Superintendent’s Memo #164-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

June 27, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Annual Review of School Crisis Plans

In accordance with the Code of Virginia at§ 22.1-279.8, local school boards are required to annually review the written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans of each school in the division.  The superintendent shall certify in writing that review has taken place no later than August 31 of each year to the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS) at the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The Code of Virginia alsoprovides that the local school board shall have the authority to withhold or limit the review of any security plans and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in § 2.2-3705.2.

In addition, §22.1-279.8 includes the requirement for developed written crisis plans, the role of the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund and emergency assistance, the VCSCS, and safety audit information.

The 2013 General Assembly passed House Bill 2346 which amends §22.1-279.8by mandating the sharing of crisis management plans with first responders as requested.  Also, school divisions must designate an emergency manager.

D. Each school board shall ensure that every school that it supervises shall develop a written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan, consistent with the definition provided in this section, and shall provide copies of such plans to the chief law-enforcement officer, the fire chief, the chief emergency medical services official, and the emergency management official of the locality. Each school division shall designate an emergency manager.

For a complete version of the House Bill, which became effective on July 1, 2013, please visit the link

In order to certify the completion of the crisis plan review, superintendents will use the same Web-based “Survey Manager” Web site as provided in the 2013 crisis plan review and safety audit survey processes.  The VCSCS will send usernames and passwords to superintendents by e-mail for logging on to the Web site.  The superintendent will need only to provide his/her initials and select the “certification” button to complete the process after log-in.  The deadline for certification compliance is August 31, 2014.  For more information about the crisis management plan, visit School Crisis Management Plan Review and Certification.

Information is available on the VCSCS Web site.  Questions may be directed to
Donna Michaelis, manager, Public Safety Training and the Virginia Center for School Safety; (804) 371-6506, or Jessica Smith, program specialist; (804) 786-5367.