The Department of Health (DOH) conducts routine inspections at school facilities for the physical plant and food hygiene standards. For more information regarding our role in school facilities, please visit our group care and food hygiene program websites.
Although, many school facilities have various animals on the campus and in the classrooms for educational purposes, the department does not have any rules restricting animals from school property or classrooms. However, for licensed kitchens, there are restrictions on animals in the kitchen and dining areas. Complaints, regarding physical plant or food hygiene issues, can be directed to the local county health department's environmental health section for investigation. Complaints can be anonymous if preferred; however, follow-up with the complainant is not possible when they are anonymous.
The Florida Statute 828.30 requires dogs, cats, and ferrets four months of age or older to be vaccinated against rabies. Additionally, any animal bite must be reported to either the local animal control within the city or county; if none exists, contact the local county health department's environmental health section, for investigation and possible quarantine of the animal.
The State Department of Education (DOE) has the responsibility and authority to write rules for public and private schools in Florida and the Department of Health has inspection authority to apply the DOE standards, per statute 381.006(16).
There are two different rules that apply, depending upon the type of school public, charter, and private (Non-public K-12 grades). However, in the case of charter schools, DOE standards apply base on the individual charter schools physical location. If the charter school is located on public school property or property owned by the local county school board, the public school rule standards apply. If the charter school in located on property or in a building not owned by the local county school board, then the private school rule and standards apply.
Private Schools, Non-public K-12 Schools, and Charter Schools not located on local school board property:
Chapter 6A-2.0040 of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC). Refer to Inspector's Guidance for Public Schools Document 2013. Any variance or waiver requests from this rule must be processed through the DOH Agency Clerk. DOE ContactPublic schools, Vocational Schools, and Charter Schools located in or on local school board property:
The Florida Department of Health conducts one routine physical plant inspection on each public and private school annually. The annual facility inspection covers:
To make a complaint contact the local county health department’s environmental health section in the county that the school is located.
Be advised: The Florida Department of Health is not authorized to supervise the school board nor the consultant hired by the school board. Nor are we aware of any federal or state of Florida agency authorized to supervise indoor air quality assessment activities of consultants or school boards; the decisions of hiring and sampling rest solely on the Superintendent and the School Board.
On the subject of managing indoor air quality in school buildings consider reviewing the following information provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Consider speaking with school administrators if they are interested in adopting the IAQ tools for schools concept at your child's school.