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School Restroom Privacy and Safety

 

Frequently Asked Questions
*Additional information can be found on our Construction page.

 

Why is there change in the standard configuration of multi-fixture restrooms?

LCPS is not removing the standard configuration of multi-fixture restrooms assigned specifically to boys or girls in any of our schools. All students, now and in the future, have a choice to utilize the multi-fixture, gender-specific restrooms in all LCPS facilities. The safety of LCPS students and staff remains the Division’s top priority. The ONE LCPS: 2027 Strategic Plan for Excellence, Goal 3.3 is “Ensure schools and classrooms across the county support high-quality instruction and the safety of every person.”

 

While the vast majority of LCPS students are mindful and respectful of the individuality of other students, LCPS is aware that incidents occur inside the restrooms that are not in accordance with School Board policies and the guidelines laid out in the Student Rights and Responsibilities, deterring students from entering the space. Some students choose individual or private restrooms due to concerns related to activities by other students in the restrooms.

 

How will you help ensure the safety of children in the restroom?

School restroom safety concerns include issues such as fighting, vaping, graffiti or vandalism, property damage, use of drugs and violence. Ensuring student safety in restrooms is more challenging than most other spaces in schools due to balancing the need for student privacy.

 

In addition to the gender-neutral restrooms currently in place, LCPS’ pilot program for renovations and technology solutions meets the safety and privacy needs of all students and staff. Before initiating the pilot program, LCPS received feedback from building-level principals, student advisories and parents. The input helped inform proposed solutions that balance safety and privacy needs for all.

 

What is the status of the LCPS standard configuration of multi-fixture restrooms?

LCPS is not removing the standard configuration of multi-fixture restrooms assigned specifically to boys or girls in any of our schools. All students, now and in the future, have a choice to utilize the multi-fixture, gender-specific restrooms in all LCPS facilities. In addition to the standard configuration of multi-fixture restrooms, LCPS is increasing the number of and access to gender-neutral, single-use restrooms that offer the option of privacy for all students.

 

Where is the budget allocation coming from to pay for the safety and privacy restroom pilot project? 

LCPS invests in student safety in facilities through its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This plan outlines allocated funding for improving the privacy and safety of our school restrooms. Privacy space projects are in the School Board’s approved FY 2024 through FY 2029 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and Capital Asset Preservation Program (CAPP). These are separate from annual budget development and review.

 

Monies for improving the privacy and safety of our school restrooms are not related to the budget for staffing.

 

If you have gender-neutral restrooms in place in LCPS facilities, why make any changes?

In addition to the gender-neutral restrooms currently in place, LCPS’ pilot program for renovations and technology solutions will help meet the safety and privacy needs of all students and staff. Before initiating the pilot program, LCPS received feedback from building-level principals, student advisories and parents. The input helped inform the proposed solutions that balance safety and privacy needs for all.

 

The pilot renovations and technology projects are scheduled to begin this summer through fall of 2023. The Division has and will continue to coordinate with schools and communicate with families, students and staff as the project begins and throughout the implementation process. 

 

Where are the pilot programs being implemented?

The pilot renovation projects are at Broad Run, Dominion, Heritage, Loudoun Valley and Woodgrove High Schools. 

 

The technology projects are at Park View and Stone Bridge High Schools and Farmwell Station and Sterling Middle Schools.

 

How will LCPS communicate with parents about the projects? 

Division leadership has been meeting with building-level principals, student advisories and parents to gather feedback as part of a communications plan in advance of the pilot program in order to learn what works and what does not, in our best effort to find a solution that balances safety and privacy needs. 

 

LCPS will continue to coordinate with schools and communicate with families, students and staff as projects are set to begin and throughout the implementation process. LCPS will also solicit feedback once the renovation and technology solutions are in place to learn about how the improvements are working.

 

What is the difference between the pilot renovation and the technology project?

The pilot renovation project consists of renovations at five high schools, including the creation of four gender-neutral, single-use restrooms accessible from a main corridor and restoring access to staff restrooms.

The pilot renovation project will focus on: 

  • improvements to the initial implementation​

  • enhanced student and staff privacy with private compartments​

  • improved staff and student access with proposed locations​

  • maintained compliance with Policy 8040 and the Code of Virginia​

  • maintaining or increasing the number of plumbing fixtures​

 

The technology project increases safety through: ​

  • vaping and air quality monitoring ​

  • occupancy sensors​

  • provide notifications of risk situations​

  • options for cloud-based monitoring

The technology project will allow school-based administrators to better monitor and manage activities in restrooms. However, restrooms will not have cameras or audio recording, and will not capture personally identifiable information.

 

When are construction projects happening?

The planned construction phases are Summer 2023 - Fall 2023​.  Depending upon construction and material availability, some elements of the pilot projects may not be ready in time for the first day of school.

 

How can I offer my feedback? 

The Loudoun County School Board and the staff welcome public feedback or questions. Contact the School Board or Ask the Superintendent

 

*Additional information will be provided as available.

 

Updated May 3, 2023