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the asthma in schools issue.

Don’t miss your chance to have your questions answered during the webinar. Send your questions to by September 23, 2013.