P.O. BOX 2120




October 2, 2003




Division Superintendents



Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction



United States History Connects An Interactive Online United States History Course Beginning November 10, 2003


United States History Connects, an interactive online course for Virginia teachers, will be offered as a pilot course this fall. This class supports the Standards of Learning for teaching United States History to 1877, United States History: 1877 to the Present; and Virginia and United States History. The class is free for Virginia teachers who wish to earn up to 45 license renewal points, or it may be taken for three graduate credits through Old Dominion University.


The class will be offered on the Internet at and is supported with a CD-ROM. Registration may be completed online at that website. Teachers may register from October 7 to October 27, 2003, and the class starts November 10, 2003. The course ends on December 19, 2003. For the pilot course, enrollment will be limited to the first 100 teachers who sign up for license renewal points, although there will be unlimited registration for those taking the class for credit through Old Dominion University.


The goals of the course are as follows:

        connecting the events of 20th Century United States history to past events;

        analyzing what it means to be an American;

        connecting economic, political and social evolutions;

        providing lesson plans, resources, and links for classroom teachers.

The course consists of five components, each of which is expected to take approximately five hours. Each component includes activities, resource links, a discussion board, and quizzes. The CD-ROM contains videos that explain the subject matter being discussed. Teachers will find many ideas, resources, and links that will assist them in the classroom.


The course includes the following five topics:

        Part I: Why Study United States History?

        Part II: What is an American?

        Part III: The Evolution of Revolution

        Part IV: Individualism and Community

        Part V: The United States and the World


Carolyn J. Lawes, a professor of history at Old Dominion University, since 1993, will teach the course. She regularly works with Virginia teachers to improve their ability to teach the Standards of Learning. Please contact her at ( or at (757) 683-3949, for information about earning graduate credit. Although the course is the same for everyone, teachers enrolled in United States History Connects for credits will be required to complete additional work.


For more information, please contact Beverly Thurston (, specialist, history and social science, Office of Middle Instructional Services, at (804) 225-2893.