Superintendent’s Memo #242-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

September 7, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Virginia State and Local Civic Education Module

I am pleased to announce a new resource offered by the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia State and Local Civic Education Module.  The module may be accessed at the following address:  http://www.civiceducationva.org.  The Virginia State and Local Civic Education Module was created pursuant to Senate Bill 715 passed by the 2010 General Assembly.  This Bill requires civics education training specific to Virginia for certain teacher education preparation programs. The legislation passed by the 2010 General Assembly states:

§ 1. That the Board of Education shall amend its regulations to require that all teacher education preparation programs in early/primary preK-3, elementary education preK-6,
middle education 6-8, and history and social sciences include local government and civics instruction specific to Virginia.

Originally, Senate Bill 715 required teachers seeking renewal of their licenses with an endorsement in early/primary preK-3, elementary education preK-6, middle education 6-8, history and social sciences, history, or political science to complete a study of the structures, function, and powers of state and local government of Virginia and the importance of citizen participation in the political process in state and local government of Virginia.  However, Bills HB 1295 and SB 679 passed by the 2012 General Assembly eliminated this renewal requirement.

In addition to a resource for Virginia’s teacher education preparation programs, the Virginia State and Local Civic Education Module will also serve as a resource for Virginia’s teachers.  The module is specifically designed to provide History and Social Sciences Standards of Learning content information and support classroom resources while introducing the following topics: 1) Federalism; 2) Virginia State Government; 3) Local Government; and 4) Civic Participation and Engagement.

If you have questions regarding the content of the Virginia State and Local Civic Education Module, please contact Dr. Beverly Thurston, coordinator of history and social sciences and international education, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood at Beverly.Thurston@doe.virginia.gov  or (804) 225-2893.  If you have questions regarding the civics education training requirement specific for teacher education preparation programs, please contact Dr. Mark Allan, director of licensure and school leadership, at Mark.Allan@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-2471.

PIW/mra

c. Institutions of Higher Education with Approved Programs