• Accessibility
PSESD Workers' Compensation Trust Supports Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality and its Relationship to COVID 

PSESD’s Workers’ Compensation Trust (WCT) offers preventive health and safety related services to member school districts. Our Client Services Team includes an Industrial Hygiene Consultant who works with member districts on their schools Indoor Air Quality, environmental and chemical exposures, and management of hazardous chemicals. The work is in collaboration with school science laboratories, involves technical and art education, focuses on custodial cleaners and disinfectants, and highlights safety in maintenance shops, in transportation systems, and elsewhere. Currently, the consultants are dealing with COVID, building safety, and returning students to school. 

So, what is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and how does IAQ relate to the current COVID situation? 

  • IAQ is about the air we breathe indoors. Elements of IAQ include ventilation, proper cleaning and disinfection, and the reduction of exposure to air pollutants, both chemical and biological. Examples of biological pollutants are mold, bacteria, and viruses, including the COVID family. 
  • It is proven that IAQ influences the peak performance of staff and students, impacting even testing scores when allergies or asthma cause absenteeism, tiredness, and headaches derived from poor indoor air. 
  • The basics of good IAQ are still the same as before COVID: optimized ventilation, proper cleaning with low hazard, unscented cleaners, and the use of EPA approved disinfectants. 
  • More attention to proper cleaning and understanding that only solid surfaces can be properly disinfected and that spray disinfectants only transfer pollutants into the air. 
  • Providing proper hand washing facilities, preferably with non-touch equipment and paper towels, and disconnecting blowing hand dryers that spread germs into the air. 
  • What works are still the basics: social distancing, handwashing, elevated ventilation, proper and regular cleaning and disinfection. 


The WCT collaborates with and follows the guidance of agencies (EPA, CDC, state and county health departments, OSPI, L&I), professional organizations, and colleagues from other Washington ESDs. We are on the same page. There should be no contradiction in the consults we provide and we support each other’s message. 

The silver lining of the COVID situation is that IAQ measures have gained more attention and more support because of the value added to students and school employees. This focus has brought a new level of collaboration between IAQ Coordinators, Administration, Maintenance & Operations, Human 

Resources, Nurses, and Communications professionals all working together to make schools healthier and safer for all who work and learn in our buildings. 


Employer Health and Safety Requirements for School Scenarios: https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/communications/Employer-Health-and-Safety-Requirements-for-School-Scenarios.pdf 

Ventilation and Air Quality for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/VentilationGuidance.pdf 


Image of Seattle skyline with PSESD logo

The Puget Sound College & Career Network at PSESD was selected as the King County Promise System Supporting Organization. King County Promise is a bold, public-private partnership to increase equity in college access and success for historically underserved students in King County. The goals of King County Promise and the role of the System Supporting Organization closely align to PSESD’s End: Success for Each Child and Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading with Racial Equity.

Read More about PSESD to Serve as the System Supporting Organization for King County Promise
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools 2021 Award Winner logo

Congratulations to Anderson Island Elementary School of Steilacoom Historical School District No.1 for their selection as a Green Ribbon School honoree! Anderson Island Elementary School’s garden and outdoor classroom created valuable opportunities for students to continue their learning in a sustainable way.

Read More about Congratulations to Anderson Island Elementary School of Steilacoom Historical School District No.1
Image from OSPI of a George Floyd memorial painting

OLYMPIA — April 20, 2021The verdict today was the right and just response to George Floyd’s murder, and it is progress. But the work doesn’t end here. Our children are watching, and we owe it to them to be fully committed to equity and justice every day.

Read More about OSPI Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s Statement on the Guilty Verdicts in the Derek Chauvin Murder Trial
Multilingual Learners Network text with circle of hands holding one another

The Multilingual Learners (MLL) Network is now accepting applications for our 2021–2022 school cohort. The MLL Network was developed to support regional shifts in mindsets, culture and practices to foster school environments which value the identity, culture and language of multilingual students and lead to more equitable conditions and outcomes for multilingual learners

Read More about Creating Schools Where Multilingual Students Thrive
Critical Reflections on Becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization

PSESD currently experiences collective amnesia, a characteristic of white supremacy culture, as it relates to our racial equity transformation. We sometime forget what happened last year, three years ago, ten years ago. Critical Moments Reflection helps us build our capacity to regularly reflect and learn collectively and interrupt this amnesia. We engaged in a pilot this summer to develop our Critical Moments Reflection approach. We met with the groups formally engaged in leading implementation our racial equity policy (TTeam, SDATs, ELT, the Board) to try out the reflection process and also capture our collective story about our transformation.

Read More about Critical Reflections on Becoming an Antiracist Multicultural Organization