Superintendent’s Memo No. 197-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

July 25, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Survey on the Use of Restraint/Seclusion by Public Schools

The Virginia Commission on Youth, a bipartisan commission of the Virginia General Assembly, is studying the use of restraint/seclusion by schools in the Commonwealth.  This study originated from legislation adopted by the 2014 General Assembly.  Delegate Patrick Hope introduced House Bill 1106, which directed the Commission on Youth to, “review statewide policies and regulations related to seclusion and restraint in public and private elementary and secondary schools and methods used in other states to reduce and eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint in public and private elementary and secondary schools.”  The bill provides that this study will be conducted in consultation with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.  The Code of Virginia, at §30-177, states that “The Commission may request and shall receive from every department, division, board, bureau, commission, authority or other agency created by the Commonwealth, or to which the Commonwealth is party, or from any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, cooperation and assistance in the performance of its duties.”

The Commission has developed a survey to gather this information.  We ask that you complete this survey online at The survey should be completed no later than Monday, August 25, 2014, to afford the Commission adequate time to prepare the survey findings prior to the 2015 General Assembly Session.

The Commission and VDOE sincerely appreciate your support with this effort.  It is critical that the General Assembly have this information to assist in making informed policy decisions.  Please feel free to call Amy Atkinson, executive director of the Virginia Commission on Youth, at (804) 371-2481 if you have any questions.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.