P. O. BOX 2120
June 7, 1996


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: William C. Bosher, Jr.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Math Connects: 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 mathematics course in the fall of
  1996 and the spring of 1997. The course is designed for middle
  school and Algebra I teachers. 
  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. The format will be interactive and will
  give 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.
  Teachers will be given opportunities to work with the National
  Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards as they
  relate to the Virginia Standards of Learning, and current
  literature in the field. Training will be provided in the use
  of graphing calculators and computers for instruction and
  During the course, participants will use local and worldwide
  network communications systems to access and retrieve
  information. Teachers will also develop skills in networking
  with other teachers, thereby encouraging the formation of
  support groups across Virginia. Follow-up ideas and
  opportunities for communication via the Internet will be
  essential components of the course.
  The first course will be broadcast on Tuesday afternoons from
  3:30 - 5:00 p.m. beginning September 10 and will continue
  through December 17, 1996. Orientation will be on August 27,
  1996, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. 
  As a pilot, this first broadcast of the course is offered to
  Virginia educators at no charge. The Department of Education
  is recommending 90 recertification points for successful
  completion of this course. A course registration form is
  attached. The Department, with the cooperation of Prince
  William County plans to offer the course through state
  universities in the spring of 1997 for graduate credit. For
  information concerning broadcast and technical aspects of the
  course contact Greg Weisiger, VSEN Administrator at (804) 692-0335. 
  Content questions should be directed to Stan Woodward,
  Prince William County at (703) 791-7328. For agency
  administration questions contact Dr. Patricia Wright,
  Principal Specialist for Mathematics at (804) 225-2894 or Dr.
  Ida Hill, Division Chief for Technology at (804) 225-2757.
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office.