EPA Recognizes Philadelphia School District With National Great Start Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week gave recognition to the Philadelphia School District for initiating a comprehensive plan to improve indoor air quality at more than 360 buildings owned by the District.
            Superintendent Dr. Arlene C. Ackerman accepted EPA’s national Great Start Award at a School Reform Commission meeting. 
            “Children are thirty percent of the world’s population, but they are 100 percent of our future,” said Diana Esher, Air Protection Division Director in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.  Esher presented the award to Dr. Ackerman.  “Everyone wants their children learning in classrooms with healthy air free of indoor pollutants.  Healthy schools are essential for children’s well being, learning and development.”
            EPA’s Great Start Award recognizes schools and school districts that are taking steps to make the indoor air quality in their buildings healthier for students and faculty.  The award is one of five categories of recognition under EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program, developed to help schools reduce exposures to indoor environmental contaminants.  
            Throughout the past year, EPA has been working with the Philadelphia School District to create an indoor air quality management committee and get underway with indoor air improvements. 
The committee will consider taking steps including assessing District’s school buildings, identifying indoor air hazards, and training staff and facilities managers.
            The District’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools plan complements its ‘Imagine Great Schools’ initiative, a new facilities master plan that aligns the District’s facilities reforms with instructional reforms.
            As a Great Start awardee, the District will have access to training, regular EPA updates and technical assistance from EPA indoor air experts.  
            For more info visit EPA’s websites: Indoor Air QualityHealthy School Environments and Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools.


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