The Benefits of a Healthy School Building
How Is Your School Building Impacting Student Health, Attendance, and Performance?
A large body of research has demonstrated that the school building influences student success as much as any other factor. A healthy school building is one key to student health, student attendance, and student performance.
Our children, and teachers deserve to develop, learn, and thrive in a healthy environment that optimizes their potential to succeed. Recent scientific studies are providing overwhelming evidence of the benefits of healthy school buildings—and the risk factors associated by not-so-healthy buildings.
In this recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, Schools for Health, Foundations for Student Success: How school buildings influence student health, thinking, and performance they’ve identified the nine foundations of a healthy school:
- Thermal Health
- Lighting and Views
- Air Quality
- Dust and Pests
- Water Quality
- Safety and Security
Here are just a few stats we’ve pulled out from this very detailed study on the impact of your building’s health on your students’ health, attendance, and performance:
- 13.8 million missed school days each year due to asthma.
- Children regularly face adverse environmental exposures associated with building decay, such as water damage, mold growth, poor plumbing, and legacy pollutants that persist in the environment.
- Common indoor air pollutants in schools have been associated with acute chronic health effects. Elevated CO2 levels in classrooms has been linked to increased student absence.
- Thermal conditions can impact focus, and performance. Low absolute humidity has been associated with increased transmission of seasonal influenza outbreaks leading to absenteeism.
- Students in schools with the noisiest types of HVAC systems were found to underperform on student achievement tests
- Students’ perceived sense of security can impact their mental health, engagement in school activities, and academic achievement.
- Allergens common in schools can affect student attendance, comfort, and performance.
- Many studies link molds and moisture to effects on asthma and respiratory infections associated with absenteeism and lower performance in school.
- Lead exposure can affect children’s cognitive health and attention span. For schools impacted by lead in water, strategies that fix tap water are more economical in the long-run compared to providing bottled water.
- Students exposed to blue-enriched white light in the morning have shown faster cognitive processing speed and better concentration performance.
And that’s not even reading halfway through this study.
Charter school leaders have many things to consider when making key decisions. Addressing some of these issues with your building’s health can have a direct and proven impact on some of the other key factors in your school’s success and long-term viability: student health, student attendance, and student performance. And according to this report, “the evidence is unambiguous – the school building impacts student health, thinking and performance.” (the report)
At Charter School Capital we don’t look at the school’s facility as simply a box with a number of seats in it. We look at them as environments, that, when designed properly, help thrive. We offer a broad suite of services to help you optimize your school’s learning environment.
Our facilities, construction, renovation, and energy financing solutions can help transform your school building into an ideal space that supports student health, thinking, attendance, and performance.
If you would like to discuss ways that we can help enhance your building’s health for your students and staff in order to support the best possible outcomes, we’d love to hear from you.
Give us a call today to discuss.
To download a PDF of our Foundations for a Healthy Building datasheet, click here.
Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!