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Six Key Drivers for a Successful Indoor Air Quality Program


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Title: Six Key Drivers for a Successful Indoor Air Quality Program

Six Key Drivers for a Successful Indoor Air
Quality Program
  • Blue Valley School District
  • Katy Independent School District
  • Hartford Public Schools

Blue Valley School District
  • Dave Hill
  • Executive Director of Facilities and Operations

Blue Valley School District

District Location Overland Park, KS District
Type Suburban district outside of Kansas City,
KS Student Population 20,000 Number of
Facilities 35 Facility Age Range 0-87
Years Total Facility Square Footage
3,500,000 IAQ TFS Excellence Award 2003 IAQ
TFS Model of Sustained Excellence Award 2005
Key Drivers for Successful School IAQ Management
  • Organize
  • Assess
  • Create a Plan
  • Take Action
  • Evaluate
  • Communicate

IAQ Organization
  • Designate an IAQ Coordinator
  • Assemble an IAQ Team
  • Develop Support
  • Communication

IAQ Organization
  • Designate an IAQ Coordinator
  • The face of your IAQ program
  • People person, empathetic listener
  • Excellent communicator

IAQ Organization
  • Assemble an IAQ Team
  • Multi-disciplined include the champions who can
    build buy-in, add credibility
  • Regular meetings
  • Problem-solving environment
  • Communication

IAQ Organization
  • Develop Support
  • Seek support at the highest levels to ensure
    program success
  • Create champions at all levels
  • Create buy-in by institutionalizing your IAQ
  • Demonstrate the link between student achievement
    and excellent IAQ
  • Communication

IAQ Organization
  • Communication
  • Let people know what youre starting
  • Connect the importance of excellent IAQ to
    student achievement
  • Organize to be self-sustaining can survive the

IAQ Assessment
  • Develop an IAQ Profile for your building(s)
  • Collect Data
  • Building Walkthrough
  • Communication

IAQ Assessment
  • Develop an IAQ Profile for your building(s)
  • Know what you have inventory
  • Try to use objective, measurable data, but dont
    ignore subjective data

IAQ Assessment
  • Collect Data
  • Try to use objective, measurable data, but dont
    ignore subjective data
  • Use technology
  • Interview occupants
  • Look for trends with occupants and/or building

IAQ Assessment
  • Building Walkthrough
  • Know what to look for, be informed
  • Use EPAs Tools for Schools checklists or develop
    your own
  • Schedule it
  • Invite others
  • Teach others empower reporting

IAQ Assessment
  • Communication
  • Let people know why youre there
  • Be open and honest
  • Same team, there to help
  • Listen
  • Follow up let people know what you found, and
    what youre going to do about it

Katy Independent School District
  • Oscar Gonzalez
  • Environmental Coordinator

Katy Independent School District

District Location Katy, TX District Type
Rapidly growing suburban district outside of
Houston, TX Student Population 47,816 Number
of Facilities 57 Facility Age Range 0
40 Total Facility Square Footage 8,974,521 IAQ
TFS Excellence Award 2005
Key Drivers for Successful School IAQ Management
  • Organize
  • Assess
  • Create a Plan
  • Take Action
  • Evaluate
  • Communicate

Create a Plan
  • Administrative Support
  • Strategic Goals Objectives
  • IAQ Policy
  • Key Team Members
  • Communication
  • Continuous Improvement Growth

Support for IAQ Program
  • Senior Administrative Support
  • Department Support
  • Management
  • Staff
  • Schools
  • Principals, Teachers, Staff
  • Community

Goals Objectives
  • Implement Tools for Schools Program
  • Improve and maintain IAQ
  • Improve student, teachers, and staff comfort
  • Reduce IAQ Complaints
  • Implement IPM
  • IAQ Policy

Key Team Members
  • Select Key Team Members
  • Roles Responsibilities
  • Director
  • Environmental Coordinator
  • IPM Coordinator
  • Certified Applicators
  • General Environmental Staff

  • Senior Administration
  • Management Meetings
  • Department Newsletter
  • Schools
  • Principals, Teachers, Nurses, Staff
  • Community
  • Participate in community projects
  • Newspaper articles

Continuous Improvement
  • Implement IAQ in future construction of schools
    and facilities
  • Lessons learned
  • Training
  • Continuing Education
  • Seminars
  • Hire additional staff

Take Action!
  • Conduct IAQ Walkthroughs of schools and
  • Respond quickly to IAQ Complaints
  • Remove harmful chemicals
  • IAQ Training and Presentations

IAQ Walkthroughs
  • Conduct regular IAQ Walkthroughs
  • During IAQ Walkthroughs
  • Identify and repair problems
  • Investigate odors
  • Water intrusion
  • Remove toxic chemicals
  • Observe occupant behavior
  • Communicate with staff

Responding to an IAQ Complaint
  • Respond Immediately!!!
  • Investigate Strange Odors
  • Identify source
  • Occupant complaints
  • Recurring problem?
  • Generate Work Orders
  • Follow-up/Meetings
  • Accurate Record Keeping
  • Share Lessons-learned

Lessons Learned
  • What are we doing right?
  • How can we improve?
  • Evaluate IAQ Policies
  • Training
  • Communication

Case Study
  • Parent is concerned that her sons bad cough is
    due to his classes in portable building
  • Symptoms
  • Constant cough and congestion
  • Parent contacts the school nurse
  • Is the school making my son sick?

Preliminary Steps
  • First Point of Contact Nurse
  • Nurse contacts Environmental Department
  • IAQ Complaint (Confidential)
  • Information about student
  • History of respiratory illness?
  • Class schedule
  • Days absent
  • Visit to nurse clinic
  • Other complaints?

  • Conduct an IAQ Walkthrough
  • Inspect classrooms for the following
  • Strange odors, water intrusion, mold growth
  • Chemicals
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Dust
  • HVAC
  • Meet with Principals, Teachers, and Staff

  • IAQ Walkthrough All Good!!!
  • No other IAQ complaints found
  • Report generated and sent to
  • Environmental Director, Principal, and Nurse
  • Meeting with Parents, Nurse, and Principal to
    discuss results

Hartford Public Schools
  • Pamela Clark, RN, MPH
  • Clinical Nursing and Support Supervisor
  • Hartford Public Schools, Hartford, CT
  • Paula Schenck, MPH
  • Center for Indoor Environments Health
    Division of Occupational and Environmental
  • University of Connecticut Health Center

Hartford Public Schools

District Location Hartford, CT District Type
Urban district in Connecticut Student
Population 24,000 Number of Facilities
45 Facility Age Range 0 120 Years Total
Facility Square Footage 5,003,644 IAQ TFS
Excellence Award 2005
Key Drivers for Successful School IAQ Management
  • Organize
  • Assess
  • Create a Plan
  • Take Action
  • Evaluate
  • Communicate

2004-2005 Hartford Public Schools Strategic
  • 22,172 students attend 48 schools (includes 9
  • 94 minority, 52 Hispanic and 41 black
  • Over 68 qualify for free/reduced- price meals
  • 47 of students home language other than English
  • Hartford per capita income 13, 428

  • Children in Hartford are at significant risk for
    asthma. The city of over 120,000 has the second
    highest rate (41.3) of child poverty among the
    nations cities (2000 Census). The citys health
    department reports 17 prevalence of asthma, over
    twice the statewide average.

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  • More than 45 school buildings ranging from over
    122 years to 4 years old
  • Asthma is the leading cause for school
    absenteeism for the district. 11,000 unexpected
    asthma- related visits to the school nurse were
    reported for school year 2003-2004.
  • Teachers, nurses, administrators, and custodial
    staff have limited time to focus on environmental
  • Educational programs necessarily compete for
    limited resources that are needed to fix building

Dwight Elementary School - Hartford, CT (oldest
school in the city, built 1880)
  • Hartford Public Schools and UCONN Center for
    Indoor Environments and Health organized a
    program for training Health and Safety School
    teams throughout the school district on indoor
    air quality and EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools
    for Schools program that emphasized leadership
  • The goal is a sustainable district-wide effort to
    foster improvements in the indoor environment and
    reduce children's exposure to asthma risk factors
    in the school buildings.

Individual Schools to District Wide
  • Train-the-trainer program instituted to form
    leadership cohorts on indoor environmental
    quality and EPA 's Tools for Schools (TfS)
  • Related organized trainings for nurses, other
    staff, and custodians

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Hartford Public Schools Tools for Schools
  • University of CT Health Centers
  • Center for Indoor Environments and Health
  • CT Schools Indoor Environment Resource Team
  • Hartford Health and Human Services Department
    (HHD)/ Asthma-Call-To-Action (ACTA)
  • American Lung Association/ CT Chapter
  • CT Childrens Medical Centers Asthma Center
  • CT Department of Public Healths Asthma and
    Indoor Environment Programs
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 1

Communication Needs and Strategies
  • Two phases
  • Establishing a response to asthma and an indoor
    air quality TfS program
  • Sustaining the program and integrating with
    broader (but related) program that established
    Health and Safety Teams in every school
  • Messages
  • Language must reflect value in an educational
    setting---- Relationship with academic
    performance paramount!
  • Delivered in many settings internal and external
    (includes agency meetings-CSIERT, HHD,
    community-ACTA and public forums- American Public
    Health Association, National Environmental Health

Three thrusts directed at nurses, principals and
teaching staff, and facility personnel
  • Clinical Nursing and Support Supervisor is the
    key coordinator/ communicator
  • Dialog maintained directly with individual
  • School nurses become empowered and become the
    focus for communications within individual
  • Actively coordinates with Director of Facilities
  • Director of Facilities
  • Senior administration official/decision maker
  • Tools for Schools becomes integrated into overall
    training for his staff and school custodians
  • Reinforced with theme on hats, shirts
  • Supports Clinical Nursing and Support Supervisor
  • UCHC partner
  • Facilitate meetings and communication
  • Brings outside academic connection validates
  • Provides technical support

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Outreach and Communication Thrusts
  • Nurses
  • professional day training devoted to asthma and
    environment, indoor environmental quality, and
    nurses role in Tools for Schools.
  • Companion training program with Connecticut
    Children's Medical Centers Asthma Center on
    asthma management for school nurses and HPS
    school-based nurse practitioners
  • HPS Nurses Recognition Day educational
    presentation on asthma, immunology and EPA Tools
    for Schools
  • Leadership cohort of nurses provides peer support
    to others

Outreach and Communication Thrusts
  • Principals
  • As part of the before the school year training
    UCHC invited to introduce program to Principals
  • Meeting with School Superintendent for UCHC and
    Health Services to introduce District-wide
  • Consistent involvement of senior
    administration-Director of Facilities supported
    less formal communication

Outreach and Communication Thrusts
  • Facilities
  • Planning for new buildings expanded with indoor
    air quality management criteria and involvement
    of parent and staff Tools for Schools advisory
  • Enhanced training for custodians
  • Uses work order and TfS priority listings to
    track needs and progress and provide feedback

Teaching Tools Developed by Hartford Public
School Health and Safety Teams
  • Primary objectives
  • School safety
  • Indoor air quality
  • OSHA standards and requirements
  • Includes Teams for Tools for School and AED
    (automatic external defibrillator)

Key Staff Persons in Health and Safety Teams
  • Principal and / or an administrative designee
  • Head custodian
  • School nurse
  • Security for the AED Team
  • School staff (teachers, food service, family
    resource aide ( often a parent), physical
    education instructors)

  • Continuous
  • Monthly reports on asthma visits to the health
  • Annual nurses survey
  • Results
  • Training
  • Program
  • Health
  • Feedback/sustainability
  • Yearly kick-offs planned
  • TfS priorities revised with each cycle

Measures of Success
  • TfS Trainings are provided by the HPS trainers
  • Documentation of training and sign in sheets
  • Formal training evaluation program
  • TfS programs are implemented in targeted schools.
  • Lists of building conditions contributing to poor
    indoor air quality in target schools are noted
    and a final report submitted to Buildings and
    Grounds and Health Services Departments.
  • Recommendations for remediation of building
    conditions developed and specific dialog
    initiated with the Buildings and Grounds
  • TfS indoor air quality activities are integrated
    with other in School Safety Team activities.
  • Documentation of asthma and respiratory illness
    by school nurses.

Hartford Public Schools Tools for Schools Program
  • District-wide TfS program initiated in 2002
  • As of October 13, 2006
  • 30 (out of 40) schools have teams who have
    completed two-part Tools for Schools training
  • 28 school teams have initiated the program in
    their schools
  • 24 teams have completed surveys and walk though
    assessments, and
  • 22 have identified and reported priorities, and
    repairs have been implemented
  • New buildings
  • Buildings and Grounds Department considered
    TfS recommendations in planning and implementing
    major additions and renovations to 4 elementary
    schools and in building 5 new schools.

HPS Nursing Services Data
Unexpected Asthma Nursing Visits
Nurses training over the period included Tools
for Schools, asthma and environment, and asthma
Blue Valley School District Katy Independent
School District Dave Hill Oscar
Gonzalez Executive Director of Facilities and
Operations Environmental Coordinator 913-239-414
3 281-396-2519
OscarMGonzalez_at_KATYISD.ORG Hartford Public
Schools Pamela Clark, RN, MPH Clinical Nursing
and Support Supervisor 860-695-8760 pclark_at_hartfor Paula Schenck, MPH Assistant
Director, Center for Indoor Environments Health
University of Connecticut Health Center