Environmental Walk-through Checklist: Use this checklist to help identify problem areas inside and outside the school building.

Promoting Healthy School Buildings: Tips for Schools and Teachers Fact Sheet and Asthma-friendly Schools: An Overview: Overview of the connection between the school environment and asthma, and five ways to get started in addressing unhealthy environments.

The Importance of Asthma-friendly Schools Infographic: Highlights the relationship between asthma and education, and the role that schools can play in keep children and staff healthy.

Why Should Schools Care about Asthma Fact Sheet

Facilities and Custodial Staff: You Can Make an Enormous Impact

Case Study: It Takes a Team: Clinical Asthma Management in the Classroom

Environmental Walk-through Checklist: A checklist with space to jot down notes and observations, to help identify problem areas inside and outside the school building. For further information on conducting a school walk-through and a more in-depth Massachusetts specific environmental health and safety checklist, visit the Bureau of Environmental Health’s Massachusetts School Checklist – Indoor Air Quality.

School Indoor Air Quality Assessment Tool, Environmental Protection Agency: A mobile app that provides a “one-stop shop” for accessing guidance from EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit, including strategies for addressing ventilation, cleaning and maintenance, and environmental asthma triggers.

EPA Indoor Air Quality Assessment Tool App Overview: A one-pager overview of the Tools for Schools Mobile App. It describes the app and outlines components of the app along with screenshots.

How to do a Walk-through: Creating Asthma-friendly Schools Presentation: Simple PowerPoint slides with tips and prompts for what to look for and pay attention to during a walk-through.

School Walk-through Video Series, Northwest Clean Air Agency: A series of videos that shows you how to conduct a successful school walk-through from the beginning to end, including how to get started and next steps.

Case Study: Boston Healthy Schools Task Force: Community and School Stakeholders Promote Asthma-friendly School Environments

Healthy School Environments Toolkit, Boston Public Schools: Resource toolkit with policies and best practices to promote healthy schools and improve school environmental conditions.

Asthma-friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit, American Lung Association: Guidance, tools, tips, and resources that align with CDC’s Strategies for Addressing Asthma within a Coordinated School Health Program.

Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools, Environmental Protection Agency: Best practices, professional training resources, other supporting tools and documents.

Indoor Air Quality in Schools: A Primer for Teachers, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health: Tips and simple steps around ventilation, moisture and microbial growth, and source pollution and classroom cleanliness that school staff can take to maintain and improve indoor air quality.

Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit, Environmental Protection Agency: Best practices, industry guidelines, policies, sample IAQ management plan.

Breathing Easy Indoor Air Quality School Resource Guide, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition: Training and supporting tools and resources, including environmental management system worksheets.

Green Classroom Professional Certificate, US Green Building Council: Online course for creating green and healthy classrooms to support academic performance.

Case Study: It Takes a Team: Clinical Asthma Management in the Classroom

Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Program, Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance: Information about green products, programs, equipment, and supplies.

FAC85 Green Cleaning Products Fact Sheet, Massachusetts Operational Services Division FAC85: Benefits and information on purchasing environmentally preferable products through the state contract.

Green Cleaning for Healthy Schools Toolkit, National Coalition for Healthier Schools: Free educational materials including posters, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources.

5 Steps to Green Cleaning in Schools, Green Clean Schools: Five steps to help simplify the process of green cleaning in schools, whether you’re just starting or upgrading an existing green cleaning program.

Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting for Early Care and Education, University of California San Francisco: Background on infection and cleaning, health hazards, and environmental effects of cleaners, safe and effective cleaning in early care and education, and more.

Caring for Kids with Asthma: A Guide for Massachusetts Child Care Programs, Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Comprehensive guide on childhood asthma management, including information about requirements for cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting procedures.

Toxics Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts Lowell: Examples of how Massachusetts school systems are creatively incorporating toxics use-reduction (i.e., ways to replace and/or reduce the use of harmful chemicals and toxins in cleaning supplies, pest control management, art supplies, building materials, etc.) into their policies and daily operations.

Cleaning for Health: Creating Asthma-friendly Schools Presentation: PowerPoint slides with basic green-cleaning information, including the difference between cleaning equipment and chemical dilution systems, and policy tips; can be presented to teachers, administrators, parents, and other school staff.

Replacing Bleach Wipes Fact Sheet: One-page fact sheet explaining why bleach wipes should not be used in schools, what alternatives there are, and how everyone can help. Spanish version available here.

Introduction to Integrated Pest Management, Environmental Protection Agency: Overview of integrated pest management (IPM) and its benefits, and how to create an IPM plan in your school.

IPM for Schools (Video Series), California Pesticides: A video series of everything IPM, including an introduction to IPM, prevention, inspecting, monitoring, and contracting with IPM professionals.

IPM in Schools, Environmental Protection Agency: A breakdown of the role of parents, staff and faculty, school administrators, and pest management professionals in IPM.

Pest Control in the School Environment, Environmental Protection Agency: Clear steps on how to implement an IPM plan.

Four Simple Steps: Managing Food in the Classroom for IPM: Guide for teachers and support staff to prevent pests when children are eating breakfast, lunch, or snacks in the classroom setting. Available in Spanish here.

Environmental Walk-through Checklist: Checklist to survey classroom or an area in the school for sources of asthma triggers.

Pest-free and Healthy Schools Presentation: PowerPoint slides giving an overview of integrated pest management, including pest awareness, where to start, and five ways to take action.

Understanding IPM Practices, University of California San Francisco Childcare Health Program: A description of IPM, including a helpful picture guide to identify potential problem areas and how to address them. Resources available in English and Spanish.

Massachusetts Integrated Pest Management Toolkit, Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Resources for building managers and owners - Coming soon!

Case Study: Integrated Pest Management Gets Ahead of the Pest Problem

Mold, Environmental Protection Agency: Information and guidance on mold and indoor air quality in schools

Remediation and Prevention of Mold Growth and Water Damage in Public Schools/Buildings to Maintain Air Quality, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health: Information on mold removal and prevention, including recommendations for maintaining windows and doors weathertight to prevent water penetration into the building interior.

Indoor Air Quality Guidelines, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health: Guidance documents on flooding, mold, and moisture prevention.

Indoor Plants and Indoor Air Quality, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health: Guidance on the use and care of indoor plants in school and office buildings to protect indoor air quality.

The Green Team, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: Interactive educational program that empowers students and teachers to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation, and pollution prevention; participating classes receive certificates of recognition and are eligible to win awards.

Recycling Checklist, Cambridge Public Schools: Recycling checklist for custodians and school recycling leaders.

Greening the Apple Blog, Environmental Protection Agency: Examines the risks and consequences of clutter and includes specific tips for reducing/eliminating clutter in the classroom.

Green Apple Day of Service, U.S. Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter: Brings together students, teachers, parents, community groups, companies, and more to transform schools and campuses into healthy, safe, and efficient places to learn through service projects.

Toolkit for Safe Chemical Management in K-12 Schools, Environmental Protection Agency: If your school’s clean-out or de-cluttering efforts involve removing chemicals, follow these guidelines from the EPA.

Indoor Air Quality in Schools: A Primer for Teachers, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health: Tips and simple steps around ventilation, moisture and microbial growth, and source pollution and classroom cleanliness that school staff can take to maintain and improve indoor air quality.

Near-road pollution

AirNow Air Quality Flag Program, Environmental Protection Agency: Provides alerts to schools and other organizations on the local air-quality forecast, and helps them take actions to protect people’s health, including those with asthma (also available in Spanish).

Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Pollution Exposure at Schools, Environmental Protection Agency: Publication containing best practices for reducing traffic-related pollution exposure at schools. It includes an outline of building design and operations strategies, and site-related strategies.

Regional Operations & Maintenance Guide for High Performance Schools and Public Buildings in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships: Guidance on establishing operations and maintenance policies, developing plans for training staff, maintaining ventilation systems, and a checklist of provisions to include in anti-idling policies.


Idling Reduction Toolkit, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: Tools to develop and implement an idling reduction campaign including sample pledge, letter to parents, press release, and outline of community organizing.

Clean Air for Schools: Engines Off!, American Lung Association: Educational, curriculum-based program for schools, and facts about idling and pollution.

Clean Diesel Rebates, Environmental Protection Agency: School bus replacement and retrofit rebates to reduce emissions from older school buses.

Idle-Free Schools Initiative, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition (PVAC): The story of PVAC’s Idle-Free Schools Initiative, including artwork for a no-idle zone “ticket” and flyer, and other resources (available in English and Spanish).

Safe Routes to Schools Programs, Boston Public Schools: Safe Routes to School Boston is part of the national Safe Routes to School initiative to increase safety and promote walking and biking to school. Safe routes strategies and examples from Boston Public Schools are available.

Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS), Massachusetts Department of Transportation: Massachusetts SRTS is a federally-funded initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Safe Routes to School works with schools, communities, students, and families to increase biking and walking among elementary and middle school students in the Commonwealth.

School siting

School Siting Guidelines, Environmental Protection Agency: A comprehensive publication on the process for making decisions, environmental factors to consider in the process, and how to conduct an environmental review of prospective school sites. The document covers how to meaningfully engage the community, including how to establish a school-siting committee, and how to develop a communication plan.

Policies, Forms, and Guidelines, Massachusetts School Building Authority: Provides guidance, financial support, and incentives on school siting, design, and construction. Guidelines emphasize increased energy efficiencies, efficient transportation costs, lower water consumption, reduced use of materials, and quality indoor environments for educational settings.  

Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performance Schools Criteria 2009: Strategies and tools for creating high performance green schools that save money for school districts through energy savings, and also improve the wellness of building occupants.

Case Study: Community Mobilizes to Minimize Idling at Schools

Make Smoking History, Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Free tobacco cessation resources, plus background on smoke-free environments, secondhand smoke, and how the tobacco industry targets youth.

Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Background on youth-related tobacco industry tactics, statewide and local laws regulating tobacco products, data about tobacco use in Massachusetts, and tobacco cessation resources.

Comprehensive Tobacco-Free School Policy Toolkit, North Dakota Department of Health: Includes a sample comprehensive tobacco-free school policy, tips for adopting, communicating, and implementing the policy, sample communication pieces, and considerations regarding policy enforcement.

Tobacco-Free Schools for Michigan Youth, Michigan Department of Community Health and Michigan Department of Education: A planning guide that includes a checklist for establishing a tobacco-free school policy, assessment tool to evaluate school tobacco policy, challenges that schools can encounter when implementing and enforcing a tobacco-free policy, and potential solutions to those challenges.

Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse, Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Free decals, brochures, fact sheets, and other materials to promote tobacco-free school policies. 

The 84 Statewide Youth Movement: Massachusetts statewide youth tobacco prevention program engaging youth in tobacco prevention and promoting the message that most youth do not smoke. Schools can host an 84 Chapter, receive free training, and participate in local activities and statewide events.

Strategies for Addressing Asthma within a Coordinated School Health Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Comprehensive six-part strategy approach to address asthma in schools.

Improving Access to Asthma Medications in Schools, American Lung Association: Comprehensive look at state-specific laws on access to asthma medication, and the importance of self-carry and other laws regarding access to asthma medication in schools.

Sample “Authorization for Administration of Inhaled Asthma Medication” Form, American Lung Association: Sample authorization form for parents/guardians to allow child to receive asthma medication at school.

Massachusetts Child Asthma Action Plan, Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Free triplicate Asthma Action Plans that can be ordered in bulk quantities.

Case Study: It Takes a Team: Clinical Asthma Management in the Classroom