P. O. BOX 2120

May 9, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Satellite Algebra Course for Teachers

  Virginia Tech, in partnership with  the Department of
  Education and Prince William County Schools will again offer
  a graduate level mathematics course for middle and high school
  math and Algebra I teachers in the fall of 1997. 

  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 be broadcast in the fall of 1997 as a three
  credit graduate level mathematics content course from Virginia
  Tech. The course will be broadcast through the Virginia
  Satellite Educational Network (VSEN) and can be accessed at
  schools with satellite dishes or through educational cable
  channels. Virginia Tech is offering this course at reduced

  Contact Susan Vest at (540) 231-4669 for Virginia Tech
  registration information. For satellite transmission
  information and receive locations contact Greg Weisiger, VSEN
  Administrator, at (804) 692-0335.  Content questions should be
  directed to Dr. Patricia Wright, Principal Specialist for
  Mathematics, at (804) 225-2894.