Train the Trainer

New Tools Released to Support Sound School Siting

Train the Trainer workshop will facilitate its widespread use

Are you familiar with EPA’s School Siting Guidelines?  Do you want to know how to train decision-makers on how to use the School Siting Guidelines?

Join the Georgia Conservancy, Mothers & Others for Clean Air, and EPA on June 14, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST at the EPA’s Atlanta office for a special train the trainer workshop on how to effectively deliver the training program, Old School, New School, This Place, That Place—An Introduction to Utilizing the EPA School Siting Guidelines.

Communities across the United States continue to wrestle with the high cost of building and operating new schools, as well as the repercussions of closing existing schools. Many factors are considered when choosing the site for a new school, but until now school systems have lacked a comprehensive, technical resource that takes into account a school site’s impacts to the community, the economy, the environment and public health.

In 2007, Congress enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Among the provisions included in EISA was a requirement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develop, in consultation with the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, model guidelines for the siting of school facilities. The EPA developed School Siting Guidelines that encourages, informs and improves consideration of environmental factors in local school siting decision-making processes and supports communities in understanding and considering environmental and public health factors when making school siting decisions.

School Siting Guidelines is based upon four principles: safe and healthy school environments are integral components of the education process; the environmental review process should be rigorous, thorough and well documented, and include substantive and ongoing public involvement; schools should be located in environments that contribute to the livability, sustainability and public health of neighborhoods and communities; and the school siting process should consider the environmental health and safety of the entire community, including disadvantaged and underserved populations.

After the School Siting Guidelines were released, three Georgia non-profit organizations – the Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and Mothers & Others for Clean Air – recognized that school siting decision-makers may need training on the Guidelines and a hands-on way of applying the principles of the Guidelines to real-world situations.  In 2012, the team developed a training program based on the School Siting Guidelines called, Old School, New School, This Place, That Place to guide school board members, administrators and personnel, planners, and other decision-makers through the children’s health and environmental impacts that should be considered when making difficult decisions regarding school siting, school closure, or school renovations.  The training was developed using funds from EPA’s Pollution Prevention program in Regions 1, 4, and 7; the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

“State Departments of Education currently provide school siting guidelines based on safety and may require an environmental risk analysis and suggest locations away from industrial, business, or congested areas,” says Brenda Stokes, Director of Construction for the Bibb County School District in Macon, Georgia.  “The EPA goes further by including the community in the site selection process.  Modes of transportation, energy efficiency and schools as temporary emergency shelters are suggested considerations.  I recommend this training to anyone who is involved in the school site selection process.”

Continuing Education (CE) credits have been approved for this workshop for LEED certified professionals. (1 hour of CE per hour of class time)

Date: June 14, 2013

EPA School Siting Guidelines “Train the Trainer”

10:00 am to 2:30 pm EST

  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Guidelines Introduction
  • Trends in Georgia
  • School Siting Principles
  • Meaningful Public Involvement
  • Before the Siting Process Begins
  • Build New or Renovate? + Green Schools
  • Exercise #1


  • Environmental Siting Criteria Considerations
  • Obesity Trends and Health
  • Environmental Review Process
  • Exercise #2
  • Q&A


*If you are an EPA employee and would like to attend this workshop via the internet, please contact Katherine Moore, Sustainable Growth Program Manager at the Georgia Conservancy, at for more details.

Click here for more information on School Siting.