Who We Are
Who We Are
Founded in 1995, Healthy Schools Network is an award-winning 501(c)3 that has fostered the national healthy school environments movement. We are widely recognized as the nation’s leading voice for children’s environmental health at school. As an EPA and CDC partner, our expertise is also recognized by Congress, NGOs, university centers, NGOs, and the media.
We promote collaborative research and policy development and advanced systemic reforms in three core areas defining children’s environmental health at school:
- Environmental public health services for children at risk or with suspected exposures at school.
- Child-safe policies for housekeeping and purchasing (targeting indoor air pollutants, mercury, pesticides and other toxics and promoting the use of green and healthy/safer products).
- Child-safe standards for school design, construction, and siting.
In 1996, to assist parents with health-impacted children, we developed the EPA-award-winning Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids Clearinghouse©, which offers dozens of fact sheets, guides, and peer-reviewed reports.
Healthy Schools Network
- Created a broad-based, successful movement for children’s environmental health and for healthier school facilities, from the ground up.
- Created and convenes the national Coalition for Healthier Schools, harnessing the power of more than 150 organizations and hundreds of advocates nationwide “to provide the platform and the forum for environmental health at school."
- Publishes the Towards Healthy Schools series of triennial national indicator reports profiling states and risks to children.
- Fostered reform coalitions in scores of states and localities.
- Created and coordinates National Healthy Schools Day annually to build public awareness and support: since 2002, the day has inspired scores of federal, national, and state partners and spurred hundreds of activities in over 40 states.
- Won federal authorizations for US EPA and for the Department of Education to address school environments and child health with new federal guidelines and grants to states; EPA funded five states in 2012.
- Created and operates the Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids Clearinghouse, the nation’s first information service for parents of children at risk or with suspected exposures at school; in 2005, more than half of all schools receiving awards from US EPA came from communities tapping the Clearinghouse guides.
- Seeded a national campaign on green cleaning products in schools. Today, 11 states plus Washington, D.C. require or promote the use of third-party-certified green cleaning products in schools; championed New York State’s interagency green procurement initiative, generating savings of $100s of millions.
- Supported $1.2 billion in federal funds for school repairs; won $125 million in a New York State Bond Act that replaced coal-fired boilers in New York City schools; supported $5 billion for school repairs in the federal American Recovery Act; supported the $2 billion New York State Smart Schools Bond Act to replace trailers and expand pre-K spaces and add connectivity for schools statewide; supported and won a New York State environmental health budget line.
- Championed a law requiring all public schools in New York City, the nation’s single largest K-12 system, to use green, high-performance school design standards for all new construction and major renovations.
- Won multiple laws in New York State impacting school environments: eliminating mercury, pesticides, and arsenic-treated wood; requiring schools to have written policies on indoor air, pesticides, and preventive maintenance; requiring the protection of occupants in schools under renovation; requiring the use of certified green cleaning products by all state agencies and all public and private schools.
- As a result of its 2012 US EPA grant, the New York State Department of Health established a Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Advisory Committee, comprised of K-12 associations, NGOs in environment and health, and other state agencies
- Shaped and secured a continuing New York State budget line item to support environmental health.
- Co-led the New York Statewide 2016 campaign that won the nation’s first law requiring all public schools to test at the tap for lead.
- Convened collaborative on COVID and Schools in spring 2020, calling for schools to be designated Critical Infrastructure and to have Infection Prevention and Control Plans to ensure clean air, clean water and clean and healthy school facilities.
To protect our voice for children, Healthy Schools Network does not endorse products or accept support from the chemical industry. To protect children, families, and schools, the Network regards all incoming requests for technical information and referral assistance as confidential.
- 2017 - David P. Rall Award for contributions to public health through science-based advocacy (American Public Health Association)
- 2017 - William K. Reilly National Environmental Leadership Award (American University School of Public Affairs Center for Environmental Policy)
- 2017 - Indoor Air Quality Champion Recognition (US EPA)
- 2016 - Walter L. Cohen (high school) Alumni Association (New Orleans, LA) Recognition of Services
- 2014 - Outstanding Partner Award (Green Seal)
- 2008 - Recognition of Services, Friend of the PEHSU Program (Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units)
- 2007 - US EPA IAQ [indoor air quality] in Schools Program: Special Achievement Award
- 2007 - Green Apple Award (Collaborative for High-Performance Schools)
- 2005 - Recognition Award (US EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection)
- 2001 - US EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award
Recognition & Service
Current Federal and State Appointments
Member, National Coordinating Committee on School Health & Safety (convened by HRSA-MCH)
Steering Committee, New York State Health Advisory Committee on Sustainable Schools
Member, New York State Education Department Green Ribbon Schools Committee
Member, National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters, advising the US Secretary of Health and Human Services
Advisor, Building Sector, New York State Climate Impacts Assessment
Other Current Service
The Aspen Institute K-12 Climate Initiative, Coalition Member
Advisor, Philadelphia (PA) Healthy Schools Initiative
Member, National Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition
National Advisory Board, Collaborative for High Performance Schools
Team Member, US EPA School Health and Indoor Environments Leadership Development
Member, United Laboratories Standards Development Panel on Sustainable Cleaning Products