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How Is the Air Quality at Your Child’s School?

Posted on August 13, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse

CA 8th Grade Math TextbookIt’s almost that time of year again–for some of you it is already, Los Angeles Unified School District went back today!–time for the kids to spend more of their waking hours at school than anywhere else. Don’t tell them I told you!

But while we are concerned about their school supplies, their teachers, their grades and their friendships, have we thought about what they are breathing?

We came across a great tool on USAToday which lets you check how your child’s school measures up for air quality. You can try it HERE. My son’s school ended up in the 84th percentile of US schools, not too bad. My daughter’s one point lower, at the 83rd percentile. For Los Angeles County, that’s pretty good. The schools in Long Beach come in at the 3rd percentile. Wow.

That has got to be affecting the productivity and performance at those schools.

How does air quality affect education?

Teachers–Nearly 80% of Chicago and Washington, DC teachers surveyed have reported that indoor air quality is an important factor in teaching quality.

Performance–Poor air quality reduces teacher effectiveness and student test scores.

Attendance–Contaminated air increases rates of illness, asthma attacks, allergic reactions and absenteeism, a critical factor for student success.

We encourage you to use the tool at USAToday to check where your family’s school falls in comparison to the rest of the country. If your school has a ranking which causes concern, talk to your administrators and district officials about whether and how often they are monitoring the air. Talk to other parents about how you can reduce air pollution. Start a movement in your community to reduce idling cars or change the cleaning products used in your school. You can make changes that will help your community’s children do better and be more successful.

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