Healthy School Buildings

Healthy school buildings and school grounds are key factors in the overall health and safety of students and staff. School buildings and grounds must be designed and maintained to be accessible and free of health and safety hazards, and to promote learning and school engagement.

Policies and protocols must be in place to ensure food protection, sanitation, safe water supply, healthy air quality, good lighting, safe playgrounds, and emergency evacuation, among other issues that relate to the physical environment of schools.

The development and use of safety plans, discipline codes, and bullying policies is essential to keep students safe and engaged in learning. The safety of schools must be based on the application of policies that reflect the priorities of the school community.

When teachers, principals, administrators and first responders collaborate, they maximize the health, safety, and welfare of students and staff when confronted with an emergency situation.

Related Resources

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) coordinate emergency planning and develop safety procedures for all hazards affecting RI Schools. In particular, they help schools develop school safety plans to address two critical issues: the early detection of potential violence or harm, and response and intervention to emergencies and crises. 

To ensure the safety of students, teachers, administrators and staff, every school should be prepared to handle and recover from an emergency.

On June 6, 2012, a new law took effect that impacts the siting, leasing, and construction of school buildings on contaminated sites in Rhode Island.

School Siting Guidance [PDF, 1.2MB]