SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 71
October 10, 1997
||Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||State Buy for Graphing Calculators and Scientific Probe Kits|
The Department Education recently surveyed school divisions to determine their product preference for graphing calculators and scientific probe kits. The results of the survey indicated that primarily Texas Instruments and CASIO products are being used in the schools. As a result, the Department of General Services (DGS) has issued a proprietary bid for Texas Instruments and CASIO products to address the state's Graphing Calculator and Scientific Probe Initiative. A total of $16.5 million is available for this initiative which permits the graphing calculator requirements of the Standards of Learning to be fully met. DGS plans to negotiate a special state contract for this initiative. An invitation for bids has been released which closes on October 10, 1997. Once the contract has been awarded, more information will be available regarding when school divisions can expect to receive the equipment. Calculators and probe kits will be purchased and shipped directly to each school division. The Department of Education intends to honor each division's preferences to the extent possible. It is important to note that no funds will be sent to school divisions as reimbursement for equipment that has already been purchased. The attached distribution plan identifies the approximate number of graphing calculators and probe kits each division will receive. The distribution model used Fall 1996 student enrollments in grades eight, nine, and ten as an estimate of the number of students in those grades in the 1997-98 school year. Each division will receive the number of graphing calculators equivalent to approximately 100 percent of the number of ninth and tenth grade students and 40 percent of the number of eighth grade students. Scientific probe kits will be distributed to divisions using a probe kit to calculator ratio of approximately one probe kit for every thirty calculators. Please complete the attached Graphing Calculator and Scientific Probe Kit Request Form and return it to the address identified on the form no later than October 24, 1997. Questions may be directed to Lan Neugent, Acting Assistant Superintendent for Technology, at (804) 786-2260, or Dr. Patricia Wright, Acting Associate Director/Mathematics Specialist, at (804) 225-2894. RTL/piw Attachments: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments will be sent to the superintendent's office.