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Healthy and Safe School Environment, Part II, Physical School Environment: Results From the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006

Authors

  • Sherry Everett Jones PhD, MPH, JD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Health Scientist, (sce2@cdc.gov), Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, MS-K33, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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  • Robert Axelrad,

    1. Senior Policy Advisor, (axelrad.bob@epa.gov), Office of Air and Radiation, Indoor Environments Division (6609J), US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20460.
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  • Wendy A. Wattigney M.Stat

    1. Mathematical Statistician, (wwattigney@cdc.gov), Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, MS E31, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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Sherry Everett Jones, Health Scientist (sce2@cdc.gov), Division of Adolescent and School Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, MS-K33, Atlanta, GA 30341.

ABSTRACT

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.

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