ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) has launched a new website, IAQ in Practice, to highlight school districts that have successfully improved indoor air quality in their buildings. The site describes the process by which eight districts focused on and improved IAQ in their classrooms.

Since 2000, AASA — through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — has been leading efforts to improve the indoor environment and manage IAQ in schools.

“American children spend a large part of their day in classrooms. Poor indoor air quality in schools poses health risks for both students and staff members,” said AASA executive director Daniel A. Domenech, in unveiling the site. “Poor indoor air quality makes it hard for students to concentrate. It inhibits learning.

“It is heartening to see school system leaders involved in effective air quality management and green schools programs and producing such fine results.”

AASA, through its Children’s Program division, has led a process to identify the reasons districts do not implement IAQ management plans and plans for green schools and the administrative barriers within districts that impede the successful implementation of such programs. In profiling the best practices of eight districts, the website demonstrates effective policies and strategies and the outcomes for which other school system leaders should strive.

“We very much want this to be a practical tool for school leaders on the ground,” said project director, Yasmin Bowers. There are many reasons that districts don’t tackle indoor air quality: class sizes are large, schools are big, buildings are old, and budgets are tight.

“In creating the site, we gathered the perspectives of superintendents and district leaders to help others think past these barriers and find strategies that would be effective in their own communities.”

The eight districts highlighted are Broward County Public Schools (Fla.), Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD (Texas), Denver Public Schools (Colo.), Irving ISD (Texas), Keller ISD (Texas), Recovery School District of Louisiana, Richmond County School System (Ga.), and San Francisco Unified School District (Calif.).

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Publication date: 3/25/2013