What is the school inspection process and why is it important?

State law requires semi-annual inspection of both private and public school facilities, and some facility equipment and assets have even more frequent evaluation schedules. Inspection ensures necessary and routine maintenance programs are not only implemented, but improved upon over time. Though it can be stringent, inspection legislation guarantees a safe learning environment for students and provides them with the opportunity to achieve the highest levels of academic success.

However, as school districts and school administrators know, these inspections can cause unnecessary strain on staff. The process is typically the same—a state inspector arrives at the school facility, either by appointment or completely unannounced, with a list of compliance items that need to be checked.

Every year, it seems that the list grows longer due to new inspection report requirements. From school buses to the playground, it can be tough to keep up with changes and with what school inspectors are now looking for.

Adding to the frustration is the fact that some school administrators don’t have policies in place regarding school inspections. There’s no way to head off problems before they result in fines and costly repairs. Also, there may be no way to track whether work on an asset was completed or if equipment was replaced or fixed. Luckily, facility maintenance software can help with clarity and accountability and prevent missing evaluation reports from ever happening.

How facilities maintenance software can improve compliance

Facility maintenance software helps districts and school officials ensure that their buildings are in working condition so that staff and pupils are safe—and so that the space can be used to its fullest potential. This type of management system also assigns tasks and work orders to a maintenance team based on their availability and the work’s level of importance.

After a work order is completed, it’s automatically saved and documented in a secure database. This record can then be accessed for a report or a compliance audit during a school inspection. No longer does a teacher, janitor, mechanic, secretary, or other school official have to worry about remembering when service was completed on anything in their facilities.

Facilities maintenance software can:

  • Help you meet regulatory compliance and safety standards
  • Manage assets and equipment
  • Improve communication
  • Automate routine processes and maintenance workflows
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Increase productivity
  • Provide a historic record of work completed
  • Create reports that can be used to make data-driven maintenance decisions, budgets, and school inspection inquiries

Learn more about facilities management software.

Preventive maintenance checklists can play a role in easing school inspections

Pre-Inspection checklists can be created by facility maintenance software; these lists can then become a part of routine maintenance practices. Checklists can provide a path to assuring certification. Some items to include on a checklist for an inspection report are:

  • Building and grounds – classroom conditions, lighting, roofing, toilet and locker room facilities, ventilation and HVAC, playground equipment
  • Kitchen/cafeteria – food inspection, refrigeration, pest control, cleaning equipment
  • Transportation safety and school buses – tire pressures, oil changes, bus condition, repairs, bus driver qualifications
  • Fire inspections – fire exits maintained, fire extinguishers, updated exit maps

Check out facilities management software for schools for more school maintenance checklists and items inspectors look for when grading a school, building, and school district.

Next steps

  1. Knowing your state’s school inspection requirements for the school year is the first step in simplifying the inspection process. Most state school inspection guidelines can be found via your state’s department of health and/or education website. 
  2. Organizing an advanced maintenance and repair plan with proactive checklists will ensure you remain on top of your district’s requirements.

 A company like FMX can help make a routine inspection, well… routine. We can guide school administrators through the inspection checklist creation process with our best-in-class facilities management software.

Learn more and take a free spin. A positive evaluation is only a click away.