Students and staff in Dulles, Virginia are trained to respond to any potential incident through evacuation, lockdown, and shelter drills. Every year, data is collected and analyzed to improve building safety and emergency plans. Training is an essential part of emergency planning, teaching staff and faculty about the policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities of their school's Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). It also provides them with the information they need to train their students on emergency procedures.
Desktop exercises allow schools to analyze their plans, policies and procedures in an emergency situation. Drills give everyone an opportunity to practice the actions they will take before, during, and after an emergency. Training and exercises are a key component of school safety. Upper elementary school and first year secondary school students can be more vocal when it comes to asking if they are really safe and what is being done at school. In an emergency, cell phone circuits can become overloaded and interfere with public safety's communication capacity.
Resources are available to help schools and districts train, plan, and prepare for a wide range of hazards, including public health emergencies, natural disasters, and school violence. The results of such school safety audits will be made public within 90 days of their completion. In the event of an emergency, students will be able to use their phones to contact parents with the permission of the school principal. Schools that are at risk of being identified as “persistently dangerous” under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as “Let No Child Be Left Behind”) are monitored to treat and correct areas that pose a risk within schools. Parents can share information they have about the school safety plan and any other relevant communication to reassure their children. Each division superintendent shall annually designate an employee of the local school division as a division security official whose duty is to receive all required reports in accordance with subsection A of Sections 19.2-83.1 and 19.2-291.1 and 19.2-299.3 and shall include such designation in the compiled package of school safety audits submitted to the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety in accordance with subsection B.The Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, in consultation with the Department of Education, has developed a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits required by this section.
Recovery refers to the capacities needed to help districts and schools affected by an event or emergency to restore the learning environment. Crisis response teams are comprised of school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors. The Virginia Board of Education's state policy on students who attend a “persistently dangerous” school or who are victims of violent crime while in a public school or on its grounds is to provide those students with the opportunity to attend a safe school within the school division. The Virginia Center for School and University Safety has prescribed a standardized reporting format for school safety audits, as well as additional criteria for reporting and procedures for reporting, which may include instructions for electronic filing. As a parent, you are in the best position to help your child cope with the trauma they experience during an emergency or safety drill at school. Solutions and responses should include recommendations for structural adjustments, changes in school safety procedures, and the revision of the school board's standards of student conduct. The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Center for School and University Safety collaborate to collect, analyze, and disseminate data that can be used to update and improve EOP.