Superintendent's Memo #289-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

October 16, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Holocaust Education

I am pleased to bring to your attention legislation passed by the 2008 Virginia General Assembly regarding Holocaust education. This legislation may be found in Chapter 474 of the 2008 Acts of Assembly at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+CHAP0474. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to distribute a teacher's manual to all school divisions that emphasizes the causes and ramifications of the Holocaust and genocide. Each school division shall provide grade-appropriate portions of the manual to history and literature teachers of these classes.

Accordingly, the Virginia Department of Education suggests that school divisions provide grade-appropriate portions of teachers' manuals found at the following sites:

Virginia Holocaust Museum
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/home_files/leaving/redirect.cfm?url=http://www.va-holocaust.com/learn/default.asp?id=60;

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/home_files/leaving/redirect.cfm?url=http://www.ushmm.org/education/foreducators/;
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/home_files/leaving/redirect.cfm?url=http://www.ushmm.org/genocide/; and

Yad Vashem
http://www.doe.virginia.gov/home_files/leaving/redirect.cfm?url=http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/index.asp.

I encourage all educators to assume the responsibility for ensuring that Virginia's young people recognize the importance of the related Standards of Learning in English and History and the Social Sciences.

For more information, please contact Dr. 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.

PIW/BT/yba