Division & School Safety
See Professional Development Opportunities offered by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety
Maintaining a safe and secure school building involves planning in five major categories:
- Prevention – actions schools take to prevent an emergency incident
- Protection – steps taken to secure schools against manmade or natural disasters and acts of violence
- Mitigation – actions taken to eliminate or reduce the loss of property and life by lessening the impact of an emergency
- Response – steps taken to stabilize an emergency once it has occurred
- Recovery – actions taken to restore the learning environment
Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) are developed in collaboration with division administrators, school personnel, rescue personnel, firefighters, law enforcement, hospital personnel, counselors, psychologist, social workers, parents and other community stakeholders. Students and staff practice evacuating, locking-down and sheltering-in-place drills to ready themselves in case an incident occurs. Annually, data is collected and analyzed to improve building security and emergency plans.
The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety collaborate to collect, analyze and disseminate data that can be used to update and improve EOP. Additionally, professional development and technical assistance opportunities, publications, and other resources are provided to assist school divisions and communities in sustaining safe school environments.
Reports & Requirements at a Glance
Divisionwide Safety Audit Committee
Division & School Safety Audit Survey/Reports
- Guidance on School Safety Inspection Checklist
- Divisionwide School Safety Survey
- Virginia School Crisis Management Plan Review and Certification
- Virginia Secondary School Climate Survey (students and faculty)
Emergency Operation Procedures/Crisis Management
- Model School Crisis Management Plan (PDF)
- Resource Guide for Crisis Management in Virginia Schools (PDF)
- Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) Guidelines for Schools (PDF)
- First Aid Guide for School Emergencies (PDF)
- The Virginia Educator’s Guide for Planning and Conducting School Emergency Drills (PDF)
- Intruder/Active Shooter: Critical Incident Response Guide and Video
Other Resources & Publications
Virginia State Department of:
- Behavioral Health & Developmental Services
- Criminal Justice Services The Center for School Safety
- Emergency Management
- Environmental Quality
Other Virginia Resources
The Virginia School Search Resource Guide is used by local school boards, superintendents, building administrators, and school board attorneys in the development and implementation of sound local policies. The guide includes best practices, sample policies and procedures, and in-depth legal references.
Persistently Dangerous Schools
VDOE monitors data on violence and criminal acts in schools to identify schools in need of technical assistance to improve safety and create climates conducive to teaching and learning. Schools at risk of being identified as “persistently dangerous” under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind) are monitored in an effort to address and correct those areas posing risks within the schools.
- Persistently Dangerous Schools Identification Process and Criteria (PDF) – Adopted by the Virginia Board of Education, April 29, 2003.
The Virginia Board of Education’s statewide policy on students attending a “persistently dangerous” school or who become victims of violent crime while in or on the grounds of a public school is to provide those students with the opportunity to attend a safe school within the school division.
- Persistantly Dangerous Schools & Unsafe School Choice Option Policy (PDF) – A VDOE Board of Education policy.