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Dekalb County Public School System Honored for Efforts to Identify, Resolve Indoor Air Issues
Release Date: 01/27/2006
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Atlanta, GA, January 27, 2006) --- The DeKalb County Public School System in Decatur, Georgia has been awarded the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Leadership Award. The school system was recognized for demonstrating an awareness of IAQ concerns and proactively adopting methods to resolve and prevent future IAQ problems.
In 2002, the DeKalb County Public Schools partnered with the DeKalb County Board of Health to implement EPA’s IAQ TfS Kit. At that time, the superintendent acknowledged IAQ is a problem and supported the district’s decision to utilize the Kit to better manage known IAQ concerns at its 144 school facilities. Each school received a visit to discuss components of the Kit and outline actions to be performed by school teams. Survey results generated from the teacher checklist found in the Kit are an indication of environmental conditions in classrooms. Responses from teachers assisted maintenance personnel to conduct walkthrough evaluations. Recommendations for further follow-up and corrective actions were forwarded to the central office. Annual training workshops for custodial and maintenance staff are held each year to continue educating staff on recent innovations and technologies to effectively maintain school building. The district continues to address indoor air concerns in an attempt to minimize impacts to the learning environment.
The IAQ TfS Leadership Award is for schools and school districts that have shown significant progress in implementing an IAQ management program. To qualify, schools must at least meet the criteria for the Great Start Award and complete IAQ walkthroughs and checklists for each school in the district that has agreed to participate in the IAQ program, identified and prioritized any needed IAQ repairs and upgrades, and developed a written IAQ Management Plan. These awards are presented throughout the year.
Since the creation of the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) program, more than 26,000 schools across the country have adopted IAQ management programs consistent with EPA’s guidance. The IAQ TfS program is used by school officials to identify, resolve, and prevent IAQ problems through low and no-cost measures. The program explains IAQ management, facility planning and maintenance, financing, communications, and emergency response. An IAQ TfS Kit also includes easy-to-use checklists for all school personnel, sample management plans, and a unique indoor air problem solving wheel. For more information about EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program, please visit www.epa.gov/iaq/schools.