SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 11
October 31, 1997
|FROM:||Richard T. LaPointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||School Safety Audits|
The General Assembly of Virginia approved HB 1851 on March 20, 1997. This House Bill amended the Code of Virginia by adding a section, numbered 22.1-278, which requires that all public schools in Virginia shall conduct a school safety audit. It also requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audit. Finally, this amendment states that local school boards may establish safety committees to conduct these safety audits. In accordance with section 22.1-278 of the Code of Virginia, the Department of Education has developed the attached document which fulfills the requirements of HB 1851 and includes a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated. While the first component in this document meets the intent of Section (i), HB 1851, to provide for a safe and secure physical facility, it is advisable to use all the components included in this audit package for a comprehensive approach to safe school auditing. The document provides protocols and procedures for school safety audits, recommendations for the structure and composition of school audit teams, a set of checklists developed to assist the audit team in conducting a school safety audit, and a form to certify completion of the audit. All materials and information included in the document represent a thorough review of the literature and a compilation of best practices found in school safety research. The Department of Education is also preparing training videos for conducting school safety audits. In addition, we are collaborating with the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to set up a training schedule to provide technical assistance to local school divisions in conducting the school safety audits. The staff of the Department of Education are available to provide assistance that you may need in setting up safety committees, training personnel in conducting safety audits, or in any other way possible to help you meet the requirements of HB 1851. Please contact Marsha Hubbard at (804) 225-2928, or Vijay Ramnarain at (804) 225-2035 if you have any questions with regards to this effort. RTL:shs Enclosure: A hard copy of this memo and its enclosure will be sent to the superintendent's office.