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537 Main Street
P.O. Box 223
Alamosa, Colorado 81101
Phone: (719) 589-1518

School-Based Asthma Management Program: Open Airways in Schools (OAS)

This segment of the Indoor Air Quality Program trains student nurses in a four- hour workshop on applying the OAS (Open Airways in Schools) method that is designed to work in school settings.


School nurses and local nursing students deliver an enhanced version of the Open Airways in Schools (OAS) to reach school-aged children. CARE Air Quality uses this program developed by the American Lung Association that educates and empowers children through a fun and interactive approach to asthma self-management. It teaches children with asthma ages 5-12 how to detect the warning signs of asthma, avoid their triggers and make decisions about their health.


School nurses from the 14 school districts in the SLV and National Jewish Health worked together to improve asthma management and education in schools. Ten school nurses received formal training in 2013 to become Open Airways for Schools instructors with the program being fully implemented in Alamosa and the Del Norte Public School systems 1st-6th grade.Open Airways in Schools consists of six to eight, 40-60 minute sessions. For this project, one additional interactive lesson will be added that focuses solely on indoor air quality and triggers. The triggers discussed during the triggers lesson focus on outdoor triggers such as exercise induced asthma and cold air.


Adams State University (ASU) is supportive of establishing student nurse placements in schools throughout the Valley to assist school nurses with the implementation of Open Airways for Schools. Six to eight school nurses will work with 5-10 students per session of varying age groups, so the ability to divide the groups along more developmentally appropriate levels would enhance the interactive, hands on learning sessions. The use of student nurses would allow this approach and greatly enhance the program. In turn, the student nurses will receive opportunities to provide direct patient education and disease management programs, perform child assessments, and participate in evaluation of student learning and program evaluation. Student nurses are required to have pediatric placements during their training programs to be eligible to write the state nursing boards. These school nurse placements will fulfill the student nurse requirements of teaching health and disease management education, interview skills, assessment skills and evaluative skills. The OAS Program can also enhance their existing respiratory curriculum. Most of the school districts within the SLV already have pre-existing agreements in place that will permit student nurses to go into the schools to work with students under the guidance of the school nurse.




SLVEC, National Jewish Health, Paula Hendricks -CHES, Adams State University Nursing Program, School Nurses from Alamosa, Moffat, Sangre de Cristo, Center, Del
Norte, Mountain Valley School, Creede, and the American Lung Association (Open Airways for Schools Program from ALA)




From January 2013  to February 2015, 55 student nurses were trained in the OAS program which ultimately reached 147 students versed in asthma control training.

This IAQ segment established partnerships between school nurses and the Adams State University nursing program, a goal which will continue to effect asthma awareness and treatment well into the future.


Materials Provided


Power point by Dr. Cicutto, 2nd hand smoke and the health of your family (EPA),Quitline information sheet, (Colorado Quitline), Green Cleaning Solutions
(SLVEC), Indoor Air Quality Backgounder (Tools for Schools)


Student Nurses Learn About Combating Asthma   Click here for the press release from 1.21.14

Information and Background Materials

Indoor Air Quality Program Summary 2013-2015

Indoor Air Quality Program Summary Chart 2013-2015

Community Outreach Results Charts

Indoor Air Quality Web Site- Environmental Protection Agency 

Radon Gas Health Risks

San Luis Valley Air Toxins Analysis 2012

Educational Materials

Asthma Awareness/Assistance Program for Student Nurses Power Point

In Home Air Quality Training Presentation

In Home Evaluation Sheet

Green cleaning solutions for your home

Teen Smoking Concerns/ Tobacco Cessation Here is the phone number for Help to Quit Smoking Call Lizzie Gallardo, Tobacco Navigator, 719-587-6334 CLick here to connect to the SLV Health Smoking Cessation web site

Other Materials, Hand Outs and Presentations

(just click on the item)

Not- On- Tobacco- School Presentation


Teen Question and Answer for the N-O-T ( Not- On- Tobacco) Program
Suggested School Announcement for the Teen N-O-T Program Smoking Cessation Handout Colorado Quit Line- Telephone Support Group
Guideline for Smoking Cessation and Second Hand Smoke
Second Hand Smoke Brochure

Why Quit Smoking? Brochure

Testing and Surveys

Household Quiz for Air Quality

Checking Your Home for Hazzards

Home Evaluation Brochure (English)

Home Evaluation Brochure (En Espanol)

Study Results

Alamosa Schools Asthma Statistics Graph

San Luis Valley Air Toxins Analysis 2012