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  • Writer's pictureNikki James Zellner

Virginia: Is this data even available?

Virginia Public Schools.

8 Regions.

133 School Divisions.

1,252,756 students enrolled in Fall 2020.

65,966 of those students are military connected.

This doesn't include faculty or staff, or students/teachers/staff at state-licensed daycares.

And while I can find all the data in the world on drop out rates, race demographics, rural vs. city, testing scores ...

I can't find a single place that shows me:

1. An emergency plan resource for each school. Each school is unique, and there for each school has to develop its own emergency plan. But not all of them are readily available and viewable to the public. The ones I've found online show NO MENTION of CO preparedness or emergency procedures (looking at you Fauquier County.)

2. The year the schools were built. In Virginia Beach School Division alone, many of the schools were built prior to 1985 – and not a single school was built AFTER 2015. What's the status of their on-site equipment? Is it original or has it been rehabbed, or swapped? What's it's frequency of inspection (and who is it inspected BY?)

3. A list of required safety/awareness/prevention trainings currently expected in each school. Our teachers are overwhelmed with trainings, I get it. They go above and beyond scope in terms of what's required of them – but they are the only people who see our children on site every day, and know their normal vs. not-normal behavior.

You want information on tornado drills, intruder drills, fire drills? It's right there for you to see ... and the likelihood of THOSE events happening ... are LESS than the likelihood of a CO event. However, they're all state-mandated. Where CO preparedness, detection, prevention is not.

One residential CO event effects 1 - 5 people on average.

And while the frequency of residential events are higher ...

One CO event on school property, at minimum, effects 25 - 100 people, based on the location of the CO source.

I'm trying to prepare for a Senate testimony by gathering as many key points of data as I can – but the transparency of the data just isn't available to me ... and likely not to anyone else.

And that's a problem.


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