The Research Shows That School Cleanliness Affects Student Performance

School Cleanliness Affects Student Performance

How clean a school is can have an impact on student success. Lack of a properly cleaned environment can lead to illness, chronic absenteeism and students falling behind their peers. It’s more than just a common belief. There are many years of scientific research to back this theory up.

Education researcher and writer John B. Lyons, who worked with the US Department of Education in the 1990s, writes in a review paper that “schools can have up to four times as many occupants per square foot as offices, and they contain a host of pollution sources” such as chalk dust and mold. Indoor air pollution can lead to asthma, a leading cause of student absences. Lyons notes that “on any given school day, a significant percentage of students are absent for extended periods either from the school or the classroom.”

In a separate paper, a 2014 Canadian review of over thirty existing research studies from both Canada and the United States, found large support for the idea that “cleanliness can affect student health and therefore performance… The result of this must be to recognize the importance of cleanliness and maintenance on student achievement as well as on the overall wellness of the school and the people which occupy it.”

For example, cited in that review, is a study of young students in Virginia that found almost a 3% difference in math scores among third graders who had more frequently cleaned classrooms. There was a similar difference in English test scores as well.

Johnston and Cleaning

At Johnston, we can assist with keeping schools clean from floors to bathrooms, and more. Johnston has partnerships with top cleaning providers like Clarke, Spartan, Proctor and Gamble and Clorox.

Learn more about how we can help. Speak with one of our representatives today! Visit our contact page at

Johnston goes beyond just keeping learning germ-free. In addition to cleaning solutions, we also offer cafeteria support for schools. Johnston has been a leading dealer of cafeteria supplies to local educational institutions for years. Learn more here:

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