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Healthy Schools, Healthy Living

Healthy Schools & Living
On average, students spend over 900 hours per year in school buildings. The District is committed to providing students and staff with a well-resourced, safe, healthy, clean, comfortable learning and working environment. It is about healthy minds in healthy bodies in healthy buildings.


Every student will have access to a well-resourced, safe, healthy, clean and comfortable school that is conducive to learning.


Every school will be healthy.


Thirty schools per year will receive a healthy schools baseline report.


Indoor Environmental Quality

The District has established an Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) program that is based upon the US EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program.  This program includes the inspection of every school twice per year to identify environmental health conditions that impact student academic performance and health.

Asthma Management Program

In Philadelphia, one out of four children have been diagnosed with asthma, a rate of twenty-five percent.  The District’s Asthma Management Program focuses on student health and environmental asthma trigger management.  This program is comprised of a two pronged approach of clinical management of student health at school, and environmental management of asthma triggers in schools.  

Water Quality

A “Lead in Drinking Water Project” was initiated by the School District of Philadelphia in 1999.  The Philadelphia Health Department ordered the School District of Philadelphia to perform drinking water testing as per the protocol set forth in the document “Lead in Drinking Water in Schools and Non-Residential Buildings,” US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, April 1, 1994 (EPA document no. 812-B-94-002).

The “Lead in Drinking Water Project” involved a system of water testing at each outlet within a facility, the remediation of plumbing components when lead levels were elevated, and the final inspection and testing of facilities to ensure corrective actions were implemented.  A third party consultant prepared final reports per school and submitred them to the Philadelphia Health Department for approval.  After a facility was approved, the facility was removed from the project.  All facilities included in the program were approved and the Consent Order was fulfilled in 2010.

Healthy Hydration

Water Access & Appeal

In an effort to improve drinking water consumption by students, the District has committed to purchasing and installing at least three new hydration stations in every school.


EAT.RIGHT.NOW (ERN) provides free nutrition outreach programs and services to all public school students, teachers, staff, administrators and parents.  ERN is based at both school and community sites, during school hours as well as after school, and involves nutrition education at various levels. Some basic messages include nutritious snacking, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, proper label reading, and understanding the importance of breakfast.  ERN programs and services meet objectives established by the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education TRACKS. Our nutrition lessons and programs are approximately 45 minutes in length, and all follow-up lessons and activities provided to teachers comply with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards.

Farm to School

During school year 2015-2016, The District’s Farm to School program has expanded from 32 schools to 106 schools through the Harvest of the Month initiative. Students will have access to local produce and special signage, with enhanced marketing materials and farmer information will be available to educate the school community.

Blueberry Tasting

Food Services, froze 3,000 servings of blueberries in 2014 that were served in five schools to provide students a “taste of summer” in the winter and provide nutrition education to students about blueberries.  Food Services also produced a video that is shown on LED monitors in the schools about the Season Extension work.

The Farm to School Season Extension Program allows for a taste of summer in the winter.

-Amy Virus, Food Servicies