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New York is a special focus of our work. It is the country's third-largest K-12 public education system.

With support from a broad-based coalition led by Healthy Schools Network, New York State has adopted environmental reform policies embodied in a five-point, child-centered set of "Guiding Principles for School Environmental Quality". Healthy Schools Network has since worked to secure new laws, funding, and regulations to promote healthier school environments, including the measures for occupant health in schools under renovation, notice of pesticide use, bans on arsenic and elemental mercury, and an executive order on "green" cleaning products.

Our Campaigns


Current Issues

Gubernatorial Proclamation
April 2013

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a proclamation declaring April 30, 2013 as Healthy Schools Day in the State of New York.

Gubernatiorial Proclamation
Gubernatorial Proclamation April 2012

Gubernatorial Proclamation
April 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a proclamation declaring April 24, 2012 as Healthy Schools Day in the State of New York.

Gubernatorial Proclamation
April 2009

Governor Paterson’s Assistant Secretary of Education Mark Leinung presents National Healthy Schools Day Proclamation to Healthy Schools Network at first Advisory Council meeting

Symposium and Benefit Reception
May 2008

New York State First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson delivers opening remarks at Healthy Schools Network's benefit reception at the New York Times Building in New York City.

Symposium and Benefit Reception
May 2008

Richard Iannuzi (President, New York State United Teachers) presents Healthy Schools Hero award to Dr. Phil Landrigan (Mount Sinai School of Medicine) at Healthy Schools Network benefit reception in New York City.

Children's Environmental Health Symposium
March 2008

Symposium attendees listen to panelists discuss toxic chemicals in children's toys and jewelry (Albany, NY).

Queens Press Conference
February 2008

New York City Councilman James F. Gennaro, New York State Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Stephen Boese, New York Director of Healthy Schools Network gathered at a school construction site in Jamaica, Queens to call on the NYS Legislature to approve Legislation to protect children from schools built on hazardous sites and to allow environmental and community reviews for leased NYC school properties.

Greening Schools for Healthy Children
October 2007

North Babylon, NY: New York State Assemblyman Robert Sweeney accepts a 2007 Healthy Schools Hero Award from Assemblyman Englebright, a former honoree, and from two HSN Board Members Jeff Jones and Neal Tepel.


Healthy & High Performance School Design

Our goal is to help shape initiatives that will transform the built environment to include health and learning benefits for all children. Healthy and High Performance schools improve children’s health, energy efficiency, and teacher and school staff job satisfaction, enhance student performance, and provide a healthier environment for building occupants.

In 2006, NYSERDA (The NYS Energy Research and Development Authority) and the NYS Education Department released NY-CHPS, comprehensive healthy and high performance school design guidelines for NYS schools. Healthy Schools Network worked to bring the NYS Education Department and NYSERDA together to create these guidelines and then served as an advisor to the project during its development.

These guidelines were adopted in 2007 and are now available at...


Since 2011, Healthy Schools Network has sat on the Green Ribbon Schools Committee within the New York State Department of Education.  The committee configures the application for this award that NY schools apply for.  The schools are judged on three pillars; Environmental Impact & Energy Efficiency, Environmental Health & Wellness, and Environmental Education.  Pictured here are members of the committee including the NYS Director of Facilities Planning, Carl Thurnau and Healthy Schools Network Program Manager, Adam Pisarkiewicz.

For more information on the New York State Green Ribbon Schools visit:

Healthy and High Performance School Design in New York City- We participated in the citywide campaign for green construction, winning Local Law 86 in 2005. As a result, the New York City School Construction Authority researched and produced a Green Schools Guide, now linked to the City's $13.2 billion five-year school capital plan. For the Green Schools Guide requirements and how to apply, visit http://source.nycsca.org/GreenSchools/nycgsg-031507.pdf.

Green Cleaning/Green Purchasing

Cleaning products that are used at school can contain harmful and toxic chemicals that can affect the health of children, as well as janitorial staff and school employees. Children are more vulnerable to these toxins because they eat, breathe, and drink more per pound of body weight than adults and when exposed to these harmful chemicals, children can have long term health problems.

In 2005, HSN helped secure the country's first executive order and the first state-wide law requiring the use of "green" cleaning and maintenance products in state agencies and all public and private schools. This law went into effect for all New York State schools in September 2006.

In 2008 the Governors office signed Executive Order No. 4, which directed all state agencies to begin state green purchasing in an effort to make the agencies healthier, more sustainable, and more energy efficient.  Their efforts were successful in creating healthier work environments, saving energy, reducing waste, and saving money.  For more information on Executive Order No. 4, read the first annual progress report. In May of 2014, the second progress report on state green procurement and agency sustainability for fiscal years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 was released.  The report shows more savings for New York State and a healthier workforce.  Click here to read the report. On Earth Day 2015, the third progress report for fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14 was released. The findings showed cost savings of $13 million. Read the full report here.

Healthy Schools Network has always had a strong focus on Green Cleaning and Green Purchasing.  Specifically we have to great resources for these topics.  For everything on green cleaning please visit our stand-alone website on the subject at www.cleaningforhealthyschools.org.  We recently released a new guide all about Green Purchasing, which goes beyond cleaning to include office equipment, interior wall and ceiling paints, office supplies, art supplies, and furniture.  Click here to read the guide: Healthy Purchasing for Healthy Schools 

NYS Legislative Program

We ask NYS elected officials to support:
  • Healthy and High Performance School Design Standards for all school construction;
  • School Siting Requirements;
  • Parent Right-to-Know;
  • Minor Maintenance and Repair Funds; and
  • Legislation that: promotes indoor air quality at school; provides for annual water testing at school taps; and protects students from exposure to pesticides at school.

Children's Environmental Health Services in New York

Executive Summary: NYS Department of Health recieves EPA grant on children's health in schools (2013)

New York State Sustainable School Environmental
Health Program Steering Committee Meeting

September 2013

Healthy Schools Network staff attends the New York State Department of Health's 'New York State Sustainable School Environmental Health Program' Steering Committee Meeting along with Board President, John Shaw.



We are thrilled that our advocacy has resulted in securing over $2.5 million to expand the provision of pediatric environmental health services statewide in New York, thank to the generosity of State Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, both of Long Island, and thanks to the collaborative work of our colleagues at LDA-NY and Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


Energy & Renewables

Crude Oil Trains:


Smart Schools Bond Act:

Lead in School Drinking Water:



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