Superintendent’s Memo #223-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 31, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Board of Education Criteria for Character Education

In February 2000, the Board of Education approved criteria for character education programs in school divisions, which were developed by a committee of parents, teachers and administrators. The 2012 General Assembly, through HB 1179, amended Section 22.1-208.01 of the Code of Virginia to specify that a character education program may be established as a separate program, which may occur during the regular school year, or during summer youth development academies, or both.

At its meeting on July 26, the Board of Education approved revisions to the criteria for Character Education to incorporate provisions of HB 1179 and align with Section 22.1-208.01 of the Code.  The Board added application of these criteria to middle schools.  The aim of character education programs in schools is to improve the learning environment, promote student achievement, reduce disciplinary problems, create an awareness of bullying, and help develop civic-minded students of high character.

The revised criteria are attached. Questions or requests for additional information regarding character education may be directed to Dr. Vivian Stith-Williams, student services specialist, at  or by telephone at (804-225-4543).



  1. The Board of Education Criteria for Character Education (PDF)