Superintendent’s Memo #168-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

June 27, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  School Safety Inspection Checklist

In accordance with Code of Virginia §22.1-279.8, schools are required to complete a school safety inspection checklist, provided by the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Superintendents shall certify in writing that all schools in their respective divisions have completed a school safety inspection checklist.  For 2014, the certification is due to be completed by August 31.  This certification is tentatively scheduled to be completed every three years thereafter.

The DCJS has developed a system for superintendents to certify the completion of all checklists.  In order to certify the completion of the school safety inspection checklists, 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 Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (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.  This year, the deadline for certification compliance is August 31, 2014.  The tentative deadline for the next checklist certification will be August 31, 2017.   The checklists and relevant guidance can be found at the Virginia School Safety Audit Program under Section 5 on the DCJS Web site.

The checklists are a component of the school safety audit report, “each school shall maintain a copy … within the office of the school principal and shall make a copy of such report available for review upon written request.”  The checklist should also be made available to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality upon request.  For more information about the school safety inspection checklist and the audit process, please see the resources below, which are available from the Web site for the VCSCS at Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety:

Guidance on School Safety Inspection Checklists
Guidance on Divisionwide Safety Audit Committee
DCJS School Safety Audit Overview

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.