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EPA Honors Waterford, Conn., Schools for Implementing Exemplary Indoor Air Quality Program
Release Date: 10/27/2003
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014 Dennis Curran, Asst. Superintendent, Waterford Public Schools, (860) 444-5854
BOSTON - Waterford, Conn. schools today received a national award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their work in improving air quality in the school system. The Waterford public school district was among two school districts from New England and 16 nationally that received the prestigious "Tools for Schools" national award at a ceremony today in Washington DC.
EPA's prestigious Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools recognizes exemplary indoor air quality programs and commitment to providing a healthy learning environment for students and staff. Waterford was recognized for successfully using the Tools for Schools program to improve air quality and raise awareness.
Steve Johnson, EPA's acting deputy administrator, presented the award to Waterford Public Schools during the fourth annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium in Washington, DC, on Oct. 27.
"The staff and parents of Waterford Public Schools are thrilled to be recognized for the work that was done last year to initiate the Tools for Schools Kit in all seven schools at once," said Dennis Curran, assistant superintendent of Waterford Public Schools. "There was a high level of interest and earnest effort to make the schools as healthy as possible for all staff and students. The work begun last year continues this school year and we look forward to the future renovations of all our schools to include good IAQ practices and systems."
In 1995, the EPA developed the voluntary the Tools for School kit and program in response to government studies highlighting the deteriorating conditions of the nation's schools and the alarming rise in asthma cases, particularly among school and preschool age children. Asthma alone accounts for 14 million missed school days each year. Today, one out of every 13 school-age children has asthma. The free kit is designed to help school staff identify, resolve, and prevent indoor air quality problems. About 10,000 schools and school districts across the country use this program.
"EPA is proud to recognize Waterford among the district using this effective indoor air quality program," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Schools like this one make the health of its students and staff a priority. These programs serve as a model for other schools to address indoor air quality and provide a healthy and productive learning environment."
Waterford Public Schools successfully applied recommendations of the Tools for Schools program to all of its buildings. The school updated policies and procedures and included a wide range of stakeholders on the IAQ team, including principals, nurses, parents, and custodial staff. The district's efforts raised the awareness of the local board of education on indoor air quality and gained positive media coverage for the district as well as the program.
For more information about the EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program, visit https://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools.