COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 185

August 31, 2007

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Announcement of the Civics Summit on September 20, 2007, and Implementation of Civics Education Week and Constitution Day

 

I am pleased to announce that the 2007 Virginia General Assembly named the week of September 16-22, 2007, as Civics Education Week. Please see the full text of House Joint Resolution 627 at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?071+ful+HJ627ER. As you are aware, 2007 marks the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown as the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, and this commemoration provides many opportunities for Virginians to renew their commitment to civic engagement.

 

To support Civics Education Week, the Commission on Civics Education is hosting a one-day Civics Summit for division personnel and teachers who work with students in Civics and Economics and Virginia and United States Government.

 

The objectives of the Summit are to:

 

      provide new content information related to civics education by recognized experts;

      explain what materials are available to support the History and Social Science Standards of Learning; and

      encourage responsible citizenship through participation in civic-related activities.

 

The date and location for the Summit are as follows:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

8:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.

Senate Room 3

Capitol Building

Richmond, VA 23219

 

The Civics Summit will accommodate 100 participants. School divisions are invited to send one person. Additional division representatives will be accommodated as space permits. The Civics Summit will provide parking in specified lots, lunch, and materials for participants. Registration will be conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be completed online at http://www.cpe.vt.edu/reg/civsum/.

 

I am also pleased to bring to your attention the recognition of Constitution Day to be celebrated officially this year on September 17, 2007, which falls during Civics Education Week. As you know, Congress passed legislation that requires the implementation of an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution, on a date designated by statute officially as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. This 2004 Congressional initiative is authorized by Section 111 of Division J of Public Law 108-447 and applies to educational institutions receiving federal funding from the United States Department of Education (USED).

 

In conjunction with Civics Education Week and Constitution Day, the Virginia Department of Education is pleased to provide teachers and school divisions with a website entitled, Everyday Civics. The website highlights civics-related Standards of Learning for elementary, middle, and secondary teachers, and includes information, pictures, lesson plans, links, teacher resources, and a discussion board. In addition, the website supports the legislative mandates of the Commission on Civics Education.

 

Everyday Civics is available at http://civics.pwnet.org. These copyright-protected materials may be reproduced for instructional purposes in Virginia classrooms.

All schools may determine what kind of educational programs are appropriate for their students. Some informational resources pertaining to the Constitution that may be useful in planning educational activities are listed on the USEDs website at http://www.ed.gov. Go to the search box and enter Constitution Day. Information about citizenship and civics is also available at other nonpartisan websites including http://BillofRightsInstitute.org.

 

If you need additional information about the Civics Education Summit, Civics Education Week, or Constitution Day, please contact Beverly Thurston, coordinator, history, social sciences, and international education, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at Beverly.Thurston@doe.virginia.gov, or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.

 

BKCJr/BT