Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child
Click on a category to learn more.
What is it?
A healthy and safe physical school environment promotes learning by ensuring the health and safety of students and staff. The physical school environment encompasses the school building and its contents, the land on which the school is located, and the area surrounding it. A healthy school environment will address a school’s physical condition during normal operation as well as during renovation (e.g., ventilation, moisture, temperature, noise, and natural and artificial lighting), and protect occupants from physical threats (e.g., crime, violence, traffic, and injuries) and biological and chemical agents in the air, water, or soil as well as those purposefully brought into the school (e.g., pollution, mold, hazardous materials, pesticides, and cleaning agents).
Ideas for Your PTA
- Promote safe and active routes to schools including walking and biking.
- Welcome shared or open use agreements for your school facilities.
- Advocate for outdoor learning areas like school gardens, playgrounds, walking trails, and outdoor classrooms.
- Prioritize investing in your school’s physical environment by budgeting for things like school gardens and walking trails
- Schedule a day of service to beautify your school’s grounds
- Conduct an assessment to determine what improvements are practical at your school
- Explore shade structures for your outdoor space
- Consider naturalizing your physical environment like fences by planting around them
- Think outside of the box for how your physical environment contributes to learning: composting and recycling areas can add depth and value to your school.
- Make your school entryway and main office more welcoming by including plants, student artwork, and PTA information
- Just ASK! Outdoor Learning Environments
- Just ASK! School Gardens
- School Gardens AHA flyer
- Move More: A Toolkit for Promoting Open Use of School Property in North Carolina
- A Guide to Creating Active Outdoor Play Spaces
- School Health Assessment
- Active Routes to School
Do you have other ideas to share? Email us at Marianne@ncpta.org!