Handbook Detail Page

Environmental Safety

Air Quality in Schools: Tacoma Public Schools conducts routine tests to ensure classrooms have the amount of air flow required by the state Department of Health. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department inspects all TPS sites every other year. If they discover an indoor air quality issue, TPS would get a recommendation to fix the identified issue within 30 days. The district has met and continues to meet or surpass state air quality requirements. 

Current efforts
In addition to routinely meeting or exceeding health department air quality standards, as determined by routine health department inspections, the district also:

  • Changes air filters at least 3 times per year compared with the industry standard of twice per year
  • Increased fresh air intake into the structures to maximize fresh air capacity at all sites
  • Purchased two air monitoring devices identical to what the health department uses so the district can inspect between health department visits and respond to any staff concerns

New efforts
TPS is also working to modify school HVAC systems to reach state health department recommended (not required) modifications to meet even higher standards of air quality. All school sites will be updated to meet this higher recommended standard, unless they already meet the recommendation. This work will be funded with both bond and federal recovery dollars.

School Inspection Year Inspected/IAQ Test Pass/Fail
Arlington TPCHD December 20 2019 Pass
Baker TPCHD December 2 2019 Pass
Birney TPCHD January 11 2019 Pass
Blix TPCHD May 8 2019 Pass
Boze TPCHD New School 2020 Pass
Browns Point TPCHD September 2019 Pass
Bryant TPCHD November 18 2019  Pass
Central Admin Office Café TPCHD March 16 2021 Pass
Crescent Heights TPCHD September 2019 Pass
DeLong TPCHD June 6 2019 Pass
Downing TPCHD April 20 2021 Pass
Edison TPCHD February 16 2021 Pass
Fawcett TPCHD February 23 2021 Pass
Fern Hill TPCHD March 9 2021 Pass
First Creek TPCHD January 17 2020 Pass
Foss TPCHD March 20 2018 Pass
Franklin TPCHD March 30 2021 Pass
Geiger TPCHD March 13 2019 Pass
Giaudrone TPCHD May 22 2019 Pass
Grant TPCHD New School 2019 Pass
Gray TPCHD March 27 2019 Pass
Hunt TPCHD New School Sept. 2021 Pass
IDEA TPCHD January 19 2019 Pass
Jefferson TPCHD April 20 2021 Pass
Larchmont TPCHD March 19 2021 Pass
Lincoln TPCHD February 28 2019 Pass
Lister TPCHD April 11 2019 Pass
Lowell TPCHD March 20 2019 Pass
Lyon TPCHD New School 2019 Pass
Manitou Park TPCHD December 20 2019 Pass
Mann TPCHD May 15 2019 Pass
Mason TPCHD December 13 2019 Pass
McCarver TPCHD January 30 2019 Pass
Meeker TPCHD May 30 2018 Pass
Mt Tahoma TPCHD October 4 2019 Pass
NE Tacoma TPCHD November 15 2019 Pass
Oakland TPCHD November 18 2019 Pass
Pt Defiance TPCHD May 6 2021 Pass
Reed TPCHD February 16 2021 Pass
Roosevelt TPCHD April 19 2019 Pass
SAMI TPCHD December 19 2018 Pass
Sheridan TPCHD April 11 2019 Pass
Sherman TPCHD February 14 2019 Pass
Silas TPCHD March 3 2020 Pass
Skyline TPCHD June 6 2019 Pass
SOTA- Ted Brown TPCHD March 26 2021 Pass
Stadium TPCHD October 21 2019 Pass
Stafford TPCHD February 23 2021 Pass
Stanley TPCHD March 30 2021 Pass
Stewart TPCHD November 8 2019 Pass
Truman TPCHD February 20 2020 Pass
Wainwright TPCHD September 24 2019 Pass
Washington TPCHD January 6 2019 Pass
Whitman TPCHD June 7 2019 Pass
Whittier TPCHD March 13 2019 Pass

School Inspections performed are in accordance with the Washington State Board of Health Guide - Health & Safety Guide for K-12 Schools In Washington rules WAC 246-366-140 OSPI-DOH

Note: Due to district size and limited TPCHD personnel each Tacoma school student occupied site is inspected every other year.

School inspections will resume when TPCHD has personnel available - Inspections were stopped in March of 2020 due to Covid and resumed temporarily 1 year later in 2021.

School Inspections performed are in accordance with the Washington State Board of Health Guide - Health & Safety Guide for K-12 Schools In Washington rules WAC 246-366-140 OSPI-DOH

Ventilation - Retrofitting of older buildings is recommended but not required.

Schools kitchens, pools, intrusion sites, UST and modifications are inspected per a different appointment


Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act: In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act AHERA), which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos-containing building materials. Suspected asbestos-containing building materials were located, sampled (or assumed) and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Every 3 years, Tacoma Public Schools conducts a reinspection of each site to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) has changed and to make recommendations on managing or removing the ACBM. At the
last reinspection, all materials listed in the management plan as asbestos-containing (or assumed to be asbestos-containing) were inspected. The law further requires an asbestos management plan to be in place by July 1989. Tacoma Public Schools developed a plan, as required, which has been continually updated. The plan has several ongoing requirements: publish a notification on management plan availability and the status of asbestos activities; educate and train its employees about asbestos and how to deal with it; notify short-term or temporary workers on the locations of the asbestos-containing building materials; post warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed; follow set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing building materials; and survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure that they remain in good condition. Each school has an AHERA binder in the main office.

The following schools contain no asbestos-containing building materials; therefore, no operations and maintenance programs or future inspections are required: Mount Tahoma High, Science and Math Institute, Baker Middle, First Creek Middle, Giaudrone Middle, Gray Middle, Jason Lee Middle, Mason Middle, Meeker Middle, Truman Middle, Stewart Middle and Wainwright Middle and the following elementary schools: Blix, Crescent Heights, DeLong, Edison, Fern Hill, Franklin, Geiger, Jefferson, Lister, Manitou Park, McCarver, Northeast Tacoma, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Sherman, Stafford and Washington.

It is the intention of Tacoma Public Schools to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work. You are welcome to review a copy of the asbestos management plan in the school district administrative office or administrative office of the school during regular business hours. All inquiries regarding the asbestos plan and asbestos-related issues should be directed to the Maintenance and Operations Department at 253-571-3300. (AHERA information adapted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)


Integrated Pest Management Program: The purpose of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is to provide an environmentally responsible long-range systems approach to pest management within our schools.

Applying IPM principles is intended to prevent unacceptable levels of pest activity, by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment. The full range of escalating alternatives, including no action and/or changes in maintenance practices, will be considered.

Notification of Pesticide/Herbicide (P/H) applications: 

  • Schools shall provide notice, annually or upon enrollment or hiring, of the district’s pest control program, which includes the posting and notice requirements for pesticide application. 
  • To notify parents, staff and other users of school properties of a planned pesticide application, written pre-notification will be given to the building administrator. The building administrator will be responsible for pre-notification of interested parents/guardians and staff of upcoming Pesticide/Herbicide (P/H) treatments. Posters will be provided to the building administrator to be posted in designated areas at the school. Such posters will normally be provided at least 48 hours before the application of P/H. When school is not in session, prior notice will not be given if there are 48 hours or more before students reoccupy. In this circumstance, treated areas will still be posted at the time of application.
  • Signs will be placed at the main entrance(s) to each school and near the site of interior applications. If the application of ground, the entries to the grounds areas and the main entrance of the school will be posted as well as the site of application. Signs must be placed at all entrances to an affected area or building, and in other strategic locations to prevent human contact with the treated area. Signs will remain in place for at least 24 hours after application or under manufacturer’s direction if longer.

Products to be used: 

  • Zep Wasp and Hornet Killer, Ranger Pro, SureGuard, Ferromec AC, AmPro Weed and Feed, Casoron 4G, PasturePro, Amine 400 2-4D, Candor, Talstar, Phantom, Tempo, Shurcrop Ferrous Sulphate, Specticle G, ant baits (Terro, Advance, Uncle Alberts) and rodent baits (Contrac, Wisdom and Suspend SC)

Location of where Pesticides/Herbicides may be applied:

  • Playfields, ball fields, lawn areas, ornamental beds, trees and school buildings (interior and exterior). NOTE: Records of applications and the annual summary of Pesticides/Herbicides applied are on file with Tacoma Public Schools. A copy of this program or the above documents may be requested through our Public Records Office located at 601 S. 8th St., Tacoma, WA 98405. Interested parents/guardians of students or staff at a specific school may annually request advance notice of P/H application through their principal. (Revised 4/2015)


Page last updated: 09/01/21

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