COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 90
October 22, 1999

ADMINISTRATIVE

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Follow up to Superintendent's Memorandum #174 Annual Report on Discipline, Crime and Violence: 1999-2000 Year


The purpose of this memo is to respond to a number of 
questions that have been received related to 
Superintendent's Memorandum #174, September 17, 1999, and to 
provide revised data collection forms and instructions.  The 
Department of Education's intent is to combine and eliminate 
duplication associated with four reports that require data 
submission from school divisions (state Crime and Violence 
report, federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
[IDEA], federal Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities 
Act, and federal Gun Free Schools Act). Two of these four 
reports (Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, and 
Gun Free Schools Act) require a level of detail not 
previously requested. Further, the IDEA data requirements, 
which were reported last year for the first time through the 
Commission on Youth survey, will be collected through this 
process.

Members of the DOE staff have reviewed the requirements for
data submission and have identified some adjustments to the
reporting requirements.

In Superintendent's Memorandum #174, September 17, 1999, 
school divisions were asked to report ". any violation of 
the local school board code of conduct policy . ."  This is 
to advise you that school divisions are only required to 
report:  a) incidents that include offenses identified on 
the attached listing as required offense codes, whether or 
not these incidents resulted in suspension or expulsion;  
and  b) discipline/sanctions resulting in long- or short-
term suspensions, expulsions, and placements in alternative 
education settings.  Some suspensions/expulsions may be the 
result of a violation of the local code of conduct that is 
not included in the list of required offenses.  School 
divisions should use the ". Other Code of Conduct Violation 
(OT1) ." to report these suspensions or expulsions.  These 
data are required for the Crime and Violence Report and for 
IDEA reporting.

The offense codes have been revised to provide two levels of 
detail.  School divisions are only obligated to use required 
codes.  The required codes meet state and federal 
requirements. The optional codes will assist localities with 
completion of the school safety audit, needs assessment, 
planning, and potential  grant opportunities. For example, 
alcohol offenses must be reported, but more detailed 
offenses such as use of alcohol versus possession of alcohol 
are optional and would be useful in 
local planning to address alcohol use in the school 
division. In addition, at school divisions' requests, three 
characters will be used to report required offense codes, 
two letters and one numeral.  You will note required offense 
codes have been reduced from 117 to 48.

Also, the file descriptions have been reviewed and revised. 
"In-school suspension" has been deleted from the 
discipline/sanction reporting options.

A final expressed concern was the requirement to submit a
unique student identifier.  A unique identifier is needed to
distinguish between individuals and incidents and to produce
unduplicated counts of students involved in incidents.   
Assignment of the unique identifier is under the control of the
school division.  School divisions may assign any number or text
string which uniquely identifies the student to the school.  
Unique identifiers need not be the same from year to year.  The 
Department of Education maintains the confidentiality of student
information at all times and will not track individual students 
or join this information with other databases.

This memorandum contains the following attachments:

Attachment A:   Offense Codes 
Attachment B:   Definitions of Offense Codes
Attachment C:   Excel File Description
Attachment D:   ASCII File Description

Revised attachments will be posted on the DOE website.

Reporting requirements, the reporting process, and 
associated issues will be addressed during a DOE Hour 
telecast scheduled from 2:00 to 3:00 PM, Tuesday, October 
26, 1999.

The discipline collection can be completed using either 
Excel 5.0 or Excel 97. The discipline spreadsheet can be 
downloaded from the Department of Education's website at 
www.pen.k12.va.us by selecting "Data and Publications" and 
then selecting "Discipline, Crime and Violence Data 
Collection, 1999-2000" from the "Collections" listing.  The 
complete address is www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Publications/
Discipline/datacoll.coll.htm to access the discipline spreadsheet.  

Questions regarding use of the spreadsheet or ASCII flat 
file should be directed to Janet Christopher, Management 
Information Systems, at (804) 786-1212 or
jchristo@mail.vak12ed.edu.

The data will be due to the Department of Education on 
September 15, 2000.  Additional information regarding the 
reporting process will be disseminated in a later memo. 

We apologize for the challenges presented by this data 
collection effort and for the timing of this request. The 
Department of Education recognizes that the data required 
for these reports are significant.  The improved accuracy of 
the data will assist educators and policymakers at the 
federal, state, and local levels.  If we have erred, we 
erred on the side of maintaining a safe environment for 
Virginia's children.

Questions regarding this information may be directed to Paul 
Raskopf, Office of Special Education and Student Services; 
(804) 225-2080, praskopf@pen.k12.va.us.

PDS/pjr

Attachments:    A hard copy of this memo and its attachment 
                will be sent to the superintendent's office.
.