Superintendent’s Memo #291-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 14, 2011

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Guidelines for Local Textbook Approval

On September 22, 2011, the Virginia Board of Education adopted Guidelines for Local Textbook Approval¸ which are available online at The Guidelines encourage local school boards that opt to use a textbook that has not been approved by the Board of Education to conduct a local textbook review that includes components similar to the state level review.  Such components include a correlation with the Standards of Learning for the particular subject area and a review of strengths and weaknesses in instructional planning and support.  Additionally, the publisher of the textbook should certify the accuracy of the content of the textbook and sign an agreement to correct all factual and editing errors found in a textbook, at its expense.  Finally, the publisher should certify that the books meet other requirements of the Code of Virginia related to textbooks.

The Guidelines also apprise school divisions of other requirements related to local textbook selection and approval, including:

Questions about the Guidelines may be addressed to Dr. Beverly Thurston, history and social science coordinator and textbook coordinator, at (804) 225-2893 or at