POLICY MANUAL

Division-Wide Crisis Plan - Policy P7-55.2

A. Generally
Each school will develop a written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan as defined below. The school board will annually review each school’s plan. The school board has the authority to withhold or limit the review of any security plans and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Code of Virginia §2.2-3705.2 The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Center for School Safety will provide technical assistance to the school division in the development of the plans. In developing these plans, schools may consult the model school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan developed by the Virginia Board of Education and the Virginia Center for School Safety.

B. Procedural Guidelines
1. Each school will annually conduct school safety audits as defined below. The results of such school safety audits will be made public within 90 days of completion. The school board may withhold or limit the release of any security plans and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Code of Virginia §2.2-3705.2. Each school will maintain a copy of the school’s safety audit, which may exclude such security plans and vulnerability assessment components, within the office of the school principal and will make a copy of such report available for review upon written request.

2. Each school will maintain records of regular safety, health, and fire inspections that have been conducted and certified by local health and fire departments. The frequency of such inspections will be determined by the local school board in consultation with the local health and fire departments. In addition, the school administration will:

  1. equip all exit doors with panic hardware as required by the Uniform Statewide Building Code (13 VAC 5-61-10 et seq.) and
  2. conduct fire drills at least once a week during the first month of school and at least once each month for the remainder of the school term. No fire drills will be conducted during periods of mandatory testing required by the Virginia Board of Education. Evacuation routes for students shall be posted in each room. At least one simulated lockdown and crisis emergency evacuation activity should be conducted early in the school year.

3. Each school will have contingency plans for emergencies that include staff certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich maneuver, and emergency first aid. In addition, the school administration will ensure that the school has:

  1. written procedures to follow in emergencies such as fire, injury, illness, and violent or threatening behavior. The plan will be outlined in the student handbook and discussed with staff and students during the first week of each school year.
  2. space for the proper care of students who become ill;
  3. a written procedure for responding to violent, disruptive or illegal activities by students on school property or during a school sponsored activity; and
  4. written procedures to follow for the safe evacuation of persons with special physical, medical, or language needs who may need assistance to exit a facility.

C. Definitions
1. ”School crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan” means the essential procedures, operations, and assignments required to prevent, manage, and respond to a critical event or emergency, including natural disasters involving fire, flood, tornadoes, or other severe weather; loss or disruption of power, water, communications or shelter; bus or other accidents; medical emergencies, including cardiac arrest and other life threatening medical emergencies; student or staff member deaths; explosions; bomb threats; gun, knife or other weapons threats; spills or exposures to hazardous substances; the presence of unauthorized persons or trespassers; the loss, disappearance or kidnapping of a student; hostage situations; violence on school property or at school activities; incidents involving acts of terrorism; and other incidents posing a serious threat of harm to students, personnel, or facilities. The plan shall include a provision that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event of an emergency as defined in the emergency response plan when there are victims as defined in the Code of Virginia §19.2-11.01, as well as current contact information for both.

2. “School safety audit” means a written assessment of the safety conditions in each public school to (1) identify and, if necessary, develop solutions for physical safety concerns, including building security issues and (2) identify and evaluate any patterns of student safety concerns occurring on school property or at school-sponsored events. Solutions and responses will include recommendations for structural adjustments, changes in school safety procedures, and revisions to the school board’s standards for student conduct.

Legal Reference
Code 1950, as amended, § 2.2-3705.2. Exclusions to application of chapter; records relating to public safety.

The following records are excluded from the provisions of this chapter but may be disclosed by the custodian in his discretion, except where such disclosure is prohibited by law:

1. Confidential records, including victim identity, provided to or obtained by staff in a rape crisis center or a program for battered spouses.

2. Those portions of engineering and construction drawings and plans submitted for the sole purpose of complying with the Building Code in obtaining a building permit that would identify specific trade secrets or other information, the disclosure of which would be harmful to the competitive position of the owner or lessee. However, such information shall be exempt only until the building is completed. Information relating to the safety or environmental soundness of any building shall not be exempt from disclosure.
Those portions of engineering and construction drawings and plans that reveal critical structural components, security equipment and systems, ventilation systems, fire protection equipment, mandatory building emergency equipment or systems, elevators, electrical systems, telecommunications equipment and systems, and other utility equipment and systems submitted for the purpose of complying with the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) or the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.), the disclosure of which would jeopardize the safety or security of any public or private commercial office, multifamily residential or retail building or its occupants in the event of terrorism or other threat to public safety, to the extent that the owner or lessee of such property, equipment or system in writing (i) invokes the protections of this paragraph; (ii) identifies the drawings, plans, or other materials to be protected; and (iii) states the reasons why protection is necessary.
Nothing in this subdivision shall prevent the disclosure of information relating to any building in connection with an inquiry into the performance of that building after it has been subjected to fire, explosion, natural disaster or other catastrophic event.

3. Documentation or other information that describes the design, function, operation or access control features of any security system, whether manual or automated, which is used to control access to or use of any automated data processing or telecommunications system.

4. Plans and information to prevent or respond to terrorist activity, the disclosure of which would jeopardize the safety of any person, including (i) critical infrastructure sector or structural components; (ii) vulnerability assessments, operational, procedural, transportation, and tactical planning or training manuals, and staff meeting minutes or other records; and (iii) engineering or architectural records, or records containing information derived from such records, to the extent such records reveal the location or operation of security equipment and systems, elevators, ventilation, fire protection, emergency, electrical, telecommunications or utility equipment and systems of any public building, structure or information storage facility, or telecommunications or utility equipment or systems. The same categories of records of any governmental or nongovernmental person or entity submitted to a public body for the purpose of antiterrorism response planning may be withheld from disclosure if such person or entity in writing (a) invokes the protections of this subdivision, (b) identifies with specificity the records or portions thereof for which protection is sought, and (c) states with reasonable particularity why the protection of such records from public disclosure is necessary to meet the objective of antiterrorism planning or protection. Such statement shall be a public record and shall be disclosed upon request. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of records relating to the structural or environmental soundness of any building, nor shall it prevent the disclosure of information relating to any building in connection with an inquiry into the performance of that building after it has been subjected to fire, explosion, natural disaster or other catastrophic event.

5. Information that would disclose the security aspects of a system safety program plan adopted pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Part 659 by the Commonwealth's designated Rail Fixed Guideway Systems Safety Oversight agency; and information in the possession of such agency, the release of which would jeopardize the success of an ongoing investigation of a rail accident or other incident threatening railway safety.

6. Engineering and architectural drawings, operational, procedural, tactical planning or training manuals, or staff meeting minutes or other records, the disclosure of which would reveal surveillance techniques, personnel deployments, alarm or security systems or technologies, or operational and transportation plans or protocols, to the extent such disclosure would jeopardize the security of any governmental facility, building or structure or the safety of persons using such facility, building or structure.

7. Security plans and specific assessment components of school safety audits, as provided in § 22.1-279.8.
Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of records relating to the effectiveness of security plans after (i) any school building or property has been subjected to fire, explosion, natural disaster or other catastrophic event, or (ii) any person on school property has suffered or been threatened with any personal injury.

8. [Expired.]

9. Records of the Commitment Review Committee concerning the mental health assessment of an individual subject to commitment as a sexually violent predator under Chapter 9 (§37.2-900 et seq.) of Title 37.2; except that in no case shall records identifying the victims of a sexually violent predator be disclosed.

10. Subscriber data, which for the purposes of this subdivision, means the name, address, telephone number, and any other information identifying a subscriber of a telecommunications carrier, provided directly or indirectly by a telecommunications carrier to a public body that operates a 911 or E-911 emergency dispatch system or an emergency notification or reverse 911 system, if the data is in a form not made available by the telecommunications carrier to the public generally. Nothing in this subdivision shall prevent the release of subscriber data generated in connection with specific calls to a 911 emergency system, where the requester is seeking to obtain public records about the use of the system in response to a specific crime, emergency or other event as to which a citizen has initiated a 911 call.

11. Subscriber data, which for the purposes of this subdivision, means the name, address, telephone number, and any other information identifying a subscriber of a telecommunications carrier, collected by a local governing body in accordance with the Enhanced Public Safety Telephone Services Act (§ 56-484.12 et seq.), and other identifying information of a personal, medical, or financial nature provided to a local governing body in connection with a 911 or E-911 emergency dispatch system or an emergency notification or reverse 911 system, if such records are not otherwise publicly available. Nothing in this subdivision shall prevent the release of subscriber data generated in connection with specific calls to a 911 emergency system, where the requester is seeking to obtain public records about the use of the system in response to a specific crime, emergency or other event as to which a citizen has initiated a 911 call.

12. Records of the Virginia Military Advisory Council, the Virginia National Defense Industrial Authority, or a local or regional military affairs organization appointed by a local governing body, to the extent such records (i) contain information relating to strategies under consideration or development by the Council, the Authority, or such organizations to prevent the closure or realignment of federal military installations located in Virginia, to limit the adverse economic effect of such realignment or closure, or to seek additional tenant activity growth from the Department of Defense or (ii) disclose trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (§ 59.1-336 et seq.), provided to the Council, the Authority, or such organizations in connection with their work. In order to invoke the trade secret protection provided by clause (ii), the submitting entity shall, in writing and at the time of submission (a) invoke this exclusion, (b) identify with specificity the information for which such protection is sought, and (c) state the reason why such protection is necessary. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize the withholding of all or part of any record, other than a trade secret that has been specifically identified as required by this subdivision, after the Department of Defense has issued a final, unappealable decision, or in the event of litigation, a court of competent jurisdiction has entered a final, unappealable order concerning the closure, realignment, or expansion of the military installation or tenant activities for which records are sought.

13. Documentation or other information as determined by the State Comptroller that describes the design, function, operation, or implementation of internal controls over the Commonwealth's financial processes and systems, and the assessment of risks and vulnerabilities of those controls, including the annual assessment of internal controls mandated by the State Comptroller, the disclosure of which would jeopardize the security of the Commonwealth's financial assets. However, records relating to the investigation of and findings concerning the soundness of any fiscal process shall be disclosed in a form that does not compromise internal controls. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the Auditor of Public Accounts or the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission from reporting internal control deficiencies discovered during the course of an audit.

§ 22.1-279.8. School safety audits and school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans required.

A. For the purposes of this section, unless the context requires otherwise:

"School crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan" means the essential procedures, operations, and assignments required to prevent, manage, and respond to a critical event or emergency, including natural disasters involving fire, flood, tornadoes, or other severe weather; loss or disruption of power, water, communications or shelter; bus or other accidents; medical emergencies, including cardiac arrest and other life-threatening medical emergencies; student or staff member deaths; explosions; bomb threats; gun, knife or other weapons threats; spills or exposures to hazardous substances; the presence of unauthorized persons or trespassers; the loss, disappearance or kidnapping of a student; hostage situations; violence on school property or at school activities; incidents involving acts of terrorism; and other incidents posing a serious threat of harm to students, personnel, or facilities. The plan shall include a provision that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event of an emergency as defined in the emergency response plan when there are victims as defined in § 19.2-11.01, as well as current contact information for both.

"School safety audit" means 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.

B. The Virginia Center for School Safety shall develop a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits required by this section. Such items shall include those incidents reported to school authorities pursuant to § 22.1-279.3:1.

The Virginia Center for School Safety shall prescribe a standardized report format for school safety audits, additional reporting criteria, and procedures for report submission, which may include instructions for electronic submission.

Each local school board shall require all schools under its supervisory control to annually conduct school safety audits as defined in this section and consistent with such list.

The results of such school safety audits shall be made public within 90 days of completion. The local school board shall retain authority to withhold or limit the release of any security plans and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in subdivision 7 of § 2.2-3705.2. Each school shall maintain a copy of the school safety audit, which may exclude such security plans and vulnerability assessment components, within the office of the school principal and shall make a copy of such report available for review upon written request.
Each school shall submit a copy of its school safety audit to the relevant school division superintendent. The division superintendent shall collate and submit all such school safety audits, in the prescribed format and manner of submission, to the Virginia Center for School Safety.

C. The school board may establish a school safety audit committee to consist of representatives of parents, teachers, local law-enforcement agencies, judicial and public safety personnel, and the community at large. The school safety audit committee shall evaluate, in accordance with the directions of the local school board, the safety of each school and submit a plan for improving school safety at a public meeting of the local school board.

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. The Department of Education and the Virginia Center for School Safety shall provide technical assistance to the school divisions of the Commonwealth in the development of the school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans that describe the components of a medical emergency response plan developed in coordination with local emergency medical services providers, the training of school personnel and students to respond to a life-threatening emergency, and the equipment required for this emergency response. The local school board shall annually review the written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans. 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 subdivision 7 of § 2.2-3705.2. The local school division superintendent shall certify this review in writing to the Virginia Center on School Safety no later than August 31 of each year.

Upon consultation with local school boards, division superintendents, the Virginia Center for School Safety, and the Coordinator of Emergency Management, the Board of Education shall develop, and may revise as it deems necessary, a model school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan for the purpose of assisting the public schools in Virginia in developing viable, effective crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans. Such model shall set forth recommended effective procedures and means by which parents can contact the relevant school or school division regarding the location and safety of their school children and by which school officials may contact parents, with parental approval, during a critical event or emergency.

(1997, c. 593; 1999, cc. 475, 516, § 22.1-278.1; 2001, cc. 436, 440, 688, 820, 841; 2002, cc. 166, 221, 229, 235; 2003, c. 801; 2004, c. 690; 2005, c. 904; 2006, c. 43; 2007, c. 44; 2009, cc. 222, 269.)

(1999, cc. 485, 518, 703, 726, 793, 849, 852, 867, 868, 881, § 2.1-342.01; 2000, cc. 66, 237, 382, 400, 430, 583, 589, 592, 594, 618, 632, 657, 720, 932, 933, 947, 1006, 1064; 2001, cc. 288, 518, 844, § 2.2-3705; 2002, cc. 87, 155, 242, 393, 478, 481, 499, 522, 571, 572, 633, 655, 715, 798, 830; 2003, cc. 274, 307, 327, 332, 358, 704, 801, 884, 891, 893, 897, 968; 2004, cc. 398, 482, 690, 770; 2005, c. 410; 2008, c. 721; 2009, c. 418.)

Acts 2006, c. 164

8 VAC 20-131-260}

Adopted by School Board: March 17, 1992
Revised by School Board: June 15, 2010

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