In 2010, 36% of the students at the Trotter school were identified as asthma students. Margaret Rocchio, a nurse at the Trotter school was able to create a healthy school environment with the strong support of the school principal.
Trotter was able to remedy asthma triggers by establishing an environmental committee. The committee, which included teachers, parents, custodians, nurses, and community organizations identified and reduced asthma triggers.
The committee had staff fill out surveys, do walk-throughs, develop an action plan, request assistance from BPS facilities and community groups. They also communicated with all staff and parents about the conditions and progress of the initiative.
The school concluded that it needed a serious clean out. Rugs were replaced with washable mats, new blinds were installed in all windows, chemical cleaners were removed and replaced with “green cleaners,” and all clutter was removed from the classroom.
Trotter has become a “ Healthy School Champion” by taking small steps for change. Margaret celebrates their hard work but recognizes that more work is required. She is confident that it will get done with the continued support from the school and community.
She encourages others who work for a school to get involved and “not to get trapped in thinking that you can’t change things! ”
To learn more about promoting good health at schools visit: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/