The Virginia Center for School Safety (VCSS) located within the DCJS Division of Law Enforcement reflects Virginia’s commitment to providing safe and productive learning environments for all students and staff in our schools today. The VCSS is a resource and training center for information and research about national and statewide school safety efforts and initiatives.
The VCSS was created through Virginia Code § 9.1-184. and is mandated to provide training for Virginia public school personnel, serve as a resource and referral center for Virginia school divisions, collect and disseminate information on school safety initiatives and school safety data, among other things.
The path towards academic excellence should be free from the fear of crime and violence. Through the VCSS, schools and communities have access to proactive trainings, topical resources, public-private partnerships, data collection and evaluation, and an annual school safety conference. Thank you for your interest in the Virginia Center for School Safety. We hope that this site serves you well in your school safety efforts. For additional information, please contact us.
The School Safety Audit for 2012-13 will include a Secondary School Climate Survey for students and teachers in grades 7 and 8. The survey is a new component of the annual school safety audit which school divisions are required to submit to the Virginia Center for School Safety (VCSS), according to 22.1-279.8.B of the Code. Please view the introductory video from the Secretary of Public Safety and Secretary of Education on the survey website at http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/vcss/audit/student/
Did you know?
- The Governor’s School and Campus Safety Task Force recommended the establishment of threat assessment teams for all public schools within the Commonwealth. Per Code of Virginia, § 9.1-184, the Virginia Center for School Safety was directed to provide schools with a model policy for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including procedures for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of school staff or students.
- October is Bullying Prevention Month Find out more here
- The U.S. Department of Education- Office of Safe and Healthy Students recently released resources [http://rems.ed.gov/EOPGuides] for developing high-quality emergency operations plans for schools, institutions of higher education (IHE), and houses of worship. These are great, free resources for creating safe environments.
- The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments has an archive of webinars that are a great resource for learning how to create and nurture a safe environment in schools.
The US Department of Education is asking schools to initiate new efforts to reduce gender-based violence. Get Smart, Get Help, Get Safe is a great resource for training about gender-based violence. Also, check out the Department of Education's guide for 'What schools can do'.
- Governor McDonnell announced the creation of a school safety task force to review school safety best practices, funding, and the needs of localities, schools, and campuses throughout the Commonwealth. Executive Order 56 describes all duties of the task force, including its importance, time frame, and goals. Resources regarding preparation and recovery from crises are available for parents, school administrators, and teachers at the U.S. Department of Education. Click here for implications and supports for schools.
- The Curry School of Education, at the University of Virginia, published a summary of their research on bullying and school climate – Virginia School Climate Studies.
- Attention School Emergency Management: U.S. Department of Education and ready.gov feature information for psychological first aid for teachers, students, and staff.
- The Safety and Security Toolkit is a great resource for parents, schools, and communities from the National Crime Prevention Council.
Donna Michaelis, Manager, School and Campus Safety
Shellie MacKenzie, School and Campus Safety Training Coordinator
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
1100 Bank Street
Richmond, VA 23219