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School Inspections for Local Health Departments
The purpose of this webpage is to provide resources to local health departments to assist in fulfilling the statutory requirement for conducting annual school sanitary inspections. K.S.A. 65-202 requires that the local health officer of each county:
Shall upon the opening of the fall term of school, make or have made a sanitary inspection of each school building and grounds, and shall make or have made such additional inspections thereof as are necessary to protect the public health of the students of the school.
The duty of the local health officer to conduct a sanitary inspection of each school building is a clear mandate. It requires a sanitary inspection and such additional inspections of the building and grounds to protect the public health of students. K.S.A. 65-202 does not indicate what constitutes a sanitary inspection. Therefore, each local health officer has discretion to determine what specific sanitary issues the local health officer should look for during this inspection.
With regard to liability of failure to make an inspection, counties and county employees are covered by the Kansas Tort Claims Act. While there may be exemptions from liability contained within K.S.A. 75-6104 that may be applicable to the making of or failure to make an inspection, local health officers should consult with their county counselors to determine to what extent they are protected by the Tort Claims Act or what liability they risk by failing to make an inspection required under K.S.A. 65-202.
The requirement to inspect schools necessitates inspections of K-12 public and private schools. However, it does not include colleges and universities. (See Kansas Attorney General Opinion 93-79)
- Statute for School Inspections (DOCX)
- School Inspections - What Local Health Departments in Kansas Need to Know (PDF)
Checklists Used by Kansas Local Health Departments for Conducting School Inspections
Example Letters to Schools
- School Inspection Manual for Health Officers (Kansas-1989) (PDF)
- Creating Healthy School Environments: Step by Step (Ohio) (PDF)
- Voluntary Guidelines for Ohio Schools (DOCX)
- Slide Quick Overview Ohio Guide (PDF)