P. O. BOX 2120
January 16, 1996


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Satellite Algebra Techniques Course for Teachers

  The Department of Education through the Virginia Satellite
  Educational Network and in cooperation with Prince William
  County Schools will offer a graduate level mathematics
  course for middle school and Algebra I teachers in the Fall
  of 1996. 
  The course, Math Connects, will increase teachers'
  understanding of the structure of mathematics and the
  instructional use of technology, particularly in the
  Patterns, Functions, and Algebra strand of the Virginia
  Mathematics Standards of Learning. The course will be
  presented by a team of Virginia teachers via satellite. The
  format will be an interactive one giving participants the
  opportunity to communicate with instructors and each other
  via telephone, fax, and the Internet. Lessons will address
  topics in number sense, probability and statistics, geometry
  and algebra, with emphasis placed on how knowledge of these
  topics will lead to increased understanding of and success
  in Algebra I. 
  Opportunities to work with the National Council of Teachers
  of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards, as they relate to the
  Virginia Standards of Learning, and to review current
  literature in the field will be provided. Training in the
  use of graphing calculators and in the use of computers for
  instruction and research purposes will be an integral part
  of the course.
  During the course, participants will use local and worldwide
  network communications systems to access and retrieve
  information. Participants will also develop skills in
  networking with other participants, encouraging support
  groups to form across the state of Virginia. Follow-up ideas
  and opportunities for communication via the Internet will be
  essential components of the course.
  The course will begin in the Fall of 1996 and will be a
  three credit graduate level content course that can be used
  for recertification purposes.
  Registration information and further details will be
  distributed in late Spring through the Department's
  Technology Division.  If you need additional information,
  please contact Greg Weisiger, VSEN Administrator, at (804)
  692-0335.  Content questions should be directed to Patricia
  Wright, Principal Specialist for Mathematics, at (804) 225-2894.