Boulder Valley School District

BVSD Indoor Air Quality Initiative

BVSD has been working to understand and improve indoor air quality in our schools for a number of years. This work helped shape projects in the 2014 Building for Student Success construction program and create new processes and practices for protecting air quality. We have seen improvements in carbon dioxide levels and temperatures in classrooms. Cleaning effectiveness has gotten better and we are now using green cleaning practices and products. The work also put us in a good position for responding to the Coronavirus pandemic and the recent Marshall Fire.

Check out the latest update to the board below:

Update to the Board | Jan. 25, 2022


​In spring 2016, BVSD initiated a long-term project that we expect to have significant benefits for all schools in our district. We partnered with the University of Tulsa Indoor Air Program and key personnel from the University of Colorado, with support from Harvard and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to engage in a study to  improve indoor air quality (IAQ)  in BVSD schools. 

The project involved collecting baseline indoor air quality data from all schools which will be evaluated to make recommendations for changes to building operations and occupant behavior and to identify facility renovations to improve indoor air quality. This work was guided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tools for Schools Indoor Air Quality Program which recognizes that good indoor air quality is a combination of the performance of building systems and occupant behavior. 

The timing of this project in conjunction with the bond-funded work in the 2014 Educational Facilities Master Plan (much of which impacted ventilation and indoor air quality) created the opportunity to consider IAQ implications in designing projects and measure the effect of the renovation work on indoor environmental quality. 

Air Quality Data Collection

The first step in this process involved school site baseline data collection. Trained personnel  conducted walk-through assessments to gather basic air quality measurements. These data were used to identify what issues can be corrected through education and communication about building operations and occupant behavior (often with little or no cost) and those issues that may need to be prioritized for long-term funding. The project also included outreach and training for BVSD staff regarding indoor air quality issues in schools. 

​Academic, Health and Attendance Data Collection

In addition to the walk-through assessments, academic achievement records and health symptom data also are tracked based on standardized test scores and absenteeism/nurse-symptom data (information to be coded and not student identifiable). These data will be used as a baseline to compare to the ​same indicators post-renovation to discern improvements based on changes implemented. These records and information are essential to best gauge the positive impact of this work on student health and achievement.   

Learn more about health-related attendance data collection

Indoor Air Quality Team 

The districtwide Indoor Air Quality Team was appointed by the BVSD Board of Education to work with the air quality consultants on this initiative. The purpose of the team was to disseminate air quality information, register air quality complaints and direct responses, and communicate air quality issues and status at district schools to school administration, staff, students and parents. The team included 19 voluntary representative members of the BVSD community, including district staff, principals, teachers, parents and community members.