Superintendent's Memo #173-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

June 26, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Annual Review of Crisis Plans


In accordance with the Code of Virginia at § 22.1-279.8, local school boards are required to annually review the written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans of each school in the division. The superintendent shall certify in writing that review has taken place no later than August 31 of each year to the Virginia Center for School Safety (VCSS).

The Code also provides that the local school board shall have the authority to withhold or limit the review of any security plans and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in § 2.2-3705.2.

In addition, §22.1-279.8 includes the requirement for developed written crisis plans, the role of the Virginia Department of Education and the VCSS, and safety audit information. It may be accessed at the following address: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+22.1-279.8


New Legislative Change in July 2009

Due to the passage of HB 2612 and SB 1150 during the 2009 legislative session, school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans must now include the following information, as stated in amended § 22.1-279.8 as follows:

The plan shall include a provision that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event of an emergency as defined in the emergency response plan when there are victims as defined in § 19.2-11.01, as well as current contact information for both.

In order to facilitate this notification, the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is offering the following guidance:

  1. The school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans should include notification of the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (VCICF) and DCJS.
  2. Actual notification of VCICF and DCJS should be conducted on behalf of the school by the local school superintendent through the local emergency coordinator when state resources are being requested.
  3. The school involved should have a process in place to verify that the action was taken.

In order to certify the completion of the crisis plan review, superintendents will use the same Web-based "Survey Manager" website as provided in the 2009 crisis plan review and safety audit survey processes. The VCSS will send usernames and passwords to superintendents by mail for logging on to the website. The superintendent will need only to provide his/her initials and select the "certification" button to complete the process after log-in.

Information will also be available soon at the website for the VCSS athttp://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/vcss/. Questions may be directed to Donna Bowman, manager of the VCSS at 804-371-6506, donna.bowman@dcjs.virginia.gov.

PIW / CAC / rt