Virginia School Safety Audit Program

The Code of Virginia requires that all schools in Virginia complete an annual safety audit.  The audit is a...

written assessment of the safety conditions in each public school to (i) identify and if necessary, develop solutions for physical safety concerns, including building security issues and (ii) identify and evaluate any patterns of student safety concerns occurring on school property or at school sponsored events.  Solutions and responses shall include recommendations for structural adjustments, changes in school safety procedures, and revisions to the school board’s standards for student conduct.”

 

View the School Safety Audit Infographic Here

View the School Safety Audit Presentation Here


Safety Audit Components

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all public schools are required to conduct an annual school safety audit in order to assess school safety conditions. Through enabling legislation (§ 9.1-184), the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS) has been designated to collect, analyze, and disseminate various Virginia school safety data including school safety audit information. In 2005, the General Assembly transferred the authority to collect school safety audit information from the Department of Education to the Department of Criminal Justice Services. To date, the VCSCS has developed five components for the school safety audit program:

  • Virginia School Safety Survey (annually)
  • Division Safety Survey (annually)
  • Virginia School Crisis Management Plan Review and Certification (annually)
  • Virginia School Survey of Climate and Working Conditions (administered in the Spring)
  • School Safety Inspection Checklist (due every three years; next due date 2023)

 

1) School Safety Survey

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all public schools are required through legislation to conduct an annual school safety audit in order to assess safety conditions. As a means for collecting individual school safety audit information, the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS) annually administers the School Safety Survey. View the Safety Survey homepage for information. Division leaders are required to certify completion of these surveys annually

 

2) Division Safety Survey

The Division Safety Survey is administered to capture information from the division level on policy changes and division level practices. View the Safety Survey homepage for information.

 

3) Virginia Crisis Management Plan Review and Certification

Amended Virginia Code § 22.1-279.8 requires Virginia’s public school boards to annually review the written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans of each school it supervises. Superintendents shall certify this review no later than August 31 of each year. 

Beginning in July 2019, an amendment to Code as a result of HB1737, requires that in addition to providing copies of such plans, each school board must include the chief law-enforcement officer, the fire chief, the chief of the emergency medical services agency, the executive director of the relevant regional emergency medical services council, and the emergency management official of the locality, or their designees, in the development and annual review of its crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans.

View the Crisis Management Plan and Certification page for more information.

 

4) Virginia School Survey of Climate and Working Conditions

This survey is administered in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia. There are two companion surveys, one for students and another for teachers and other staff. Please view the Virginia School Survey of Climate and Working Conditions page for more information.

 

5) School Safety Inspection Checklist and Certification

Changes to the Code of Virginia from the 2013 General Assembly added a requirement for schools to conduct a school inspection walkthrough using a checklist provided by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety.


Safety Audit Review

The culmination of the Virginia School Safety Audit is a review of all components at the school and division level resulting in…

“…recommendations for structural adjustments, changes in school safety procedures, and revisions to the school board’s standards for student conduct.” 

To assist in this process, the Center for School and Campus Safety developed a template for schools, and a template for divisions

At the division level, the superintendent shall establish a school safety audit committee to include, if available, representatives of parents, teachers, local law-enforcement, emergency services agencies, local community services boards, and judicial and public safety personnel. The school safety audit committee shall review the completed school safety audits and submit any plans, as needed, for improving school safety to the division superintendent for submission to the local school board. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 2.2-3705.2 (4), schools may exclude security plans and specific vulnerability assessments from disclosure to the public.


Annual Certification of School Safety Audit Assessment

The Superintendent or designee will certify completion to the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety annually by August 31 via the Division Safety Survey


Previous School Safety Audit Survey Results

2020 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2019 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2018 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2017 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2016 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2015 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2014 School Safety Audit Survey Results

2013 School Safety Audit Survey Results
 


Contact Information

safetyaudit@dcjs.virginia.gov

Nikki Wilcox, School Safety Audit and Climate Survey Coordinator
804.786.3923
Email Nikki

James Christian, K-12 School Safety and Threat Assessment Manager
804.357.0967
Email James