From NPR

Let's begin with a choice.

Say there's a check in the mail. It's meant to help you run your household. You can use it to keep the lights on, the water running and food on the table. Would you rather that check be for $9,794 or $28,639?

It's not a trick question. It's the story of America's schools in two numbers.

That $9,794 is how much money the Chicago Ridge School District in Illinois spent per child in 2013 (the number has been adjusted by Education Week to account for regional cost differences). It's well below that year's national average of $11,841.

Ridge's two elementary campuses and one middle school sit along Chicago's southern edge. Roughly two-thirds of its students come from low-income families, and a third are learning English as a second language.

Here, one nurse commutes between three schools, and the two elementary schools share an art teacher and a music teacher. They spend the first half of the year at different schools, then, come January, box up their supplies and swap classrooms.

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Coalition for Healthier Schools, 2016.

Healthy schools help children grow and learn. But providing children with healthy places to learn is too often an afterthought—or not thought of at all. School facilities have been neglected for decades. Towards Healthy Schools: Reducing Risks to Children is the fourth in a series of triennial state of the states’ reports

from Healthy Schools Network and its partners in the Coalition for Healthier Schools, dating from 2006. Previous reports assessed state-by-state environmental health hazards at schools, offered compelling personal narratives from parents and teachers, and provided data needed to assess the subsequent impact on children’s health. The last report, Towards Healthy Schools 2015, went deeper into specific issues such as asthma, and fracking and well water, while also using federal poverty statistics—e.g., the number of children in a school eligible for free or reduced-price meals—as a proxy for poverty and to highlight essential inequities and injustices. It also highlighted how greener, cleaner, healthier schools promote attendance and achievement. Yet, no state publishes information regarding children at risk due to school and/or child care center environmental hazards. To drive home the national scope of the hidden environmental health crisis faced by children, this new report features published media reports on environmental conditions from every state in the nation. From Alabama, where Bay Minette parents threatened to keep their children home to avoid exposing them to asbestos, to Wyoming, where grass fires endangered students at South High, it is a disturbing summary, highlighting the fact that across the country teachers, parents, and guardians, and the children themselves, face numerous and serious unexamined and unaddressed risks to health and learning which are rarely acknowledged by public agencies.

David Henebry, AIA NCARB ALEP, 2016

The traditional process of locating schools has consisted simply of mapping attendance areas and meeting with realtors to discuss and choose an available property. Today, however, due to a stronger understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of the development of schools on communities, there is a desire to explore a smarter approach to identify sites for schools. The objective of this essay is to provide a comprehensive, long-term strategic approach for siting schools in growing communities. Now that we have a stronger understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of development on communities, we want to explore a smarter approach to identifying sites for schools. This paper is focused on a comprehensive long term strategic approach to identifying sites for schools in growing communities.


In 2004, the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program contracted with the Community Planning Workshop (CPW) at the University of Oregon to conduct a year-long evaluation of Oregon’s school siting process. The purpose of the evaluation was twofold: (1) to develop a better understanding
of the challenges and opportunities school districts and local governments experience when making school siting decisions; (2) to empower school districts and local governments to make more informed decisions about future school siting. This handbook is the culmination of that research and synthesizes many of the lessons learned.

As part of the study, CPW performed the following tasks:

Literature Review: Conducted an extensive review of literature about school siting issues.

Case Studies: Investigated the school siting practices of eight school districts around the state through site visits and interviews with school superintendents, school facility planners, local government planners, architects, and neighborhood groups. Administered a school transportation survey and conducted focus groups at four middle schools to learn more about how children get to and from school.

School Superintendent Survey: Created a survey, disseminated to school district superintendents, focusing on district needs and siting issues.

Oregon School Siting Forum: Held a statewide conference encouraging dialogue about school siting issues by a wide range of people, including school district personnel, architects, planners, health advocates, and neighborhood organizers.

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World Health Organization, 2009.

Diseases related to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene are a huge burden in developing countries. It is estimated that 88% of diarrhoeal disease is caused by unsafe water supply, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene (WHO, 2004c). Many schools serve communities that have a high prevalence of diseases related to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and where child malnutrition and other underlying health problems are common.
Schools, particularly those in rural areas, often completely lack drinking-water and sanitation and handwashing facilities; alternatively, where such facilities do exist they are often inadequate in both quality and quantity. Schools with poor water, sanitation and hygiene conditions, and intense levels of person-to-person contact, are high-risk environments for children and staff, and exacerbate children’s particular susceptibility to environmental health hazards.
Children’s ability to learn may be affected by inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in several ways. These include helminth infections (which affect hundreds of millions of school-age children), long-term exposure to chemical contaminants in water (e.g. lead and arsenic), diarrhoeal diseases and malaria infections, all of which force many schoolchildren to be absent from school. Poor environmental conditions in the classroom can also make both teaching and learning very difficult.

EPA, 2013.

This guide is intended for use by school officials and child care providers responsible for the maintenance and/or safety of school and child care facilities including the drinking water. The purpose of this guide is to describe the importance of implementing best management practices for drinking water in schools and child care facilities and how a school or child care facility would go about implementing these practices. This guide is specifically designed for schools and child care facilities that have their own well and, therefore, are classified as a public water system. This guide is not a regulation itself, nor does it change or substitute for those provisions and regulations. Thus, it does not impose legally binding requirements on EPA, states, public water systems, schools or child care facilities. This guide does not confer legal rights or impose legal obligations upon any member of the public. While EPA has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information in this guide the obligations of the regulated community are determined by statutes, regulations or other legally binding requirements. In the event of a conflict between the information in this guide and any statute or regulation, this document would not be controlling.

FEMA developed the Best Available Refuge Area (BARA) Checklist for the first edition of FEMA P-361 to use in assessing a building’s susceptibility to damage from extreme-wind events such as tornadoes and hurricanes. The checklist evaluation process guides registered design professionals (architects and engineers) in identifying potential refuge areas at a site with one or more buildings. The term “best available refuge area” (or “BARA”) refers to an area in an existing building that has been deemed by a registered design professional as likely to protect building occupants during an extreme-wind event better than other areas in the building when a safe room is not available.

The BARA should be regarded as an interim measure only until a safe room can be available to building occupants. A safe room is a hardened structure specifically designed and constructed to the guidelines specified in FEMA P-320, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business and FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms.

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California Department of Education.

Chapter 558 of the Statutes of 2010 (Senate Bill 1413, Leno) establishes California Education Code (EC) Section 38086, which requires school districts to provide access to free, fresh drinking water during meal times.

Making Free, Fresh Drinking Water Available to Students During Meal Times
Complying with California Senate Bill 1413 (Leno)

Chapter 558 of the Statutes of 2010 (Senate Bill [SB] 1413, Leno) establishes California Education Code (EC) Section 38086, which requires school districts to provide access to free, fresh drinking water during meal times in school food service areas by July 1, 2011, unless the governing board of a school district adopts a resolution stating it is unable to comply with this requirement due to fiscal constraints or health and safety concerns.

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