P. O. BOX 2120
January 16, 1998


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 Old Dominion
  University, announces its 1998 Social Studies Teachers'
  Study Seminar in Israel.  This program offers middle and
  high school teachers and administrators 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 1, 1998 and return on May 10,
  1998.  Fifteen middle and/or high school teachers and
  administrators 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
  14, if needed.  Selected participants must agree to attend
  two one-day training seminars in Richmond before the
  departure date.  The training seminars are scheduled for
  March 21 and April 19 and provide essential orientation and
  background materials for the trip.

  The costs to participants will be approximately $1,950 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 Dr. Beverly Thurston, Specialist for History and
  Social Sciences, at (804) 225-2893.