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School Board of the City of Virginia Beach names Dr. Donald Robertson Jr. superintendent

The School Board of the City of Virginia Beach voted to name Dr. Donald Robertson Jr. as superintendent at its meeting Jan. 23. A native of Hampton Roads, Dr. Robertson began his career as a math teacher with Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) in 1988 and progressed in leadership roles including assistant principal of Bayside High School, principal of Salem High School, chief strategy and innovation officer, chief schools officer, chief of staff and acting superintendent. 

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach names Dr. Donald Robertson Jr. superintendent

The School Board of the City of Virginia Beach voted to name Dr. Donald Robertson Jr. as superintendent at its meeting Jan. 23. A native of Hampton Roads, Dr. Robertson began his career as a math teacher with Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) in 1988 and progressed in leadership roles including assistant principal of Bayside High School, principal of Salem High School, chief strategy and innovation officer, chief schools officer, chief of staff and acting superintendent. 

Logo Virginia Beach City Public Schools Charting the Course

Hundreds of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) students will participate in the 16th Annual African American Male Summit on Jan. 20 at Frank W. Cox High School. Boys in grades six through 12 will share ideas with each other and with adult community members on topics such as student leadership, community involvement, relationship-building, and physical and mental well-being.

Materials Related to Policy 6-11

In April of 2022 Virginia Legislation passed Senate Bill 656. This bill states:

The Department (Virginia Department of Education) shall develop and make available to each school board model policies for ensuring parental notification of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to:

  1. Ensuring parental notification;
  2. Directly identifying the specific instructional material and sexually explicit subjects; and
  3. Permitting the parent of any student to review instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and provide, as an alternative, nonexplicit instructional material and related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests.

In response, Virginia Beach City Public Schools drafted Policy 6-11 which mirrors the model policy proposed by the VDOE.

The Department of Teaching and Learning, in collaboration with classroom teachers and literacy coaches, have identified material available as either a textbook resource or a supplemental resource as potentially containing sexually explicit content as identified by Senate Bill 656. This is not to be interpreted as a complete or final list. As teachers, specialists, and families discover additional titles that should be included, they may use the procedures in Regulation 6-61.2.

Parents and legal guardians may use the “Parent/Legal Guardian Prior Notification for Student Checkouts of Library Materials to be Used for Instructional Purposes” form to request prior notification when their children would like to check out a library item for instructional purposes.

VA Senate Bill 656 Instructional Materials

The following texts have been identified as having some element of sexually explicit content as defined by VA State Senate Bill 656. The following list is not perceived to be a comprehensive list and continues to be added to as additional texts are identified meeting the criteria of Bill 656.

Course Title Title and Author
Grades K-5
All Subjects
Not applicable.  
English 6 Honors/Core    
Grade 7
Honors/Core
 N/A  
English 8
Honors/Core
Z for Zachariah, O'Brien
To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee Parent/Legal Guardian Prior Notification for Student Checkouts of Library Materials to be Used for Instructional Purposes
The Diary of Anne Frank, Frank
 Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Frank (dramatic version for Core)
English 9 Honors/Core To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee
Cold Sassy Tree, Burns
Everything, Everything, Yoon
Romeo and Juliet (graphic novel), Shakespeare
House on Mango Street, Cisneros
English 10 Honors/Core Ready Player One, Cline Siddhartha, Hesse
English 11 Honors/Core Black Boy, Wright
The Color of Water, McBride
The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
A Lesson Before Dying, Gaines
The Things They Carried, O’Brien
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston
As I Lay Dying, Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway
The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
Invisible Man, Ellison
English 11 Advanced Placement The Boys of Summer, Kahn
The Glass Castle, Walls
The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Skloot
Invisible Man, Ellison
Moveable Feast, Hemingway
On the Road, Kerouac
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurstonz
English 12 Honors/Core 1984, Orwell
Brave New World, Huxley
Felicia's Journey, Trevor
Girl with a Pearl Earring, Chevalier
The Razor's Edge, Maugham
Richard III, Shakespeare
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini
The Stranger, Camus
The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
Sir Gwain and the Green Knight, Chaucer
Advanced Placement Grade 12 The Americans, James
The Bluest Eye, Morrison
The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood
Invisible Man, Ellison
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey
Sons and Lovers, Lawrence
The Stranger, Camus
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston
Wide Sargasso Sea, Rhys
Media Studies Grade 11 Media Studies & Culture, Campbell, Martin, Fabos (Criteria: Chapter 9, p. 309-310)
Health Sciences Academy Hereditary Medicine Grades 11-12 Thompson & Thompson Genetics in Medicine, Nussbaum, McInnes, Willard (Criteria: There are nude images as they relate to chromosomal disorders)
Art I: Foundations Grades 9-12 The Visual Experience, Jack Hobbs, Richard Salome, and Ken Vieth (Criteria: The Visual Experience by Jack Hobbs, Richard Salome, and Ken Vieth)
Art II: 2D Approaches Grades 9-12 Basic Printmaking Techniques, Bernard Toale Discovering Drawing, Ted Rose and Sallye Mahan-Cox (Criteria: Nudity on Page 2, 19, and 70)
(Criteria: Nudity on pages: 80 and 177)
Art II: 3D Approaches Grades 9-12 Beginning Sculpture, Arthur Williams Crafts Contemporary Design and Techniques Experience Clay, Maureen Mackey (Criteria: Nudity on pages: 17. 46, 95, and 197)
(Criteria: Nudity on page: 50)
(Criteria: Nudity on page: 2)
AP Art History Grades 10-12 Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Fred Kleiner (Criteria: Nudity throughout the textbook that relates to the history of art)
HSA Physiology and Pathophysiology II Grade 12 Understanding Pathophysiology 4th edition (Criteria: Chapter 31: Structure and Function of the Reproductive Systems. Pages 821 – 847 contains anatomical frontal views and cross-sectional, labeled pictures and diagrams of the anatomy of the male reproductive system, female reproductive system, and a cross-section of the female breast. All diagrams and pictures are standard anatomical images used in human anatomy and physiology textbooks across college curriculums. Chapter 32: Alterations of the Reproductive System pages 849 – 907 contains text and medical images outlining various disorders of the female reproductive system, male reproductive system, disorders of the breast, and sexually transmitted infections.)
HSA Forensic Medicine I & II Grades 10-12 Our textbook for HSA Forensic Medicine does not contain anything that contains that criteria. (Criteria: We do have various units where sadomasochistic abuse, as also defined in § 18.2-390, coprophilia, urophilia, or fetishism might have to be defined and briefly discussed as part of the forensic medicine course. These units and topics include:
  1. Introduction to Forensic Medicine – Research a famous crime and crime scene project.
  2. Forensic Psychology Unit
  1. Criminal Profiling Unit – organized vs. disorganized criminal profile and body disposal methods at a crime scene. All discussion as forensic science based, in regards to criminal behavior.
  2. Jack the Ripper Case study – images of crime scenes and body disposal methods.
  3. Charles Manson Case study – images of crime scenes and body display method.)
HSA Medical Microbiology Grades 11-12 Microbiology: An introduction 8th edition (Criteria: Chapter 26: Microbial Diseases of the Urinary and Reproduction Systems. Pages 741 – 761. Chapter includes medical illustrations of the male and female reproductive system consistent with a college curriculum. The rest of the chapter contains short descriptions of microbes and the diseases they cause in the urinary and reproductive system. There are five black and white and color images of various organs, cells, and tissues in the reproductive system displaying clinically significant signs and symptoms of specific diseases of the reproductive system (inflamed urethra, PID, a chancre, vesicles, and warts.)
HSA Physiology & Pathophysiology I Grade 11 Understanding Pathophysiology 4th edition (Criteria: Contains diagrams/pictures of male and female anatomy as it relates to various diseases and genetic disorders)
HSA Introduction to Health Occupations Grade 9 Health Science Fundamentals (Criteria: Structure and Function of the Reproductive Systems. contains anatomical views of male and female anatomy, labeled pictures and diagrams of the anatomy of the male reproductive system, female reproductive system, and the female breast. All diagrams and pictures are standard anatomical images used in human anatomy and physiology textbooks across college curriculums. Also contains text and medical images outlining various disorders of the female reproductive system, male reproductive system, disorders of the breast, and sexually transmitted infections as well as related careers related to the Reproductive Systems.
  • Image of pulse locations including a frontal image the male anatomy near the femoral/groin pulse.
  • Image and instructions for measuring rectal temperature
  • Medical terminology of the reproductive systems for knowledge relevant to health and medical careers and illness.)
HSA Human Anatomy Grade 10 Hole's Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology (Criteria: Contains diagrams/pictures of male and female anatomy as it relates to structure and function)
Anatomy and Sports Injury Grades 11-12 Principles of Athletic Training and Trail Guide of the Human Body (Criteria: Contains diagrams/pictures of male and female anatomy as it relates to structure, function and sports related injuries)
Psychology Grades 9-12 https://openstax.org/books/psychology-2e, Speilman, et al. Psychology: Principles in Practice, Rathus & Spencer Flowers for Algernon; Daniel Keyes (Criteria: This textbook discusses sexual behavior and motivations, sexual excitement, orgasms, gender identity, and psychological disorders involving sexual behavior. Discusses sexual behaviors, motivations, the biology and psychology of sexual excitement, sexual disorders.
AP Psychology Grades 10-12 Psychology -- 1th Edition, Myers & Dewall Criteria: Discusses sexual behaviors, motivations, the biology and psychology of sexual excitement, sexual disorders.)
Parenting & Early Learning Careers Grades 11-12 Child Development: Early Stages through Age 12, Goodheart-Wilcox (Criteria: This is a high school class for 11th and 12th graders and is an elective. The course covers conception and childbirth. There is a pretty graphic birthing video that is shown in addition to what might be in the book. That video requires parents to “opt in” and students only view it with a signed permission slip. Chapters 6 & 7 are the most relevant to this discussion.
Other Instructional Materials

As stated in Senate Bill 656, when library materials are intended to be used for instructional purposes and may include sexually explicit content, parents/legal guardians may determine whether they are appropriate for their children. Library materials are considered instructional materials when used (i) for completion of an assignment, or (ii) as part of an academic or extracurricular educational program.

Parents and legal guardians may use the “Parent/Legal Guardian Prior Notification for Student Checkouts of Library Materials to be Used for Instructional Purposes” form to request prior notification when their children would like to check out a library item for instructional purposes. This document is hosted on the VBCPS Parents webpage, along with a link to Destiny Discover (the library catalog) and the “Request for Limited Access of Library Materials” form.