Superintendent’s Memo #185-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

July 19, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Division and School Safety Audit Requirements for 2013-2014

The purpose of this memo is to provide information on newly enacted legislation effective as of July 1, 2013, pertaining to crisis management plans and school safety audits and to provide instructions for the submission of the division and school safety audits for the 2013-2014 school year.

The 2013 General Assembly enacted HB 2346 which amended § 22.1-279.8 of the Code of Virginia dealing with school safety audits and school crisis, emergency management, and medical response plans. Amendments and new requirements in the Code sections are shown below.

Section B.  The Virginia Center for School Safety, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits required by this section. Such items shall include those incidents reported to school authorities pursuant to § 22.1-279.3:1 and shall include a school inspection walk-through using a standardized checklist provided by the Virginia Center for School Safety, which shall incorporate crime prevention through environmental design principles….

…The results of such school safety audits shall be made public within 90 days of completion. The local school board shall retain authority to withhold or limit the release of any security plans, walk-through checklists, and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in subdivision 7 of § 2.2-3705.2. The completed walk-through checklist shall be made available upon request to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality or his designee. Each school shall maintain a copy of the school safety audit, which may exclude such security plans, walk-through checklists, and vulnerability assessment components, within the office of the school principal and shall make a copy of such report available for review upon written request.

Each school shall submit a copy of its school safety audit to the relevant school division superintendent. The division superintendent shall collate and submit all such school safety audits, in the prescribed format and manner of submission, to the Virginia Center for School Safety and shall make available upon request to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality the results of such audits.

Section C. The school board may division superintendent shall establish a school safety audit committee to consist of include, if available, representatives of parents, teachers, local law-enforcement agencies, emergency services agencies, local community services boards, and judicial and public safety personnel, and the community at large. The school safety audit committee shall evaluate, in accordance with the directions of the local school board, the safety of each school review the completed school safety audits and submit a plan any plans, as needed, for improving school safety at a public meeting of to the division superintendent for submission to the local school board.

Section D. Each school board shall ensure that every school that it supervises shall develop a written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan, consistent with the definition provided in this section, and shall provide copies of such plans to the chief law-enforcement officer, the fire chief, the chief emergency medical services official, and the emergency management official of the locality. Each school division shall designate an emergency manager….

Questions regarding the new requirements will be included on the 2013-2014 division and school safety audit surveys.  Attached are detailed information and instructions for completing the audit surveys.  The time frame for submitting the online audit surveys is Monday, August 5, 2013 through Friday, September 27, 2013 by 5:00 p.m.

Questions may be directed to Donna Michaelis by e-mail, Donna.Michaelis@dcjs.virginia.gov, or call (804) 371-6506, or Jessica Smith at jessica.smith@dcjs.virginia.gov, or call (804) 786-5367.

PIW/CAC/nc

Attachment:

  1. Detailed Information for completing Division and School Safety Audits (PDF)