P. O. BOX 2120
January 31, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Social Studies Teachers' Seminar in Israel

  The Virginia Department of Education, with the Virginia-Israel
  Advisory Board and Old Dominion University, announces
  its 1997 Social Studies Teachers' Study Seminar in Israel. 
  This program offers middle and high school teachers a unique
  opportunity to focus on Virginia's History and Social
  Science Standards of Learning through on-site lectures and
  classroom observations in Israel.  Besides school visits,
  seminar participants will attend talks arranged by the
  Israeli Ministry of Education, visit historic sites, and 
  travel to Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and Tel Aviv.  The
  seminar will concentrate on four major themes in the History
  and Social Science Standards of Learning:  ancient
  civilizations, major religions, the Holocaust, and modern
  Middle Eastern politics and geography.  Given the new
  Standards of Learning, teachers will return to Virginia's
  school divisions with fresh insights to carry out a
  demanding curricula. 

  The Virginia study seminar is a ten-day trip scheduled to
  leave the United States on May 2, 1997 and return on May 11,
  1997.  Fifteen middle and/or high school teachers will be
  selected to travel as representatives of the Commonwealth of
  Virginia.  Applicants must obtain permission from their
  school division and complete an application form to be
  eligible for the study seminar.  An announcement of the
  seminar and an application form will be mailed to all social
  studies contact persons in January.  All finalists must be
  available for an interview on March 8, if needed.  Selected
  participants must agree to attend two one-day training
  seminars in Richmond before the departure date.  The
  seminars are scheduled for March 15 and April 13 and provide
  essential orientation and background materials for the trip.

  The costs to participants will be approximately $1,950.00
  per person.  Some scholarships may be available.  Costs may
  vary slightly because negotiations for meals and lodging
  have not been completed.

  Thank you for your support of the study seminar.  If you
  have questions regarding this program, please do not
  hesitate to contact Beverly Thurston, Specialist for History
  and Social Sciences, at (804) 225-2893.