P. O. BOX 2120
August 30, 1996


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: NetDay 96

  Saturday, October 26, 1996, is "NetDay  96".  NetDay  96 is
  a nationwide effort by groups of interested people to
  install wiring in classrooms in their local schools on
  NetDay or during the month of October 1996.  The approach
  suggested is to have a group of local volunteers, after
  extensive planning, come into selected schools to drill
  holes in walls, pull wire through the holes, and connect the
  wire to outlets in each classroom.  The labor would be
  provided by volunteers.  Funding is expected  to be provided
  through local business contributions.  Each participating
  school will have at least five classrooms wired and many
  schools will be wired completely.  The amount of wiring done
  will depend on the number of volunteers and funds available. 
  The goal of NetDay  96 is to provide students in each school
  access to the Internet.

  Parents, students, business people, technicians, teachers
  and other volunteers to assist in the NetDay  96 project are
  being recruited by volunteers and other individuals in
  communities throughout Virginia.  These volunteers are being
  organized into small groups to plan for the day.  Pre-NetDay
  96 activities include organizing and training volunteers,
  contacting school officials, publicizing the event,
  completing a site survey and wiring plan, scheduling
  workers, securing tools and materials, and developing
  business partnerships for help and donations.  Organizers
  hope to contribute by installing wire where it is needed and
  laying the foundation for Internet connectivity.
  Potential volunteers in Virginia and other eastern states
  are being made aware of the "NetDay  96" East effort through
  publicity in national and local news media outlets. 
  Volunteers are being recruited through a national NetDay  96
  or Virginia NetDay  96 website.  The national site address
  is  and the Virginia site is  Both should be  referred to
  for further information about NetDay  96.  Volunteers can
  log onto the Virginia site and either register their local 
  August 30, 1996
  Page 2
  school for wiring (they become the lead organizer for that
  school) or work as members of teams for another school. 
  Once a lead organizer is recruited, a NetDay kit is
  available.  The kit is a how-to guide that includes
  information on everything from getting started on the
  project to creating partnerships to deal with technical
  issues.  Samples of task checklists, tool inventories,
  endorsement letters, press releases, and cable installation
  guides are included.
  While the opportunity to get citizens involved in the
  activities of their local schools is to be encouraged and
  commended, the following issues should be noted by Division
  Superintendents and School Principals regarding NetDay  96:

          Schools can be and often are registered without
          the knowledge or consent of school officials.

          Many states participating in this event have not
          had funding dedicated to infrastructure
          improvement to the extent that funding has been
          provided by the General Assembly in Virginia.

          Uninformed people may not realize that their
          school is already wired or planned to be wired
          under terms of their local area technology plan.

          Groups of action-oriented volunteers may not
          realize the value of early contacts with school
          officials.  By bringing officials into the process
          late, volunteers may be frustrated by procedures
          established to ensure the integrity of facilities
          and safety of students.

          In many divisions, professional plans for
          installing local and wide area networks (LAN's and
          WAN's) have already been created, and once
          implemented, will far surpass the capabilities of
          the NetDay  96 effort.
  These plans usually accommodate safety issues such as
  drilling through fire walls, asbestos-related concerns, and
  liability issues that may not be adequately addressed when
  volunteers begin to make modifications to a school.  There
  are also other concerns that may affect plans in each school
  Some schools may want to participate in NetDay  96 and will
  not be ready to install wire on October 26th.  Technology
  awareness events might be organized around the day.  These
  include publicity concerning the purchase of technology, a
  school NetDay  96 rally, technology fund-raising activities,
  classroom activities/discussion about the Internet, or a
  future NetDay recruitment drive.  A letter being sent to
  schools by Senator Charles Robb's office is attached for
  your information.
  August 30, 1996
  Page 3
  The Division of Technology, Department of Education, is
  attempting to compile a list of activities in schools
  relating to NetDay  96.  Should you decide to participate, a
  summary of your activities will be appreciated.

  cc:     School Principals
  Attachment:  This memo and its attachment will be sent to
               the superintendent's office.