Facilities/Buildings and Grounds

Structure, structure, structure – yes, the physical structure of any school building should be up to code and constructed with students’ safety in mind. The arrangements of rooms within the building, as well as the security of the grounds play major roles in the overall security and safety of a school. Due to recent weather disasters our focus has heightened concerning the stability of the school structure during this occurrence. Our society is also going green, as we look at ways to improve our school environment and make it healthy and useable for future generations.

“Facilities and grounds” have always been important topics and this continues to expand as efforts are made to make all schools a safe haven for students.

CPTED Checklist Required by SB 8

The Kentucky Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Checklist for school construction  is to be used in compliance with KRS 158.447.  This is now a part of the BG-1 process. It is designed to create open discussion among school district officials, board member and licensed design professionals (aka architects) when they begin planning for new construction or renovation projects in a school district.

Facilities Handbooks/Manuals

Public Playground Safety Handbook – U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission –  This  handbook is expected to promote greater safety awareness among those who purchase, install, and maintain public playground equipment. …CPSC staff believes that the recommendations in this handbook will contribute to greater playground safety. Some states and local jurisdictions may require compliance with this handbook and/or ASTM voluntary standards. Additionally, risk managers, insurance companies, or others may require compliance at a particular site; check with state/local jurisdictions and insurance companies for specific requirements.  

Facility Checklist

SITE ASSESS – A Mobile Application for K-12 Schools and School Districts – REMS – This free, comprehensive tool allows school and school district personnel to walk around a school building and grounds and examine their safety, security, accessibility, and emergency preparedness. SITE ASSESS generates a customized to-do list that may be used in the short term and long term to address facility improvements, prompts teams to share pertinent information with first responders, and contains relevant resources on several education facility and safety topics.

K-12 School Security Checklist – Homeland Security – This baseline security practices checklist is intended only as a guide… Please note: the checklists may or may not directly correspond to sections specifically discussed in the “K-12 Schools Security Practices Guide;” …

Public Playground Safety Checklist – U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground. A simple checklist to help make sure your local community or school playground is a safe place to play is provided. …

School Safety and Security Audits – Texas School Safety Center -This audit guide contains two checklists: The Comprehensive Document Review Checklist provides guidance for documents to review, and the School Facility Audit Checklist provides guidance for more specific procedures, conditions and operations within a specific school or support facility.  

Facility Resources

K-12 School Security Guide (2nd Edition) and School Security Survey – Homeland Security – K-12 School Security: A Guide for Preventing and Protecting against Gun Violence (2nd ed., 2018) provides preventive and protective measures to address the threat of gun violence in schools. The Guide is delivered in two parts:  the first portion is a PDF with general security best practices and considerations in narrative format; while the second portion is a Microsoft Excel-based security survey. Together, these documents outline action-oriented security practices and options for consideration based on the results of the individual school’s responses to the survey. While the primary audience for the Guide is the K-12 community, institutions of higher education or pre-K schools may also benefit from the information presented.

School Facilities – Kentucky Department of Education – The District Facilities Branch (DFB) in the Division of District Support (DDS) partners with local school districts to help build a statewide education facility infrastructure that supports student performance…. DFB provides assistance … by reviewing and approving all new buildings, additions, alterations of existing buildings and energy savings projects from initial construction project application through final project completion. The branch also administers real property matters related to site acquisition, disposal of surplus property, leases and easements.   

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services – School Facilities – The state school facilities program establishes uniform standards for schools and includes sanitary standards for operation, inspections, and enforcement procedures necessary to ensure a safe and sanitary environment. … 

Safe Room Resources – FEMA – Includes articles, publications and documents with relevant stories regarding safe room utilization along with a list of helpful guides regarding safe rooms.

Playground Safety – Nemours Foundation – Listed are simple safety guidelines to protect children from potential hazards on the playground. Children should be taught and know the rules for playground safety.