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Ways in which a group of sixth graders convey themselves in their school environment

Introduction The 1997 renovation of the Charles Young Hill Top Academy in the District of Columbia is a classic illustration of how an improved school environment contributes to higher levels of educational performance. This case illustrates the connection between environmental quality, comfort, health and well-being, positive attitudes and behavior, and higher levels of educational performance. This case shows that aging city schools do not have to be abandoned; they can be successfully revitalized and made contribute effectively to the process of education.

These healthy school environments are the key to a high performance educational institution. Successfully managing a school environment is a necessary and essential educational investment. Research increasingly shows that there is a clear link between environmental quality of schools and educational performance: In preparing this case, a variety of information and data were examined that were provided by an extensive review of educational facility publications, the Charles Young Elementary School, the University of North Carolina Environmental Studies Program, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the District of Columbia, and the Carpet and Rug Institute.

The key findings of the work start with the identifiable and measurable environmental conditions required of all high performance schools and the basic finding that an academically successful school must radiate a sense of well-being which is the essence of health.

The information gathered for this case study clearly indicates there must be a serious, if not passionate, desire accompanied by positive action, to restore non-performing schools to a constantly healthy state.

Effective restoration is achieved through good design that addresses total environmental quality to include general sanitation, good air quality, noise control, lighting and glare reduction, soothing color, and general comfort provided by temperature and climate. The healthy school environment is kept in a steady state only with a thoughtfully organized cleaning and maintenance program.

When a school environment is transformed from a state of hopeless deterioration to a healthy condition, attitudes of the students, teachers, parents, and surrounding community turn energetically positive so as to allow for effective teaching and learning. Students, teachers, and the local community want it to be there.

  1. In order to assure student success, the faculty and staff operate as one cohesive team, driven by a shared vision and guided by clearly defined goals.
  2. Direct instruction is emphasized to facilitate student interaction in the development of concepts.
  3. Greenville County School District, 1980.
  4. Grab that precious opportunity with both hands and be bold.
  5. Make sure your energies are aimed at those pleasures built on knowledge.

It is comfortable, has a consistent temperature, and manages noise. Student and teacher comfort is indicated as the most important aspect of any school environment. If students are comfortable, then learning becomes much easier.

Being comfortable is a combination of several different factors; adequate usable space, noise control, lighting, temperature and climate control, and sanitation. The classroom is the most important area of a school because it is where students and teachers spend most of their time and where the learning process takes place.

The following conditions help make the classroom a better place in which to learn. Glare from hard surfaces is distracting and should be avoided wherever possible.

The effective lighting of schools has been related to high performance test scores time and again. Classes should be designed to accommodate students so that the number of students does not exceed 20. A lower density of students per classroom will increase teacher and student interaction and communication.

  1. Sinofsky and Knirk discuss the need to utilize principles of environmental psychology in order to help facilitate, rather than inhibit, learning.
  2. Many of my students lack strong verbal communication skills, so we practice through songs and activities. Any time people are working together toward a common goal, developing a shared vision of how they hope to work together builds a sense of teamwork and helps prevent conflict.
  3. It's best when they help choose the work they believe is worth publishing.
  4. Schools must be designed with good ventilation. Areas discussed in these sections of the book include controlling noise levels, providing sufficient and appropriate lighting, and ensuring proper temperature, humidity and ventilation levels.
  5. Normal speech can be easily heard throughout the school building. The program provides educational opportunities to educationally deprived students by helping them to find success in the regular education program and attain grade level proficiency.

Classrooms must be designed with effective communication and interaction in mind. Students should be able to easily see and hear the instructor and other students. Noise must be controlled to levels that do exceed 68db. At about the 68 or 69 db noise level, students begin to have difficulty understanding what is being said and are distracted by noise in other classrooms. Computers in classrooms are very important.

Tools, such as the Internet, allow the smooth exchange of information between student and machine, but must be positioned and used in environments that do not cause distraction. Increasingly, students can learn through virtual classrooms when no teacher is available. Comfortable surroundings aid in this form of learning. Temperature and indoor climate is also important.

A temperature of 68-72 degrees is ideal and should be maintained year round. Schools must be designed with good ventilation. Effective filters and cleaning must be functional so as to keep particulate matter, such as dust, out of the air. Odors can also be distract students, but can be removed with good ventilation.

The design of schools is ways in which a group of sixth graders convey themselves in their school environment very important factor when dealing with sanitation related to moisture. Building roofs that leak or will not stop water are detrimental. Water in classrooms leads to mold which can cause allergic reactions. High humidity and standing water also creates an environment favorable to all kinds of bacteria, which can spread diseases. The cleanliness of schools is also an important aspect of school environments.

Clean schools not only lower the threat of the spread of illness, but also convey a caring message to the students and teachers. Cleaning and maintenance of schools is vitally important and is often underemphasized and underperformed. Students feel better going to clean classes and sitting in clean desks and surroundings. Sanitation in schools is important because young children face unique health hazards, especially respiratory infections, asthma attacks, skin disease, and diarrheal outbreaks.

A school environment should be one in which every student feels safe. We find promotion of safety by the increased installation of cameras and monitoring devices throughout the school. Many schools today work with local law enforcement agencies to put security officers in schools. The presence of security officers often gives students a sense of safety and security.

Schools are special environments that exist for the purpose of enhancing the learning process. They are sensitively built environments housing very special segments of the population. A sensitive environment refers to a place that supports the activities of segments of the population who are very young, very old, or who are experiencing illnesses. From an environmental health perspective, a sensitive environment, such as a school or day care facility, tends to be where adverse health effects manifest themselves in the face of unsanitary conditions.

In the United States there are about 120,000 schools providing for the educational needs of approximately 54 million students. Problems are mostly related to water damage, inoperable HVAC systems, and ineffective cleaning. The reason the Charles Young Elementary School case is so important is that until this study, there is scanty hard evidence to indicate that when a school building is in disrepair, student achievement suffers. More importantly, there are no cases that demonstrate greatly improved educational achievement when schools are restored in a thoughtful manner.

In the case of Charles Young School, improvements in educational performance that have accompanied restoration have been exemplary. There are many environmental health and safety requirements that all school facilities face. These include numerous fire safety codes, provisions for handicapped occupants, and numerous state and federal environmental statutes. However, the driving force behind successfully managing a school facility and its environment is not regulatory, or founded in government mandate.

School districts too often are put in the position to postpone repairs and delay construction of new facilities to save money during periods of financial austerity. Unfortunately, learning excellence as measured in test scores alone tends to ignore the importance of the environmental quality in which learning takes place.

Making cuts in routine cleaning and maintenance, repairs, and restoration is commonly considered less devastating than cutting academic programs. This limited thinking is very short-sighted, and, in the long run, ends up adding to the cost of education. Public education is the responsibility of government. Children have no choice. The law requires that children go to school.

School facilities are generally the local district's responsibility. It is a disappointing fact that state and federal mandates for educational programs to include school facility conditions are almost never accompanied by the funds needed to implement them. Districts must rely on the taxpayers' ability or willingness to help meet capital expenses.

This results in glaring inequities in school environments among districts with different economic bases. Facing their own budget shortfalls, state governments are often unable to offset school districts' mounting financial needs.

Ways to Bolster Students' Confidence

Operation and maintenance costs are almost always cut first. The consequences of deferring maintenance include premature building deterioration accompanied by indoor air problems, increased repair and replacement costs, and reduced operating efficiency of equipment. The price tag for deferring maintenance continues to multiply Hansen. Rising energy costs have also cut into the maintenance budget.

The frequent cutbacks in maintenance and renovation coupled with widespread thoughtless, ineffective cleaning of school facilities in the U. Their performance levels often mirror the message they receive from a deteriorated school facility. The evidence suggests that healthy environmental conditions shape attitudes and, eventually, positive performance. Twelve percent were identified as inadequate places of learning. To address the crisis of deteriorating facilities, principals, superintendents, school business officials, school boards, and others are beginning to pursue innovative, grassroots solutions to the many challenges associated with maintaining school facilities.

The school is located in the northeast corridor of the District. The school sits on a hill over-looking the Anacostia River.

The school was built in 1931 and named after Colonel Charles Young, who was one of the first Afro-Americans to graduate West Point with a commission. Today, Charles Young School has approximately 512 students enrolled and a faculty of 55.

The enrollment fluctuates between 475 and 500 throughout the school year due to residency attrition. The students come from a wide range of family backgrounds.

A word of advice for school leavers: 'know yourself and don't be afraid to fail'

It radiates a friendly energy directed at learning. The school is in demand. For the last three years, Charles Young Elementary School has had a waiting list to register pre-school and prekindergarten students. These students are enrolled at Charles Young because of the exemplary, unique, diverse academic program along with extra-curricular programs, committed teachers, staff, and a principal housed at the school.

Charles Young School was constructed as a traditional two-story school building. In 1975, the school was renovated into an open-space school. During the summer of 1997, Charles Young School was renovated again. Numerous environmental problems were corrected. Over 200 windows were replaced and new carpet was installed throughout the entire school.

In early 1997, the environmental conditions at Charles Young School were, by any environmental health standard, fully unacceptable. Throughout the building, water damage was evident.