HPA receives 2017 Healthy School Award

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WAIMEA — Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) was one of three schools selected nationally to receive a 2017 Healthy School Award from The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI), in partnership with School Planning and Management and College Planning and Management magazines.

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WAIMEA — Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) was one of three schools selected nationally to receive a 2017 Healthy School Award from The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI), in partnership with School Planning and Management and College Planning and Management magazines.

An expert panel selected the winners based on submitted applications, interviews and a strong commitment to facility health and practical steps. Health factors assessed included indoor air quality, chemical exposure, water quality, sound levels, lighting, cleaning and disinfecting, sanitizing and food service, integrated pest management and ergonomics (musculoskeletal, strains, slips/falls).

“We’re very pleased to be recognized for our efforts to achieve environmental excellence and to make our school environment better and safer for everyone,” said Robert McKendry, HPA’s head of school.

Hawaii Preparatory received the Healthy Facilities Advocate award “for its mission to promote healthful, place-based learning on a site with access to 80 percent of the world’s ecosystems.” The school was commended for monitoring the indoor environment using devices that detect carbon dioxide, temperature and sound levels. In addition, they offer standing desks and anti-fatigue mats to employees, use dry steam vapor for cleaning and disinfecting and a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner, and reduced annual spending on chemical cleaners by about $4,000. Lastly, using low-toxicity plant-based intervention to control insects was something that made HPA stand apart from other applicants.

Other 2017 Healthy School Award winners were Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, Colorado, and Elk Grove USD (EGUSD) in Elk Grove, California. Winners were announced in the July/August 2017 issues of School Planning and Management and College Planning and Management magazines.

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Winning schools will be featured in a webinar on Nov. 2, “Thirty Days to Healthy Schools at Lower Cost” at webspm.com/articles/2017/07/01/healthy-facilities.aspx?m=1. The webinar will focus on how healthy schools promote learning, savings, and attendance-based funding, and how any school can develop a framework for a healthy facility and budget within 30 days.

The school’s Energy Lab achieved Living Building Challenge certification by the International Living Building Institute (ILBI) in 2011 and also received Platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Schools 2.0 certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2010. In 2012, HPA also was one of a select group of schools throughout the state of Hawaii to receive the Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) award from the U.S. Department of Education.