NYS School Environmental Health Program

For Clean, Green, & Healthy Schools

Introduction

What is a School Environmental Health Program?

School environmental health is the way the physical environment of school buildings and school grounds influence the overall health and safety of occupants. School environments can impact occupant health, absenteeism, employee/student retention and satisfaction, academic performance, and operation costs for the school. Children are more vulnerable to environmental exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to their body weight, than adults, their body systems are still developing, and their behaviors put them at greater risk, such as hand-to-mouth action and playing on the ground.

The New York State (NYS) School Environmental Health Program is designed to help all school employees, volunteers, students, parents, and guardians contribute to improving their school's environmental health. The program has been developed by a multi-disciplinary Steering Committee to help schools improve their environmental health through voluntary guidelines. Schools that participate in this program gain the opportunity and knowledge to create schools with better environmental health. The program provides information for all school occupants on policies, best practices, tools, knowledge, and resources in nine main areas:

  1. Indoor Air Quality;
  2. Energy and Resource Conservation;
  3. Integrated Pest Management;
  4. Mold and Moisture;
  5. Chemical and Environmental Hazards;
  6. Cleaning and Maintenance;
  7. Transportation;
  8. Construction/Renovation;
  9. Water Quality.

Materials and information throughout this website will assist you in taking appropriate action. You may access the resources on this website through a topic list or by specific audience interest. Much of the information is cross-linked between these two sections.

Enroll in the Program

The NYS School Environmental Health Program is launching statewide! All K-12 schools interested in creating safer and healthier learning and working environments for all students and staff across New York State can now enroll! Creating these changes to improve the environmental health of your school can be done through low or no cost actions. Check out the program materials below to find out more.

To enroll:

  • Share this Program Flyer with your administrator or others in the school community to promote the idea of participation.
  • Review the NYS School Environmental Health Program Guide which includes information on how to successfully register and complete each level of the program.
  • Once you start the program, this School Environmental Health Assessment Tool will help you assess your school’s strengths and weaknesses. You can use the results to develop goals and objectives for improving the school environment.

Register:

If you have questions, please email CGHSchools@health.ny.gov.

Announcing the NYS School Environmental Health Conference 2022

The New York State School Environmental Health Program Presents a FREE conference on school environmental health.

Location: Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, NY, 12242

Date: October 25, 2022

Time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

*Free breakfast and lunch will be provided for all attendees

Audience:

  • School professionals including administrators, facilities managers, nurses, teachers and other school professionals
  • State agencies, local health departments, environmental health associations, advocacy groups, and non-governmental organizations

Topics:

  • The NYS School Environmental Health Program
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Energy & Resource Conservation
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Water Quality
  • and other related topics

At the conference you will LEARN about important school environmental health topics, CONNECT with other school professionals interested in environmental health, and NETWORK with topic area experts.

Steering Committee

The role of the Steering Committee is to help shape and guide The NYS School Environmental Health Program. This is a collaborative effort among state and federal agencies, as well as a number of non-government organizations representing a variety of interests related to New York State schools.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments regarding The NYS School Environmental Health Program, feel free to email us at CGHSchools@health.ny.gov.