The school environment is a regular setting in the lives of many children nationwide. Students and school staff are exposed to a wide variety of possible asthma triggers that can negatively impact those diagnosed with asthma.

The American Lung Association’s Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative™ provides a comprehensive approach to asthma management in schools. Check out these resources from the Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit for additional information on asthma policy in schools:

How does your state rank on school health policies and practices? Visit the School Health Profiles to learn more.

Asthma management in schools can be addressed through a two-pronged approach: creating a comprehensive asthma management plan and establishing an environmental assessment plan. The guidance provided below reflect the strategies agreed upon in the Joint Statement for Improving Asthma Management in Schools, supported by school and health-based national organizations collaborating to ensure a healthy learning environment for all students. Here are proven strategies and accompanying tools that can help your school become asthma-friendly.

Create an Asthma Management Plan

All school systems should adopt and implement a comprehensive plan for the management of asthma that is based on current research and best practices.

For more detail on what is included in a comprehensive plan, see the CDC's Strategies for Addressing Asthma within a Coordinated School Health Program. Many schools have created a wide-ranging Wellness Policy in which asthma-specific policies can be incorporated.

Policy vs. protocol for tracking students with asthma.
Although many schools are able to easily adopt asthma policy, other schools find it easier to incorporate school practices or protocols instead to help support an asthma-friendly school environment. For example, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has created a tracking form called the Asthma Chronic Illness List(ACIL), with an accompanying ACIL Instructions sheet, which helps to track the absences, asthma action plan data, asthma emergencies and other pertinent information of all students with asthma.

Support an Asthma-Friendly School Environment

All school systems should adopt and implement an environmental assessment and management plan.

Learn more about EPA school siting guidelines.

Page last updated: April 8, 2020

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