Effect of Classroom Air Quality Monitoring on Child Health and Attendance

Last registered on September 09, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Effect of Classroom Air Quality Monitoring on Child Health and Attendance
Initial registration date
January 07, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 07, 2022, 11:36 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
September 09, 2022, 5:00 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Minnesota

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Minnesota
PI Affiliation
Compass SI

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This project will examine how classroom air quality monitoring affects the health and attendance of children at childcare centers, preschools, and elementary schools. We plan to conduct a pilot test of this study at the University of Minnesota Child Development Laboratory School (CDLS).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bellemare, Marc, Kent Horsager and Jason Kerwin. 2022. "Effect of Classroom Air Quality Monitoring on Child Health and Attendance." AEA RCT Registry. September 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8783-2.1
Experimental Details


We will randomly assign classrooms in the center to either receive an air quality monitor or not. The air quality monitors detect CO2 levels, which can have two harmful effects. First, CO2 has direct negative consequences for alertness and thus can reduce learning outcomes. Second, CO2 is strongly correlated with the concentration of airborne viruses in the air, including COVID-19 but also many other respiratory viruses.

Teachers in classrooms that are assigned an air quality monitor will also receive basic guidance in how to use it. The monitors have an indicator for high CO2 levels and are easily read and interpreted by users, and teachers will be advised to open a window when levels are high.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
This pilot study will collect two administrative variables at the level of a student-day that we will use as outcomes: 1) absences 2) recorded symptoms (for days when they were in school). We will also construct a third outcome, which is equal to 1 whenever the student is either sick or has symptoms (or both), and zero otherwise. Our data will have a panel structure, following students (indexed by i) over days of school (indexed by t). The outcomes will be defined only for days when school was in session. They will also be defined only for days when the student was actually enrolled in school, so the panel will be unbalanced.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Classrooms will be randomly assigned to either be in a treatment group (which receives an AQM) or a control group. The randomization will be done in Stata by generating a pseudorandom number for each classroom and sorting the classrooms by this number. The first classroom in this randomly-sorted list will be assigned to the treatment group, the second to the control group, the third to the treatment group, and so on.
Experimental Design Details
The seed value will be chosen by Marc Bellemare, because Jason Kerwin has children who are students at the CDLS, potentially presenting a conflict of interest. Bellemare will not know which classroom's Kerwin's children are in at the time of the randomization.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
13 classrooms
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 150 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
7 treatment, 6 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
N/A - this is a pilot study to test out protocols, in order to inform a broader RCT.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Minnesota IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials