COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 71
October 10, 1997

ADMINISTRATIVE

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM:
 
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.