6800 Safety, Operations and Maintenance of School Property

    1. Facilities Maintenance

      The superintendent shall provide for a program to maintain the district physical plant and grounds by way of a continuous program of repair, maintenance and reconditioning. Budget recommendations shall be made each year to meet these needs and any such needs arising from an emergency.

    2. Infrastructure Management

      The board of directors also desires to maintain the infrastructure of district facilities.

      In order to assure state funding, for facilities constructed new or new in lieu after 1994, the board of directors will adopt an asset preservation program (APP). The APP will preserve the district facilities by employing a system of predictive, preventative, and proactive processes. Annually, the superintendent will report to the board on the condition of the facilities and the effectiveness of the APP. Every sixth year an independent assessment will be conducted and reported to the board and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

      Additionally, the superintendent will develop a process to evaluate all pre-1994 facilities for possible participation in the asset preservation program.

      For initial participation in the APP, the board will submit a resolution to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction committing the district to implement the program.

      The superintendent will develop procedures for the asset preservation program.

    3. Playground Equipment

      The board recognizes that playground equipment is an essential part of a complete school facility. All playground equipment, whether purchased by the district or donated by a community or school-related group, should be assessed in terms of suitability and durability and for possible health or safety hazards. Consideration will also be given to potential hazards when the playground is unsupervised during non-school hours.

      The superintendent will develop specifications for playground equipment and related play surfaces. These specifications shall serve as criteria for the selection of playground equipment. Selection and installation of playground equipment will be based upon safety and contribution to child development.

    4. Chemical and Laboratory Safety

      The board recognizes the potential health and safety hazards that exist as a result of chemical storage and handling. Instruction will be emphasized in the safe and proper use of chemicals and substances and proper laboratory techniques. All students and staff are to wear safety glasses or goggles whenever they are working under potentially hazardous conditions. Laboratories should be ventilated sufficiently enough to provide a healthful, nonhazardous environment.

      The superintendent is directed to establish safety guidelines and procedures which will minimize the hazards inherent in the science classes and laboratories in the schools.

    5. Destruction of School Property

      Staff shall insure that buildings, grounds, equipment and furniture are not abused. Students or non-students who abuse school property may be disciplined and required to pay for the damage incurred.

      The superintendent shall establish procedures for the investigation and reporting of damage or loss and shall initiate action to collect for damages. A student's grades, transcript or diploma may be withheld until restitution is made.

    Cross Reference:      
    Board Policy 2151         Interscholastic Activities
    Board Policy 3520         Student Fees, Fines, Charges
    Board Policy 6511         Staff Safety
    Board Policy 6605         Student Safety Walking to School and Riding Buses

    Legal Reference:       
    RCW 28A.335.300          Playground matting
    RCW 28A.635.060          Defacing or injuring school property – Liability of pupil, parent, or guardian – Withholding grades, diploma, or transcripts – Suspension and restitution – Voluntary work program as alternative – Rights protected
    WAC 392-347-023          State Assistance in Post 1993 Facilities

    Management Resources: 
    Policy News, Oct. 2011         Policy Manual Revisions
    Policy News, June 2009        New Rules for Asset Preservation Program

    ADOPTED: 05/13/93
    REVISED: 04/23/98; 03/23/2006; 09/24/09; 02/23/12

    Procedure No. 6800P Safety, Operations and Maintenance of School Property

    Playground Equipment

    Plans to install playground equipment, either temporarily or permanently at a school site, shall be reviewed by a committee appointed by the school principal and other appropriate staff members. A representative from the current insurance carrier shall be contacted prior to installation.


    1. Equipment must meet the safety criteria listed below:
      1.  All playground equipment must have an immediate ground surface which limits the impact from a fall, according to ASTM F-355-72. The safety surface must extend to the maximum distance to which a fall could occur.
      2.  Equipment is to be placed so as to take advantage of topography of surrounding terrain and far enough apart so that there will be a dispersing of children allowing safe, free movement with the least possible congestion.
      3.  All equipment is to be free from hazardous protrusions, points and sharp edges.
      4.  Exposed component materials are to be rust-free, clean and durable to use and weather with a minimum amount of splintering, flaking or other deterioration. Lead paint and creosote shall not be used.
      5.  Equipment that is low to the ground and with a six (6) foot maximum vertical limit is preferred.
      6.  All moving parts are to be concealed and be designed to minimize the chances of pinching or catching of clothing or of body.
      7.  All equipment must be securely anchored according to manufacturer's recommendations and installed by the manufacturer or their authorized representative.
    2. Equipment should require a minimum of maintenance, specifically for replacement of parts and painting.
    3. Equipment should be anesthetically appealing, and encourage active and creative use.
    4. Equipment should be difficult to vandalize.
    5. Unpadded cement or steel stationary poles should not be in areas intended for running games. 

    The maintenance supervisor shall coordinate installation of approved equipment with the school principal. Quarterly inspections will be conducted.

    Safety Program

    Proper surveillance and supervision are the key factors in accident prevention. Identifying and minimizing potential hazards is a major function of a competent supervisor. Realistically, a supervisor cannot prevent all accidents from happening. The following guidelines are presented to assist in identifying prudent steps that need to be implemented on a district-wide basis: 

    1. Student supervision begins 15 minutes before school start-up time and ends with dismissal.
      1.  Parents need to be informed a minimum of twice a year.
      2.  Exceptions to the above need to be accurately communicated to parents; i.e., intramural activities, detention, etc.
    2. Playground supervisors must have the support of the principal and the entire staff in order to function effectively with the authority necessary.
      1.  High density and high risk areas must be identified along with the most strategic vantage point for good supervision at each school site.
      2.  Students should be directed into productive, safe play whenever possible.
    3. Safety inspections must be conducted on a regular basis.
      1.  A punch list of specific areas and equipment specific to each school site shall be developed by the principal and custodian or principal's designee.
      2.  The building custodian, or principal's designee, should make the inspection with the principal or at the principal's request.
      3.  Ideally, the inspection should be made prior to starting school, and in early November, January and April.
    4. Students shall be oriented to the school setting the first week of school.
      1.  Students shall be informed of designated areas for specific activities.
      2.  Rules of play on apparatus with emphasis on "do's and don'ts" for safety shall be emphasized.
    5. Consistent criteria for submitting accident reports need to be developed and implemented for liability protection and accident surveillance.
    6. Each school shall establish a safety committee composed of teachers, the principal, nurse, playground supervisor, custodian, and student representative for the purpose of evaluating and enhancing safety practices and conditions at the school site.
    7. The following safety practices will be employed in the specific areas identified below: 


    Potential hazards shall be removed or reduced in the buildings and grounds of that district: 

    1. Slippery surfaces eliminated in areas where there is student or staff traffic.
    2. Rough surfaces and abrupt surface changes eliminated or identified with "safety yellow paint." 
    3. Student traffic controlled wherever collisions might occur, such as doorways to and from play areas.


    Equipment shall be properly located, installed and supervised: 

    1. Selection and installation of playground equipment based upon safety and contribution to child development. 
    2. All equipment designed for climbing or hanging activities provided with a resilient surface underneath, such as a rubberized safety cushion or several inches of pea gravel. 
    3. Instruction about the proper use of equipment and safety measures relevant to each piece of equipment provided at the beginning of each school year. 
    4. Playground equipment and surfacing inspected monthly for wear or damage.
    5. Supervision provided on playgrounds and around equipment.
    6. Fencing provided where playgrounds are adjacent to streets or highways. 
    7. Barriers installed and maintained to prevent people from damaging turf and playground equipment with horses and/or motor vehicles. 

    Physical Education Facilities

    An organized, developmental curriculum shall emphasize proper care and use of equipment:

    1. Safety rules and procedures outlined to students and conspicuously posted. 
    2. Supervision provided at a student/teacher ratio that is conducive to safe participation. 
    3. Activities involving physical contact scheduled on the basis of equitable competition based on size and skill. 
    4. Emergency accident procedures employed, followed by the completion of an accident report.
    5. Skills introduced and taught in a sequence from simple to complex. 
    6. Equipment and facilities inspected on a regular basis. 
    7. Teachers of high-risk activities trained in first aid and emergency care. 

    Science Laboratory

    Care is required in the use and storage of science materials and equipment:

    1. Personal protective equipment used when working in laboratory.
    2. Safety measures (hazards and dangers) associated with a laboratory activity recognized. 
    3. Emergency safety equipment and first aid techniques (eyewash, fountain, shower, respirator, fire extinguishers, face protection, fire blanket) easily accessed. 
    4. Laboratory exhaust hoods used for experiments involving toxic and/or flammable materials.
    5. Chemicals marked (name, shelf life, date opened) and stored with proper supervision. 
    6. Waste chemicals and glass disposed properly. 
    7. Science room secured when not in use. 
    8. Compressed gas cylinders chained in an upright position. 
    9. Flammable stored in an explosive-proof refrigerator. 
    10. Master gas shutoff provided for each laboratory.

    Industrial Arts Shops

    The program should be built around well-organized facilities, well-maintained and properly installed equipment, instruction in the use of equipment and proper supervision.

    1. Students instructed in the proper use of equipment. 
    2. All belts, blades, safety devices and cords inspected weekly. 
    3. Personal protective devices (goggles, caps, etc.) and proper clothing used as part of shop procedures. 
    4. Exhaust hoods and collector fans used for ventilation. 
    5. Guards and other safety devices used on saws, lathes, drills and other shop equipment. 
    6. Operating instructions posted near all equipment. 
    7. First aid and emergency accident procedures posted. 
    8. Shop area maintained free of hazards.

    Cafeteria Tables

    Portable, folding tables used in school cafeterias should be moved by trained personnel only. Each table should have a consumer products label attached. (Consumer Product Safety Commission, P.O. Box 861, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55401-1234).


    Because of the dangers inherent in bleachers that are improperly operated and/or maintained, trained school personnel should be involved in extending or closing bleachers.

    1. Bleachers must be fully extended and properly aligned each time that they are to be used. 
    2. Bleachers shall be inspected for damage, wear and misalignment at least twice per year and maintained in accordance with the owner's manual. 
    3. Guardrails should be installed as a safety precaution. 
    4. A consumer products label should be attached to each set of bleachers. 

    ADOPTED: 05/13/1993
    REVISED: 04/23/98; 04/27/2000; 02/23/12

6000 Policies