Town Square

Post a New Topic

Signature Platform? To Sign for Healthy Schools!

Original post made by A Lumsdaine, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 25, 2014

I am collecting signatures for a friendly signature drive to ask PAUSD to adopt an indoor air quality (IAQ) management plan — but I find most people are less willing to sign on than in person. This is a problem since it's a lot easier to spread the word online. (I currently have about 300 signatures without even trying that hard, and wasn't even really able to collect last week, but only 80 on

Please suggestions for a platform for online signatures that people may be more willing to sign with? I don't know why people are more willing to sign in person than because it doesn't even really seem to be easier. Any suggestions for being more effective with Local signatures are the most important.

I am particularly interested in seeing if I can find something easier before I start sending out in earnest to doctor friends who have offered to help.

The signature drive can be found at:
Web Link

The previous Townsquare post on this can be found at:
Web Link

Comments (1)

Posted by A Lumsdaine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm

FYI (regarding the signature drive and what's on This is the current version of the flyer — I give this out in person if people need more information, but most people don't ask for it. I doubt it's making the difference since most people don't read it, but I welcome opinions. I noticed this difference in other kinds of efforts in the past. Please, I really want to find an easier more effective way to collect online signatures. For this, especially, all that's at stake is whether we use a free, flexible toolkit for schools (of the district's choice) that has been shown to be extremely helpful for creating healthy schools. If people are convinced, I want the signing part not to be the barrier. The difference between in-person and online signature rates (with this and other efforts) seems to indicate there's a barrier to signing online, and I'd like to figure that out!

Ask for Good Air Quality for PAUSD Students
Web Link">Web Link

Do you care about student health in our schools? Reducing illnesses, allergy, and dangerous asthma attacks? Good environmental health and indoor air quality (IAQ) are important for student wellbeing! Good IAQ and environmental health practices reduce absenteeism and medical bills among students, staff, and teachers, and increase the life of facilities. Fortunately, there is something very simple you can do to make a big difference for our kids!

The EPA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS), the California state PTAs, and the California Department of Education, all recommend that school districts adopt Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management Plans to reduce illness and absenteeism, and to improve student health, wellbeing, and performance in school.*
Even if your child isn't among the growing and significant percentage of children with asthma and allergies, the EPA points to research showing that good indoor air quality helps all children in a school stay healthier, have fewer colds and flus, and perform better in school.

We have some of the best schools in the state here in Palo Alto. And we have excellent custodial staff, who do a very conscientious job caring for our facilities. Unfortunately, many districts make the mistake of confusing good housekeeping practices, which we definitely have, with good indoor air quality management, which we don't have.

Why hasn't PAUSD implemented an IAQ Management Plan for better student health? Did you know that there are no laws or regulations, CA or federal, protecting children from indoor air quality problems or even hazards in schools?
Please join us in asking PAUSD to adopt and implement a tried-and-true indoor air quality (IAQ) management plan for the optimal health and wellbeing of our students and staff!

The EPA has even developed a well-researched, free, flexible IAQ Management Plan, as a tool specifically for schools to provide the best environmental health and air quality for the resources districts have. Many of the steps PAUSD could take won't cost extra if our district follows an IAQ management plan during renovations or operations and maintenance, it's really a matter of awareness during the work. Many improvements the district has ALREADY MADE will backslide unless we adopt a plan.
Former Superintendent Skelly and others in the administration have expressed the belief that if PAUSD parents cared about improving environmental health and indoor air quality, the district office would hear about it.
Have you let PAUSD know you care about indoor air quality, even if your child has allergies? Now is your chance!

We have a new Superintendent — he's great! and we've already let him know about this positive effort — we need to show that Palo Alto parents care about good environmental health and air quality in our schools. Especially since improving air quality was promised with Measure A improvements. And especially when we can do so much for relatively little expense.

Fortunately, PAUSD can choose from tried-and-true plans to help districts set up an effective framework for indoor air quality management, including the EPA's Tools for Schools. IAQ management plans in school districts reduce illness and absenteeism, and improve student health, wellbeing, and improve student performance in school.

PAUSD needs to hear our voices together!

The California PTA has already adopted a statewide resolution supporting exactly this issue (2007)! Although PTA members are free to support anything they want for themselves regardless, because of the statewide resolution, local PTA chapters already know they can support it. A statewide resolution means the issue has gone through an intense process of study, covering all sides of an issue, has been written up and debated, and adopted in convention by vote of thousands of local PTAs (most likely including ours).

* An IAQ management plan is a voluntary guide to help schools implement best practices for keeping school spaces free of dangerous fumes, dust mites, toxics, mold growth, for example, really the basics we already expect from schools. A 2005 study of IAQ management plans in schools nationwide found that support by school administrations is important to get best results from such plans!

Every major environmental health organization for the EPA to the CDC to the California Department of Public Health, and every major educational organization, including the California Department of Education, recommends we do this.

Web Link">Web Link

For more information, updates, or if you are interested in volunteering to help improve our school environmental health, please email IAQ_PAUSD [ at ]

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

California must do a better job spending cap-and-trade revenue
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,984 views

Planting a Fall Garden?
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,517 views