School Safety Audits
The 1997 Virginia General Assembly passed HB 1851 directing school boards to require all schools to conduct safety audits. This audit is designed to “assess 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”. HB 1851 also directed the superintendent of public instruction to develop a list of times to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits. As a result, the Department of Education has developed this school safety audit protocol to be used as a guide for the audit.
During the 1999 session, the General Assembly amended 22.1-278.1 of the Code of Virginia. The amendment requires that the audits be written assessment, and each school must maintain a copy of the audit report in the principal’s office. Each school conducts a yearly internal safety audit and the SCPS Department of Safety, Security & Risk Management oversees their completion.
Components of the audit process include, but are not limited to:
- safety and security of buildings and grounds;
- development and enforcement of policies;
- procedures for data collection;
- development of intervention and prevention and plans;
- level of staff development;
- opportunities of student involvement;
- level of parent and community involvement;
- role of law enforcement;
- development of crisis management plans;
- standards for safety and security personnel;
- Americans with Disabilities Act; and,
- emergency response plans.