Poor indoor air quality in schools has been linked to decreased student and teacher performance and increased absenteeism. The Envision Program best practices are intended to provide school administrators, nurses, maintenance and building services staff with tools to use when planning for renovations, preventative maintenance, pest management and control, monitoring of drinking water, and other building activities. These best practices may reduce the scope of potential environmental health problems identified by the Legislature under Act 125.
Green cleaning programs rely on the use of environmentally-sensitive chemical products and high performance cleaning equipment. Green cleaning products and equipment clean as effectively as traditional products, while lessening harmful impacts on people’s health and the environment.
In 2012, the Vermont General Assembly passed Act 68, requiring commercial vendors to sell only third-party certified environmentally preferable cleaning products to public schools. An effective green cleaning program requires specialized cleaning products, equipment and procedures.
Here are resources to support you in incorporating best practices into your school's Environmental Health Management Plan:
|Indoor Air Quality||Indoor Air Quality in Schools||
Resources from the EPA including indoor air quality best practices, understanding benefits, healthy school renovations, managing indoor air quality, and more.
|Indoor Air Quality||Tools for Schools Action Kit||
This kit from the EPA shows schools how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems at little- or no-cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.
|Asthma||Vermont Asthma Program||
Learn about what causes asthma, how it can be managed, and how to create an Asthma Action Plan.
|Asthma||Vermont School Health Program||
Find out about collaborations with school personnel and statewide education leadership and the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model.
|Asthma||American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology||
The AAAAI’s School Tools library provides resources to keep children with allergic disease safe in school environments. Be sure to check back for the most current resources.
|Green Cleaning||The Basics of Green Cleaning||
This manual outlines products and equipment in green cleaning, disinfectants/sanitizers, cleaning methods/practices, worker safety, and more.
|Green Cleaning||Green Cleaning Products Law Summary||
Review the requirements of Act 68, which relates to the protection of students’ health by requiring the use of safe cleaning product.
|Green Cleaning||Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Contractors List||
Search the State’s list of contractors to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning products.
|Green Cleaning||Green Cleaning Myths Video||This video from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection educates school employees and parents about the hazards of common cleaning products while showing the benefit and effectiveness of using green cleaners.|
|Integrated Pest Management and Control||Pesticides||
Information on pesticides from the EPA.
|Integrated Pest Management and Control||Integrated Pest Management||
The EPA’s introduction to integrated pest management principles and benefits.
|Integrated Pest Management and Control||Integrated Pest Management Principles||
The EPA’s description of integrated pest management principles and how integrated pest management programs work.
|Integrated Pest Management and Control||Effective Pest Management for a Healthy School Environment||
Learn from the EPA why effective pest management in routine cleaning and maintenance is important for a healthy school environment and what you can do.
|Integrated Pest Management and Control||Integrated Pest Management for Vermont Schools||
Information from the UVM Extension about tools for implementing an integrated pest management program for your school.
|Integrated Pest Management and Control||Pesticides: Use, Effects and Alternatives to Pesticides in Schools||
Read the report from the Government Accountability Office.
|Preventative Maintenance||Indoor Air Quality in Offices and Other Large Buildings||
Access indoor air quality information on school (large) buildings from the EPA and download and Indoor Air Quality Design Guide.
|Preventative Maintenance||Establishing Indoor Air Quality Programs for Building and Facility Management||
This module from the EPA is designed to help you establish a management program that contains all the appropriate elements needed to manage a building for good indoor air quality.
|Indoor Air Quality||Improve Indoor Air Quality||
Find out what actions you can take to improve your school's indoor air quality.
|Preventative Maintenance||National Air Duct Cleaners Association||
Access resources for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
|Preventative Maintenance||Healthy Indoor Painting Practices||
A safety guide from the EPA.
|Indoor Air Quality||Vermont Idling Laws and Signs||
Read about Vermont’s anti-idling law and request "no-idling" signs.
|Chemical Management||Toxic Substances Portal (ToxFAQs)||
Search the Agency of Toxic Substances & Disease Registry's (ATSDR) Portal for information on chemicals.
|Mold||Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi (Mold) in Indoor Environments||
Follow these guidelines from the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene to help provide an approach to address potential and observed mold growth on structural materials in school buildings.
|Mold||Mold in School and Commercial Buildings||
Information from the EPA on mold and air quality in school buildings, mold remediation, and resources about mold and large buildings.
|Food in Schools||Sharing Tables||
Use these guidelines to help your school start a sharing table program.
|Food in Schools||Guidance for Food Donations||
Follow these guidelines when creating a food donation program for your school.
|Food in Schools||Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law||Learn about what to do with your school's solid waste.|
|Green Cleaning||Safer Cleaning Choices for Schools||
Click on the school in the interactive graphic to find EPA’s Safer Choice cleaning products.
|Indoor Air Quality||Creating Safer and Healthier Classrooms Without Disinfecting Wipes||
Learn about the health effects of using disinfecting wipes and what to use instead for general classroom cleaning.
|Preventative Maintenance||Essential Maintenance Practices (EMPs) and Lead-Based Paint in Schools||
Learn about how about how to reduce lead-based paint hazards and inspect buildings for chipping or peeling lead-based paint.
|Chemical Management||School Science Lab Assistance Program||
The Vermont School Science Lab Safety Team is available to come out to your school to assist you with your chemical inventory, storage and disposal, general safety in the lab, and Chemical Hygiene Plan at no cost.
|Drinking Water||Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Child Care Facilities||
Access the EPA’s 3Ts (Training, Testing, Telling) Toolkit to assist your school in creating a lead in drinking water prevention program.
|Preventative Maintenance||Learn how to integrate indoor air quality protections into school energy efficiency retrofits and other building upgrade projects by optimizing the energy efficiency without compromising occupant health.|