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School Board Approves Enhancements to Threat Assessment Protocol

As part of its comprehensive school safety program, the District has an established protocol for responding to threatening behavior as part of School Board Policy and Regulation 5401, Student Discipline. The School Board recently adopted revisions to this Policy and Regulation to enhance its threat assessment protocol in the areas of procedures and discipline; communication; and supports.

In June, the District held four parent focus groups to gather input regarding the process for managing reported threats. In addition to the focus groups, parents were also invited to provide feedback through email. When considering enhancements to the threat assessment protocol, the District worked collaboratively with parents, government and private safety/mental health agencies and legal consultants to ensure the threat assessment protocol reflects input from both our local community and experts in the field of school safety. The enhancements also incorporate best practices obtained through literature analysis and review. We thank the focus group participants and all parents who provided input to the District.

The threat assessment process is an integrated team approach used to evaluate concerning behavior that suggests a student(s) may intend to harm someone else. The goal of the threat assessment team is to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and identify intervention strategies to manage the risk. 

Next Steps

The District has begun implementing the enhancements to Policy and Regulation 5401. School threat assessment teams have started training using resources from the University of Virginia and guiding questions from the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center. During the District in-service program on November 6, school teams will receive a workshop training on threat assessment using the model from the Virginia Student Threat Assessment Guidelines. The teams will engage in on-going training as part of the District’s commitment to enhancing all aspects of our safety program. For additional information on the District’s threat assessment protocol, please review Policy 5401 and Regulation 5401. As always, please contact your school principal with any specific safety concerns.

Click here for a summary of new enhancements to the threat assessment protocol.