September 16, 2016
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Rule of Law Project
The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce that The Virginia Bar Association (VBA) and The Virginia Law Foundation (VLF) will sponsor the annual VBA Rule of Law Project in the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017. Begun as a pilot project in 2009, the VBA's Rule of Law Project is an educational program taught by volunteer citizen lawyers and judges in Virginia and is specifically designed to enhance the teaching of the rule of law to middle school civics students in public and private schools throughout the state.
The educational program materials for the VBA Rule of Law Project consist of:
- a Web-based curriculum that includes a description of the VBA Rule of Law Project, a training video for teachers and lawyers to use in preparing for the Rule of Law Project, reading lists, previsitation instructional ideas for teachers, visitation day writing/discussion prompts, and lesson plans. The curriculum also includes a high resolution movie file of the VBA "The Law Rules," a video featuring prominent lawyers and judges talking about the history and meaning of the rule of law, and a form for use by teachers in evaluating each class as an enhancement to the general civics curriculum; and
- contact information for teachers and lawyers who desire additional assistance in preparing for the project.
The Project's curriculum is Web-based (www.thecenterforruleoflaw.org ), and its educational materials have been developed by educators, administrators, parents, judges, and lawyers in collaboration with local school officials.
If you have administrative questions regarding the VBA Rule of Law Project, please contact Lori Lord, Chief Staff Attorney, Supreme Court of Virginia, by email at LLord@courts.state.va.us. Education questions regarding the content of the project should be directed to H. Timothy Isaacs, Director of Education, Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (540) 375-5776.