Superintendent’s Memo #198-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 2, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Annual Review of Crisis Plans

The Code of Virginia at § 22.1-279.8, requires school boards to review annually 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) at the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Code of Virginia also provides that the 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.

The 2013 General Assembly passed House Bill 2346 which amends § 22.1-279.8  by mandating the sharing of crisis management plans with first responders as requested. Also, school divisions must designate an emergency manager.

“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.

For a complete version of the House Bill which became effective on July 1, 2013, please visit the link at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?ses=131&typ=bil&val=HB2346. Additional information related to new legislation that impacts schools can be found at the VCSS at Web site http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/vcss/.

In order to certify the completion of the crisis plan review, superintendents will use the same Web-based “Survey Manager” Web site as provided in the 2012 crisis plan review and safety audit survey processes.  The VCSS will send usernames and passwords to superintendents by mail for logging on to the Web site.  The superintendent will need only to provide his/her initials and select the “certification” button to complete the process after log-in. The deadline for certification compliance is August 31, 2013.

Questions may be directed to Donna Michaelis, manager, Public Safety Training and the Virginia Center for School Safety at 804-371-6506, donna.michaelis@dcjs.virginia.gov or Jessica Smith, program specialist at 804-786-5367, jessica.smith@dcjs.virginia.gov.

PIW/DM/JS/CAC/rt