Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Chapter 9. School Property
11/30/2022

Article 2. School Buildings.

§ 22.1-135. Health and decency.

No public school shall be allowed in any building which is not in such condition and provided with such conveniences as are required by a due regard for decency and health.

Code 1950, §§ 22-97, 22-157; 1954, c. 291; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 79, § 1; 1968, c. 501; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 161; 1975, cc. 308, 328; 1978, c. 430; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-135.1. Potable water; lead testing.

Each local school board shall develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, remediate potable water from sources identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as high priority for testing, including bubbler-style and cooler-style drinking fountains, cafeteria or kitchen taps, classroom combination sinks and drinking fountains, and sinks known to be or visibly used for consumption. Such plan shall be consistent with guidance published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health. The local school board shall give priority in the testing plan to schools whose school building was constructed, in whole or in part, before 1986. Each local school board shall submit such testing plan and report the results of any such test to the Department of Health. Each local school board shall take all steps necessary to notify parents if testing results indicate lead contamination that exceeds 10 parts per billion.

2017, c. 628; 2020, cc. 293, 884.

§ 22.1-136. Duty of division superintendent to close buildings.

When a public school building appears to the division superintendent to be unfit for occupancy, it shall be his duty to close the same and immediately to give notice thereof in writing to the members of the school board. No public school shall be held therein nor shall any state or local funds be applied to support any school in such building until the division superintendent shall certify in writing to the school board that he is satisfied with the condition of such building and with the appliances pertaining thereto.

Code 1950, §§ 22-97, 22-158; 1954, c. 291; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 79, § 1; 1968, c. 501; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 161; 1975, cc. 308, 328; 1978, c. 430; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-137. Fire drills.

In every public school there shall be a fire drill at least twice during the first 20 school days of each school session, in order that pupils may be thoroughly practiced in such drills. Every public school shall hold at least two additional fire drills during the remainder of the school session.

Code 1950, § 22-156; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 163; 1980, c. 559; 1993, c. 212; 2016, c. 524.

§ 22.1-137.1. Tornado drills.

In every public school there shall be at least one tornado drill every school year, in order that students may be thoroughly practiced in such drills.

2001, c. 841.

§ 22.1-137.2. Lock-down drills.

A. In every public school there shall be a lock-down drill at least once during the first 20 school days of each school session, in order that students and teachers may be thoroughly practiced in such drills. Every public school shall hold at least one additional lock-down drill after the first 60 days of the school session. Every public school shall provide the parents of enrolled students with at least 24 hours' notice before the school conducts any lock-down drill, provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to require such notice to include the exact date and time of the lock-down drill.

B. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students shall be exempt from mandatory participation in lock-down drills during the first 60 days of the school session. Local school boards shall develop policies to implement such exemption. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, each pre-kindergarten and kindergarten student shall participate in each lock-down drill after the first 60 days of each school session.

2013, c. 609; 2016, c. 524; 2020, cc. 378, 1040; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 26.

§ 22.1-137.3. School safety procedures; emergency situations; annual training.

In addition to complying with the requirements for drills set forth in §§ 22.1-137, 22.1-137.1, and 22.1-137.2, each school board shall develop training on safety procedures in the event of an emergency situation on school property. Such training shall be delivered to each student and employee in each school at least once each school year.

2019, cc. 61, 140.

§ 22.1-138. Minimum standards for public school buildings.

A. The Board of Education shall prescribe by regulation minimum standards for the erection of or addition to public school buildings governing instructional, operational, health and maintenance facilities where these are not specifically addressed in the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.).

B. By July 1, 1994, every school building in operation in the Commonwealth shall be tested for radon pursuant to procedures established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for radon measurements in schools.

School buildings and additions opened for operation after July 1, 1994, shall be tested for radon pursuant to such EPA procedures and regulations prescribed by the Board of Education pursuant to subsection A. Each school shall maintain files of its radon test results and make such files available for review. The division superintendent shall report radon test results to the Department of Health.

C. Each school board shall maintain a water management program for the prevention of Legionnaires' disease at each public school building in the local school division. Each school board shall validate each water management program on at least an annual basis to maintain the health and decency of such buildings. Each public school shall maintain files related to its water management program, including the results of all validation and remediation activities, and make such files available for review.

D. Each local school board shall develop and implement a plan to test and, if necessary, a plan to remediate mold in public school buildings in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Each local school board shall (i) submit such testing plan and report the results of any test performed in accordance with such plan to the Department of Health and (ii) take all steps necessary to notify school staff and the parents of all enrolled students if testing results indicate the presence of mold in a public school building at or above the minimum level that raises a concern for the health of building occupants, as determined by the Department of Health.

E. Each school board shall, in consultation with the local building official and the state or local fire marshal, develop a procurement plan to ensure that all security enhancements to public school buildings are in compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) and Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.).

F. No school employee shall open or close an electronic room partition in any school building unless (i) no student is present in such building, (ii) (a) no student is present in the room or area in which such partition is located and (b) such room or area is locked or otherwise inaccessible to students, or (iii) such partition includes a safety sensor that automatically stops the partition when a body passes between the leading edge and a wall, an opposing partition, or the stacking area.

Any annual safety review or exercise for school employees in a local school division shall include information and demonstrations, as appropriate, regarding the provisions of this subsection.

The Department of Education shall make available to each school board model safety guidance regarding the operation of electronic room partitions.

1980, c. 559; 1993, c. 765; 2019, cc. 121, 369; 2020, cc. 776, 780.

§ 22.1-138.1. School maintenance program established.

In compliance with the provisions of the appropriation act relating to the maintenance supplement program and with such funds as are appropriated for such purpose, each school board shall establish a program for ongoing school maintenance needs.

1998, c. 73.

§ 22.1-138.2. Certain public school buildings; carbon monoxide detectors.

Each public school building that was built before 2015 and that houses any classroom for students shall be equipped with at least one carbon monoxide detector.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 165.

§ 22.1-138.3. Department; school division maintenance reserve tool.

A. The Department, in consultation with the Department of General Services, shall develop or adopt and maintain a data collection tool to assist each school board to determine the relative age of each public school building in the local school division and the amount of maintenance reserve funds that are necessary to restore each such building.

B. Each school board shall provide to the Department in a timely fashion the local data that is necessary to ensure that the tool maintained pursuant to subsection A remains relevant and useful for the determination of maintenance reserve needs.

2022, c. 650.

§ 22.1-139. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 61, cl. 2.

§ 22.1-140. Plans for buildings to be approved by division superintendent.

No public school building or addition or alteration thereto, for either permanent or temporary use, shall be advertised for bid, contracted for, erected, or otherwise acquired until the plans and specifications therefor (i) have been approved in writing by the division superintendent; (ii) are accompanied by a statement by an architect or professional engineer licensed by the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects that such plans and specifications are, in his professional opinion and belief, in compliance with the regulations of the Board of Education and the Uniform Statewide Building Code; and (iii) have been reviewed by an individual or entity with professional expertise in building security and crime prevention through building design. The division superintendent's approval, architect's or engineer's statement, all reviewers' comments, and a copy of the final plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Code 1950, §§ 22-97, 22-152, 22-153; 1954, cc. 257, 291; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 79, § 1; 1968, c. 501; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 161; 1975, cc. 308, 328; 1978, c. 430; 1980, c. 559; 1991, c. 550; 1993, c. 227; 1998, c. 27; 2019, c. 226.

§ 22.1-141. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1982, c. 647.