Healthly School Buildings (HSB) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the health and safety of school students and staff by raising awareness about the real conditions of our schools and, more importantly, by providing the means to improve dangerously deficient building and environmental conditions so that all are children and staff are provided with school buildings that are healthy, safe and free of recognized hazards from asbestos, lead, mold, and poor indoor air quality.
We believe that our schools are best improved by stakeholders taking direct action at the local level. Effective action for sustainable school improvement requires ensuring open & comprehensive access to all data and information so we can understand exactly what is needed in order to establish meaningful priorities and to implement critical solutions
We collect data about school conditions at a granular level from reported problems and available resources.
We conduct detailed inspections and of school building conditions where we can gain access to areas with issues.
We aggregate and distribute a list of Best Practices Approaches to finding, reporting, and repairing conditions.
HSB Advisory Board & Staff
Liat received her Ph.D. from the School of Education at the Hebrew University where she has studied learning contexts that promote versus hamper children’s motivation to learn. She is currently working as a Developmental Psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research focuses on the effects of toxic stressful environments on children’s mental and physical development.
Ph.D. in Computer Science
Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Turin is a visiting scholar in the Department of Computer Science Database Group and is a “Post Doc” at Drexel Univ., He is a software engineer and computer scientist with extensive experience in data science and practical experience on commercial projects (back-end, front-end, web, mobile, Java…) and strong visualization skills.
Assistant Professor, Drexel University
Assistant Professor at the Drexel University School of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Hershberg will contributing invaluable experience, and expertise to our approaches for organizing, collecting, aggregating and analyzing large data sets of relating information about the health/biological impacts of identified building/environmental condition deficiencies.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Australia. Dr. Lahiji is an Associate Professor and the editor of Architecture Against the Post-Political: Re-claiming the Critical Project (Routledge, 2014). Nadir is working with us to more deeply examine the role that building design, construction, operation and condition has on educational opportunity, academic achievement, social justice and equity.
Sr. Director of Advanced Applications
Sr. Director of Advanced Applications Engineering, responsible for the development of mobile applications for IOS and Android platforms at Comcast. Sean has twenty  years of experience in the development of software engineering and architecture with a major focus on mobile applications and interactive media technologies. He has been instrumental in the ongoing development of our crowd-sourcing, citizen-science platforms and he has a very direct and practical interest in public school condition improvements especially because he has 3 children currently attending Philadelphia public schools.
Neil Roseman, Technology Consultant & Technologist in Residence for a Summit Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Neil, was the former VP of Engineering at Amazon.com [1998-2007] and served in the same capacity at Zynga and he was also the CEO of Evri.com. Neil was responsible for the development and building of large-scale data collection and associated technology systems atAmazon.Com and Target Corp. among others.
Jerry A. Roseman, M.Sc.I.H. is the Director of Environmental Science and Occupational Safety and Health for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health & Welfare Fund & Union and a “Technical Environmental Science Advisor-Consultant” to the American Federation of Teachers Department of Health, Safety & Well-Being. He has more than 35 years of site inspection, evaluation and assessment experience and has worked with the Division of Epidemiology and Disease Control for the NJ Dept. of Health, and in the conduct of NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations. Jerry has conducted hundreds of training programs, worked on projects with the City of Philadelphia and the US CDC [Centers for Disease Control] and, on the development of a number of joint Indoor Environmental Quality [IEQ] programs and projects with the School District of Philadelphia.
Who We Are
Healthy School Buildings (HSB) is a non-profit organization, based in Philadelphia, but national in scope, dedicated to advancing public understanding about the fundamental & foundational role played by school building conditions, and related Indoor Environmental Quality [IEQ] impacts, on student and staff health and safety, on academic achievement, on fiscal and environmental sustainability and on social and educational justice and equity.
It is our view that fixing the nation’s crumbling and dangerous school building infrastructure involves real transparency and open data access, to help provide accurate and comprehensive descriptions about unhealthful and unsafe school conditions, is an essential first step, but only a first step, in building public will and public engagement and involvement in the school planning, prioritization and improvement process. Transforming this “knowledge” into “power” requires robust direct and near-direct stakeholder participation in establishing school repair, stabilization, remediation and modernization approaches and in making sure they are well-implemented.
And most of all we believe that public schools belong to the public at large and, especially, to the direct stakeholders who work and learn in our schools and to the and near-direct stakeholders representing school staff and students.
What We Know
Leaky roofs, flaking lead paint, lead in school water, damaged asbestos-containing materials on pipes and ceilings, rodent and insect infestations, mold, inadequate temperature controls, and other problems are present in tens of thousands of K-12 schools and pose serious and related Indoor Environmental Quality [IEQ] hazards to school students and staff compromising their health and safety, making learning much more difficult, on academic achievement, undercuts on decreasing fiscal and environmental sustainability and undercutting social & educational justice and equity.
We believe that although school building conditions may not be the single most critical element ensuring a great education for all our kids in is an essential and underlying one, the first step on which to construct great schools. Without a strong base, there is not much to build upon; and crumbling schools that health dangers to our children and school educational support staff, make the achievement of a protective, supportive and high quality learning environment all but impossible.
It is our view that necessary fixing our schools we first need to know and understand the facts about the buildings we send our children to for 180 days and 1300 hours every year. It is then critical to take action on that information to develop effective and implementable plans and approaches. We also firmly believe that WE, the public, especially those directly involved in public schools – parents & families of K-12 school children, the educators and staff working in the buildings, and the organizations representing them – should have a major voice in deciding on what needs to get done, where things need to happen, when changes need to begin and how improvements will be implemented. Other community and public stakeholders and advocates also must be included in this process if we are to succeed in real, sustainable improvement.
Information Can Make A Difference
We believe that knowledge and information is power and it’s being shared and available is a necessary prerequisite to planning, and priortizing.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in using new & emerging technologies, and we are working on developing innovative web-based and mobile applications to facilitate “citizen science”, crowd sourced initiatives for enhanced and collaborative data collection & information sharing at the school, district and national levels.
WHAT WE WANT
We want to provide a “granular” real/near-real time look at the current conditions in American schools and, more importantly, to collect, provide, promote, and recommend “Best Practices” approaches to implementing practical, cost-effective and implementable solutions to the problems faced.
Why We Take Action
Facility conditions can have a damaging effect on student and staff health and safety, on academic achievement, on fiscal and environmental sustainability and on social and educational justice and equity.