Background: As society continues to focus on the importance of academic achievement, the physical environment of schools should be addressed as 1 of the critical factors that influence academic outcomes. The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2006 provides, for the first time, a comprehensive look at the extent to which schools have health-promoting physical school environment policies and programs.
Methods: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts the SHPPS every 6 years. In 2006, computer-assisted telephone interviews or self-administered mail questionnaires were completed by state education agency personnel in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and among a nationally representative sample of school districts (n = 424). Computer-assisted personal interviews were conducted with personnel in a nationally representative sample of elementary, middle, and high schools (n = 992).
Results: One third (35.4%) of districts and 51.4% of schools had an indoor air quality management program; 35.3% of districts had a school bus engine-idling reduction program; most districts and schools had a policy or plan for how to use, label, store, dispose of, and reduce the use of hazardous materials; 24.5% of states required districts or schools to follow an integrated pest management program; and 13.4% of districts had a policy to include green design when building new school buildings or renovating existing buildings.
Conclusions: SHPPS 2006 results can guide education and health agency actions in developing and implementing evidence-based tools, policies, programs, and interventions to ensure a safe and healthy physical school environment.