The old saying goes "We are what we eat."  But you know as well as I do that we, as individuals, are much more than that.  A variety of factors influence who we are and, in turn, how we learn and interact with our surroundings.  One of these factors has begun to receive more attention in recent years: indoor air quality, or IAQ.
GSNN GreenNotes Blue Valley School District
Blue Valley School District (BVSD) in Overland Park, Kansas is committed to providing opportunities for academic and personal growth for each of its 22,023 students.  This commitment was a driving force behind the district's adoption of a comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) program in 2000.  In addition to addressing increased parental interest in environmental issues, BVSD wanted to ensure its students had the healthiest learning environment in which to learn and succeed.  
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The School District of Philadelphia  is the eighth largest school district in the country (by enrollment), serving a racially and ethnically diverse population of more than 131,000 K-12 students.  As with many large, urban school districts, the School District of Philadelphia has seen its share of indoor air quality (IAQ) issues over the years.  Up until 2009, the district typically took a reactive approach to addressing IAQ complaints; however, an opportunity to attend the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) IAQ Tools for Schools Symposium inspired the district to tackle their IAQ issues head on.
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The North East Independent School District  (NEISD) is the second largest school district in the San Antonio, Texas area and serves approximately 67,500 students.  Like many districts of its size, NEISD is not a stranger to dealing with cases of asthma among its student population.  In 2006, district data revealed that students were making over 70,000 school nurse visits each year due to complications from asthma, resulting in a loss of valuable instruction time for these students.  With approximately 12% of its student body affected by asthma, NEISD realized it needed to take action to ensure all of its students had a safe and healthy environment in which to learn.
GSNN GreenNotes New Research_ Effects of Indoor Environmental Quality on Students_ Test Scores and Health
Ulla Haverinen-Shaughnessy and Richard J. Shaughnessy summarize recent research conducted by the University of Tulsa's Indoor Air Program on IAQ's impact on student achievement and health.
GSNN GreenNotes Epa Study
Richard Corsi of the University of Texas at Austin discusses a study he is conducting as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Healthy Schools: Environmental Factors, Children's Health and Performance, and Sustainable Building Practices initiative.  His goal is to address research gaps in indoor air quality by conducting an intensive field campaign to delineate the relationship between environmental factors and student and teacher health and perceptions, and then to investigate the efficacy of low-cost solutions to help schools become healthier.   
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Michelle Curreri of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides an overview of the IAQ Tools for Schools Program and how schools can get started with an IAQ management program.  She also shares some new IAQ tools and resources from EPA, including a Master Class webinar series, an IAQ assessment mobile app, and IAQ guidance for school building upgrades.  
GSNN GreenNotes Improving the Air We Breathe
Practical opportunities to involve students aged 10-16 in investigating indoor and outdoor air quality in their communities.  Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine and originally authored by Nel Smit and John Todd.  

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