Your child can suffer poor grades no matter how good the teacher is if your child’s classroom has poor indoor air quality. Children’s brains are slowed down by poor indoor air quality in schools in ways that few parents or school administrators understand.
Poor classroom air quality can cost students one or two letter grades on their report card. This has a life long impact, because failure to learn basic things undermines future learning, which can lead to loss of potential scholarships, and make it harder to get good paying jobs.
This is particularly true in older rural or inner city school buildings where ancient air conditioning systems have not been replaced or upgraded. Because the average parent usually thinks of comfortable temperature as the goal, if the stuffy air is “comfortable”, there is no pressure on the school system to fix the building – because no one knows that the kid’s brains are not working as good as they could. You can have a building with poor amounts of oxygen, but it can ‘feel’ fine.
There are no national legal requirements that schools be inspected for Indoor Air Quality, and only 6 states require it. North Carolina is one of the 44 states that do not require it.
Over the past two school years our organization did a pilot project here in North Carolina. Easy to operate plug-in monitors were used to survey 132 classrooms in 43 school buildings. About 40% of those classrooms were found to have air that would lower learning one letter grade, and another 10% would lower students’ performance by two letter grades.
Said another way, if their classroom is stuffy your “D” student would have a good chance of becoming a “B” student by increasing the amount of oxygen-rich outside fresh air that is pumped into the classroom.
We are expanding our program, with a continued focus on North Carolina.
For no charge we are ready to lend students, parents, and teachers simple-to-operate meters that measure various kinds of pollution that may exist in classrooms.
If you want to learn more about how Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) impacts learning, you can read and download a paper found here.