School Physical Environment

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A Comprehensive Report on School Safety Technology

  • Report of John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The Report examines school safety technologies, how they are used, how those technologies were chosen, and how well they are working.

Best Practices for Safe Mail Handling

  • Handbook produced by the Department of Homeland Security (2007)

Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

Children's Safety Network (CSN)

  • Children’s Safety Network National Resource Center for Injury and Violence Prevention is dedicated to working with state, territorial and community Maternal & Child Health and Injury & Violence prevention programs to create an environment where all children and youth are safe and healthy. We work with states and territories to infuse knowledge, expertise, and leadership to reduce injury, hospitalization, disability and death for all children and youth.
  • Playground Safety
  • Poison Prevention

Colorado Department of Education (CDE)

  • Colorado Green Ribbon Schools
  • Green Ribbon Schools sets a standard of excellence for all schools to become energy efficient and healthy learning spaces that provide environmental education.  National studies and existing green schools programs indicate that the benefits of the Green Ribbon Schools program will include increased energy cost savings, improved student and staff health and productivity, enhanced critical thinking skills, improved student performance, reduced behavioral problems and increased student engagement, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Colorado Energy Office (CEO)

  • Energy Management Assistance Program (EMAP)
    • The Colorado Energy Office helps Colorado K12 school districts improve building performance and comfort, and lower energy (and water) use and costs through the Energy Management Assistance Program (EMAP). EMAP is a step-by-step approach to developing and implementing a customized “home-grown” energy management plan. EMAP is an excellent choice for schools wanting to improve their building’s energy performance and comfort, replace antiquated systems, address staff and student energy behaviors, and better manage energy usage on an on-going basis.
    • EMAP is successful because, with no-cost support from the CEO, it is designed, managed, and carried out by the participating school within its timelines. This effective working partnership ensures a successful building improvement and energy reduction/management program.
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Schools (REEES) Loans
    • School districts looking to implement renewable energy projects or energy efficient bus projects now have an additional resource available in the form of a low interest loan from the Colorado Education Fund. As a result of House Bill 09-1312, schools that meet defined energy efficiency measures and select other criteria are eligible.

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

  • COPS — the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is the office of the U.S. Department of Justice that advances the practice of community policing in America’s state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.
  • Graffiti
  • School Vandalism and Break-Ins

Creating a Safe School Building

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Division of Public School Capital Construction Assistance, Colorado Department of Education

  • The Division of Public School Capital Construction Assistance at the Colorado Department of Education has developed a series of programs for school districts, traditional public schools, charter schools, BOCES and The Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind for capital construction funding and technical assistance.

Don't Mess with Mercury

Education Facilities Clearinghouse (EFC)

  • Launched in 2014, the Education Facilities Clearinghouse is a program of The George Washington University and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and is funded by the U. S. Department of Education.
  • High-performing education facilities enhance student achievement, promote health and safety, reap cost savings, and foster positive community engagement. The EFC collects and disseminates resources on effective practices for the planning, design, financing, procurement, construction, improvement, operation, and maintenance of safe, healthy, and high-performing elementary and secondary schools.

Educational Facilities Resource Repository (formerly the American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities, ACEF)

  • Provided by the Texas Center for Educational Facilities at Tarleton State University, the repository provides the educational community with a reliable resource when planning facilities projects. ACEF provides information, training, and assistance to public early childhood schools, K-12 schools, and institutions of higher education on issues related to educational facility planning, design, financing, construction, improvement, operation, and maintenance.
  • Early Childhood
  • K-12
  • Higher Education
  • Educational Facilities Vulnerability / Hazard Assessment Checklist
    • Vulnerability assessment is the ongoing process through which school districts and campuses identify and evaluate potential risks, and areas of weakness, capable of adversely impacting the campus or school system (The United States Department of Education, 2008). As a result of varying characteristics, assessments must be customized to fit the physical environment, culture, and resources of each educational facility.
    • This checklist provides an overview of educational facility vulnerabilities and hazards that should be identified and addressed in the prevention/mitigation phase of a school’s emergency management process.
  • The Vulnerability Assessment Process
    • This archived webinar, recorded in 2011, is presented by Dr. Arthur Cummins.
    • In this online learning opportunity, content and resources will be shared to support a strategic approach to assessing matters of safety and security in school settings.  Current research will be cited and you will be directed to a broad scope of resources to support your learning in this area.  A variety of tools will be discussed to support implementation at the local level.  Outcomes from this session will allow you to activate and mobilize a call to action.

Enviromental Protection Agency

  • Hazardous Waste Management for School Laboratories - This tool kit provides guidelines for proper management of school wastes and resources to help minimize risks and maintain a safe school laboratory environment.  Published in 2005.
  • Healthy School Environments - Provides a host of resources and information to help support healthy and productive school environments for our nation’s children. Whether you are a state, school district, school, school official, teacher, parent, student, or supporter of healthy schools, this website can put you on the path to providing clean, green, and healthy school environments for students and staff. 
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) - Promote a healthy learning environment at your school to reduce absenteeism, improve test scores and enhance student and staff productivity.  Learn how to implement an indoor air quality management program at little or no cost in your school.
  •  Integrated Pest Management in Schools: Its Role in Improving Academic Achievement, published 2012 by CSU and EPA
  • Model School Environmental Health Program - EPA has developed a set of key actions to assist schools and school districts in implementing and sustaining environmental health programs. The model program identifies five broad components of environmental health issues encountered in schools and actions schools and school districts can take to address them. 
  • Safe Chemical Management in Schools - Tools and resources to help schools improve their chemical management programs and handle chemicals safely.
  • School Flag Program - The EPA's School Flag Program uses brightly colored flags based on the Air Quality Index (AQI) to show how clean or polluted the air is. Schools raise a flag each day that corresponds to the air quality forecast so that everyone can know the air quality conditions. EPA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to update the School Flag Program materials to provide teachers and coaches with guidance on how to promote activity while taking into account air quality. 
  • School Science Laboratories: Resources for Tribal Schools -  Guidance on the generation, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes from tribal school science laboratories.  Published in 2005.
  • Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environments: Cost-Effective, Affordable Measures to Protect the Health of Students and Staff (2012) - This brochure is designed to address some of the most common areas of environmental health concerns found in schools.
  • Strategic and Implementation Plans for School Integrated Pest Management, Federal Fiscal Years 2012-2014 - Children in the United States continue to face risks arising from pests and exposure to pesticides in school settings. They may contract diseases vectored by biting insects; suffer asthma attacks from allergens or triggers from cockroach and rodent infestations; and be exposed unnecessarily to pests and pesticides in schools. EPA’s vision is that all of the Nation’s children be covered by a verifiable and ongoing school IPM program. We will build partnerships and collaborations to promote and support school IPM, demonstrate the value of school IPM, and provide information about the tools available to schools interested in developing their IPM program.
  • Voluntary Guidelines for States: Development and Implementation of a School Environmental Health Program (2012) - Will help states establish and sustain environmental health programs for K-12 schools. The guidelines present recommendations, case studies, and resources that will help states build or enhance an existing program.
  • Voluntary School Guidelines - EPA has announced guidelines to help school districts and communities select environmentally healthy and safe locations for schools. The guidelines were mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and were developed in consultation with other federal agencies, states, school districts, community organizations, health care professionals, and teachers, as well as environmental justice leaders and children’s health and environmental groups. The guidelines provide recommendations on steps to evaluate potential environmental challenges and benefits at candidate sites.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

A Guide to School Vulnerability Assessment: Key Principles for Safe Schools  |  en Español  

  • This guide, published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2008, is intended to be a companion piece to Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities and emphasizes ongoing vulnerability assessment as a valuable part of emergency management planning. This guide is intended to assist schools with the implementation of an effective vulnerability assessment process, to include choosing an appropriate vulnerability assessment tool.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Schools

International Fire Code

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

  • Workshop on School Safety, Codes and Security Final Report [PDF] This report summarizes the results of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) School Safety, Codes and Security Workshop, held December 3–4, 2014. The central theme of the workshop focused on school violence, defined as an active threat of some sort that has the potential to harm a measurable segment of the school population.

REMS TA Center

Safe Schools: A Best Practices Guide  

  • As leaders in creating safety in the built environment, CEFPI (Council of Educational Facilities Planners International) orchestrated a security summit in Washington, DC to explore this topic.  This document is a result of the collaborative effort of the many professionals who participated in this work.  Its aim is to empower stakeholders with a guide to best practices used by many practitioners.  Its primary scope addresses educators and school boards charged with safeguarding students and staff...but it is also useful to parent groups, security officials, elected officials, and other such public given to this task.

Safety in the Science Classroom

School Chemical Safety

School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide

  • Published in 2006 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • This guide presents information about ordering, using, storing, and maintaining chemicals in the high school laboratory. The guide also provides information about chemical waste, safety and emergency equipment, assessing chemical hazards, common safety symbols and signs, and fundamental resources relating to chemical safety, such as Material Safety Data Sheets and Chemical Hygiene Plans, to help create a safe environment for learning. In addition, checklists are provided for both teachers and students that highlight important information for working in the laboratory and identify hazards and safe work procedures.

The Shocking Truth about Electrical Power

  • Article published 11/4/13 in Campus Safety Magazine
  • So much attention is directed at devices and systems and yet the very lifeblood flowing through them to keep them operational — steady and clean electricity — is often overlooked or taken for granted. Power protection is critical to assure protection of people, facilities and assets. Find out why and how.

Tornado Refuge Areas in Existing Indiana K-12 Schools

  • Published in 2013 by the American Institute of Architects Indiana (AIA), Indiana School Safety Task Force, with assistance from members of the Indiana Department of Education.
  • It is suggested that school consult an architect or engineer to evaluate their buildings for tornado refuge areas because what often looks like the safest area of the school sometimes is actually not structurally sound.
  • This is intended to be a resource for school safety specialists and school administrators in Indiana K-12 schools in identifying tornado refuge areas. Specifically, there are suggestions for locating / improving / utilizing the “best available refuge areas” from tornadoes in existing buildings.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

  • K-12 School Security Practices Guide
    • Published in April, 2013, this guide provides security practices for consideration by communities to deter threats, address hazards and risks, as well as minimize damage from school incidents, including mass casualty events. The security practices include a spectrum of options for consideration, from programmatic and procedural considerations to technological enhancements that school administrators may consider implementing based upon the most likely threats to their school district and their available resources. The security practices guide includes options for consideration in developing a security plan that builds from existing comprehensive assessment efforts (e.g., culture and climate, school threat assessment) and blends a number of security practices to achieve an effect where threats are either deterred or delayed and detected in advance of creating harm.
  • K-12 School Security Checklist
    • Published in April, 2013, this checklist is a companion to the K-12 School Security Practices Guide to help schools assess their current security practices and enable improvement.
  • Colorado Information Resources Guide
    • This document provides a compilation of preparedness resources available in Colorado.

U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

Xcel Energy Public Safety

 

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