The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is devoted to guaranteeing the security of students and staff in all schools across the state. To this end, they monitor data on violence and criminal acts in schools to identify those that need technical assistance to improve safety and create supportive environments. To help schools accomplish this goal, VDOE offers training to familiarize staff and faculty with emergency policies and procedures, their role during an emergency, and how to provide training to students. Training may include presentations, seminars, or informal discussions organized by schools or districts.
Inviting guest speakers or presentations by experts on security issues can be beneficial. Providing checklists, folding cards, or other up-to-date reference material can also aid training initiatives. School climate is a significant factor in creating a safe and supportive environment. It reflects the way members of the school community experience school, including interpersonal relationships, teacher and staff practices, and organizational arrangements. In Virginia, all public schools must conduct an annual school safety audit to assess school safety conditions.
This survey is administered in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia. The Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice have launched a public awareness campaign to highlight the federal resources on school safety and the evidence-based practices available at SchoolSafety.gov. This website includes several easy-to-use tools to help schools discover specific resources and create and implement comprehensive and holistic safety programs, including a feature that makes it easy to locate and identify funding opportunities and available federal grant programs for school safety. Emergency operations plans (EOPs) are developed in collaboration with division managers, school personnel, rescue personnel, firefighters, law enforcement, hospital staff, counselors, psychologists, social workers, parents, and other community stakeholders. These plans address a variety of threats and hazards such as hurricanes, severe storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous material incidents, mass casualty incidents, active aggressors, and diseases or pandemic outbreaks. At the division level, the superintendent shall establish a school safety auditing committee that will include representatives of parents, teachers, local law enforcement, emergency service agencies, local community service boards, and judicial and public safety personnel. The committee will review completed school safety audits and submit any plans necessary to improve school safety to the division superintendent for submission to the local school board. SchoolSafety.gov also publishes a series of resources including a video, a set of communication tools and infographics to help schools learn more about how to improve school safety.
These resources address a variety of issues such as bullying prevention; mental health support; services for students; school climate; emergency planning; prevention of acts of selective violence; and community violence. To support these initiatives in Dulles Virginia schools there are several upcoming events such as grants that will be held to support your school or school district's safety initiatives. Additionally SchoolSafety.gov provides a safety preparedness tool so you can assess how your district or school is addressing these critical elements.