School Health & Safety

We work to make sure Whatcom County students in public and private schools from kindergarten to 12th grade have a safe and healthy environment for learning. That includes making sure facilities are safe and that students and staff aren’t exposed to harmful diseases or other hazards.

We work with schools to:

  • Assist school nurses and administrators to monitor for infectious disease and manage outbreaks.
  • Inspect school kitchens to ensure food safety rules are followed.
  • Perform safety inspections of school playground equipment.
  • Respond to health and safety concerns from parents and school staff.
  • Review plans for new school sites, and construction and remodeling projects.

What is included in a school inspection?

We look at classrooms and make sure lighting, heating, ventilation, and the surroundings meet certain requirements for a healthy learning environment. We also look at other areas such as cafeterias, playgrounds, arts and crafts rooms, science labs, and career/technical education classrooms. When we find health or safety problems, we report back to the school with information on needed improvements.

What do we do when students or staff are sick?

We work together with school staff to prevent the spread of disease. We do this by monitoring for diseases like flu, measles, or whooping cough, and then working with schools to take steps that protect other students and staff from getting sick. Some steps we might take are:

  • Sending notification letters to let you know if your child has been exposed to a disease. 
  • Keeping sick individuals, or people at high risk of getting sick, out of school.

What is a Plan Review?

When a school district is preparing for a new school or a remodel of an existing school, the school contacts the health department to review the school plans. Our staff makes sure the school is located in a safe place, and we look at the construction plans to make sure the health and safety rules are followed.

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