In Forest Hills Public Schools, the health of our students, staff, and visitors is important. From an operations and maintenance perspective, we keep health, safety, and welfare in the forefront of all we do. We are very proactive and address health-related issues head-on.
Our balanced approach to occupant health addresses needs in the following areas:
- Sustainable facility construction
- Indoor air quality (IAQ)
- Staff training
- Environmentally-friendly cleaning products
- Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) approved equipment
- Single stream recycling programs
- Biodegradable refuse bags
All of these factors contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment for our students, staff, and community.
Green Cleaning Methodologies and Products
With an increase in media attention and marketing in recent years, the topics of “green cleaning” and “sustainable initiatives” can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know.
Green cleaning is defined as, “Cleaning for health while reducing impact on the environment.”
FHPS has pursued green cleaning initiatives for nearly two decades. During that time, we have successfully implemented a comprehensive, environmentally-friendly cleaning program district wide.
Green cleaning encompasses much more than simply selecting Green Seal certified or the EPA’s Designed for the Environment (DFE) chemicals and products. Through education from local distributors, manufacturers, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), we have selected appropriate products and systems that meet the needs of our district and incorporate a holistic approach to our cleaning and infection control.
Infection Control Measures
In order to address health threats such as MRSA, CRE, Norovirus, Avian Flu, Strep, and many others, we incorporate the following into our daily cleaning efforts:
- A broad spectrum of highly-efficacious hospital-grade disinfectant
- The use of microfiber products
- HEPA filtered equipment
We combine this with employee training on the following topics:
- Infection control
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Universal precautions
- OSHA standards
- GHS /SDS training
We provide all buildings with the following:
- Green certified bathroom tissue and hand towels.
- Hypoallergenic (Green Seal Certified) foaming soap in restrooms and hand washing locations.
- Non-alcohol instant hand sanitizers in areas where soap and water are not readily available.
- Neutral pH non-bleach disinfectant wipes for use by students and staff in athletic/weight training areas where equipment is shared.
- Bloodborne pathogen clean up kits for use by staff as an additional safety precaution.
When a serious health threat affects FHPS directly, an outbreak response plan is implemented that includes:
- Distribution of messages related to threats that provide awareness and understanding;
- A higher potency broad-spectrum disinfectant (the organism(s) must be listed in its efficacy data);
- Disinfection of electronic devices, high touch points, lockers, and shared spaces; and
- Any additional staff are deployed to assist in cleaning / sanitization efforts as well as providing additional products to teachers and staff.