P. O. BOX 2120

July 16, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: 1998-99 Crime, Violence, and Substance Abuse Data Collection

Please disregard Supts. Memo. #51 and replace with this memo.

Attached are forms, instructions, and definitions for reporting incidents of crime, 
violence, and substance abuse for the 1998-99 school year.  As you know, this is a 
requirement of 22.1-280.1 of the Code of Virginia.

You may recall that the reporting requirements of HJR 242, Study on Alternative 
Education, included data to meet some of the requirements of 22.1-280.1.  Certain 
categories, however, required for the crime and violence report were not collected 
as a result of HJR 242, and therefore it is necessary to complete the usual process 
for this annual report.  The Department of Education is currently working to develop 
a system of data collection that will collapse several reporting requirements into a 
single format in an effort to create a more efficient process for local school divisions.

We call your attention to SB 1244 (attached).  This bill amends 22.1-280.1 and 
authorizes local school boards to prescribe sanctions for principals who may knowingly 
fail to comply with this section and therefore report incorrect data. 

In addition, the State Board of Education has addressed concerns that have been raised 
about possible inconsistencies in the data reporting process.  It is imperative that 
principals and superintendents review both the instructions and the definitions 
provided in this packet of information and report data accordingly.  Note, for example, 
that Tables I, II, and III are not derived from only your suspension and expulsion data, 
but rather should include all incidents that occur during the school year.  In a 
recent session, the Board adopted a requirement that the division superintendent sign a 
certification statement that the data provided in this  report is, in fact, consistent 
with the definitions  provided by the Department of Education (see the attached list 
of definitions). No changes have been made to the  definitions, but this additional 
certification requirement will be included in the follow up verification report.

Please note the following aspects of this year's reporting system:

        *The data to be reported on the 2000 School Report Card will be extrapolated 
        from the data submitted on this crime and violence report.  For the 2000 
        School Year Performance Report Card, the categories under "Safety Information" 
        will include changes from the current categories. Physical Violence will 
        include two subcategories:

        *Serious Incidents will include fighting that results in serious injuries; 
        homicides; physical assaults; and rape, against both students and staff. 

        *Fighting will be a new subcategory and will include fighting that results in
        minor and/or no injuries.

        *The Possession Violations category (collected here in Table III) will remain
        the same, with the exception that non-firearm will be changed to other weapons.

We are also asking for data in two additional categories, IF AVAILABLE.  These are 
1) Number of Bomb Threats, and 2) Incidents of Bullying.  You will recall  that the 
data on bullying was requested as part of last  year's report as well.

The due date for submission of this data is  September 30.  This is earlier than the
submission data  in previous years so as to facilitate data verification  for 
reporting purposes.  Please collect forms from each  school in your division and send
all completed forms in  one packet to . . .

                Marsha O. Hubbard
                VA Department of Education
                P.O. Box 2120
                Richmond, VA 23218

Finally, we recommend that you carefully review your current reporting policies to 
ensure that they are, in fact, consistent with the requirements as outlined in this 
memo.  If you have any questions, please contact Marsha Hubbard at (804) 225-2928. 
Thank you for your attention to this important requirement.

Attachment(s):  A hard copy of this memo and its attach-
                ment will be sent to the superintendent's