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2512 George Mason Drive • P.O. Box 6038 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456-0038   757.263.1000 • 757.263.1240 TDD

Policies and Regulations

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 4-33.1

PERSONNEL

Investigative Procedures

This document shall guide the conduct of investigations of allegations involving or related to employees of the School Board. Deviations from the procedures contained herein must be approved by the Chief Human Resources Officer.

When an allegation of criminal or administrative misconduct involving employees is received, the Principal or administrative department head will have the responsibility for making initial inquiries. Prior to any inquiry or confrontation with the alleged party, the Employee Relations Office in the Department of Human Resources will be contacted for instructions in how to proceed with the investigation. The Superintendent will be notified of the alleged misconduct.

“Misconduct”, for the purpose of adherence to these guidelines, is defined as an act alleged to have been committed by an employee, including incidents during off-duty hours, which is believed to be in violation of law, or is contrary to the policies, regulations and standards of conduct pertaining to the School Board employees, and which, if substantiated, could result in disciplinary action or dismissal of the employee.

  1. Reports, Assignment of Investigating Personnel

    Any incident, complaint or allegation involving or related to a School Board employee, however received, shall be immediately reported to the Office of Employee Relations in the Department of Human Resources. The assigned Employee Relations Specialist should be provided with all available information and will review the information. Depending on the nature of the allegation or incident the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee, will also notify the Chief Media and Communications Officer. All information concerning an employee’s conduct will be disclosed in accordance with School Board Policy 4-15 and applicable law.

  2. The Investigation Process

    The assigned Employee Relations Specialist will open an investigation file, which must be maintained in a central secured location. Access to secured files is controlled by the Chief Human Resources Officer and is limited to the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee, the Director of Employee Relations, legal counsel and the Employee Relations Specialist. All documents either generated or received during the course of the investigation will be maintained in the secure file. The Employee Relations Specialist assigned to investigate the matter is responsible for maintaining the file and its contents during the investigation.

    Initially, the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Director of Employee Relations, and the Employee Relations Specialist will meet to determine whether the employee should be suspended without pay pursuant to the Virginia Code or placed on administrative leave (with pay) pending the final outcome of the investigation. The employee’s leave status should be communicated to the Principal/department head and the employee by the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee.

    The role of the Employee Relations Specialist in an investigation will vary depending upon the experience of the department head or Principal, but generally, the Employee Relations Specialist will work with the Principal/department head to investigate the complaint/allegation. The Employee Relations Specialist will also act as the division’s liaison with any agency which may become involved due to the nature of the complaint allegations (e.g. Child Protective Services, law enforcement personnel). To the extent it is provided to the School Division by an outside agency, documentation obtained as the result of an outside investigation will be maintained in the investigatory file and may be used in the internal investigation as permitted by law.

    After the investigation is complete, the Employee Relations Specialist shall discuss the results of his/her investigation with the Principal/department head. The Employee Relations Specialist shall discuss disciplinary options with the Principal/department head and shall note the Principal’s/department head’s recommendations for discipline or other action for inclusion in the investigatory report.

  3. Investigatory Report

    At the conclusion of the investigation, the Employee Relations Specialist will produce a written report which will be maintained in the investigatory file.

    In all instances where students are included, such names are to be redacted from the final written report but maintained in the file.

  4. Recommendation/Decision Process
    1. In the case of disciplinary matters regarding classified employees the Chief Human Resources Officer shall be guided by the provisions of School Board Regulations 4-3.2 and 4-18.1.
    2. In the case of disciplinary matters regarding administrative and instructional and other non-classified personnel, the Chief Human Resources Officer shall review the investigatory report and meet with the Director of Employee Relations and the Employee Relations Specialist to discuss the investigation results and the proposed recommendations.

    The Chief Human Resources Officer will consider the recommendations of the Principal/department head, the Director of Employee Relations, and the Employee Relations Specialist when formulating the final recommendation. When the recommendations present clearly disparate views on the appropriate discipline or action, the Chief Human Resources Officer may meet with the interested parties before making a final recommendation.

    The Chief Human Resources Officer shall forward a final recommendation to the Superintendent together with a summary of the results of the investigation involving non-classified personnel. If the recommendation of the Chief Human Resources Officer significantly varies from the Principal’s/department head’s recommended discipline/action that fact and the supportive rationale shall be made known to the Superintendent.

    Once the summary of the results of the investigation and a final recommendation have been forwarded to the Superintendent, the investigatory report will remain in the Office of Employee Relations. Prior to employee access to the report, all students’ names are to be redacted where applicable. The employee may have access to such report at that time according to the provisions in School Board Policy 4-15.

  5. Notification of Final Decision:

    Once the Superintendent communicates his decision on the appropriate discipline/action to the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer will task the Employee Relations Specialist handling the investigation to work with the Principal/department head to ensure the disciplinary action is instituted in accordance with School Board Regulations 4-18.1 and 4-3.2, and the employee is made aware of his/her rights under the grievance procedure. In cases involving classified personnel the Chief Human Resources Officer will notify the employee and appropriate supervisor in writing of the final determination.

    In cases involving administration and instructional personnel (non-classified employees), the Superintendent or his designee will notify the employee and appropriate supervisor of his recommendation to the School Board.

    In both cases, employees will be notified of his/her grievance rights.

Editor’s Notes

School Board Regulation 4-3.2 - Grievance Procedures –Supervisory and Classified Employees
School Board Policy 4-15 - Personnel Records
School Board Regulation 4-18.1 - Dismissal/Placement on Probation
School Board Regulation 4-33.1 - Investigative Procedures

Legal Reference:

Code of Virginia § 63.2-1511, as amended. Complaints of abuse and neglect against school personnel; interagency agreement

Approved by Superintendent: July 16, 1991
Revised by Superintendent: March 8, 2006
Scrivener’s Amendments: August 16, 2013