Spokane Regional Health District inspects all public, private and parochial K-12 schools within Spokane County on a three- year rotation. These inspections verify compliance with state health and safety regulations and guidelines (Chapter 246-366 WAC). Inspections address general areas such as lighting, heating, ventilation, and sanitation, in addition to technical areas such as playgrounds, arts and crafts, science labs and career/technical education. The health district's School Health & Safety program is innovative in that it offers several means for inspection--health and safety inspections conducted by health district inspectors, in addition to guiding school representatives in conducting their own re-inspections and comprehensive self-inspections.
This self-inspection program was created in the late 1990s through collaboration with the health district's School Advisory Committee. Self-inspection allowed for better communication and consistency between the health district and schools, giving schools more program ownership with the ability to control costs, and ultimately created safer, healthier schools. Participating schools sign a participation agreement, send a representative to annual training, and complete/submit their inspections within prescribed timelines.