P. O. BOX 2120
November 20, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Math Connects Satellite Algebra Course - Spring 1999

     The Virginia Department of Education announces the
     spring 1999 offering of Math Connects, an interactive
     distance learning course for middle and high school
     mathematics teachers produced by the Department of
     Education, Prince William County schools, and Virginia
     Tech. Teachers have two options for enrollment during
     the spring semester - graduate credit from Virginia
     Tech or re-certification points from local school
     divisions (the Department of Education recommends 45
     points for successful completion).  

     The course emphasizes content in the mathematics
     Standards of Learning, with concentration on the
     patterns, functions, and algebra strand in grades 6, 7,
     and 8 and in Algebra I.  The objectives include using
     patterns to bridge concrete arithmetic ideas with
     abstract algebra concepts, while developing mathematics
     content knowledge of Algebra I. Teachers will have the
     opportunity to interact with each other and the
     instructors using various media.  A pre-course
     orientation session will be held at Virginia Tech on 
     January 16, 1999, for all graduate credit
     participants. Math Connects will be delivered via the
     Virginia Satellite Educational Network (VSEN), the
     Galaxy 3 satellite, on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30
     p.m. - 5:00 p.m. beginning January 19. Course materials
     and interaction will be available via e-mail, fax,
     on-line and telephone. Students may participate live or
     tape classes for later viewing. The Department of
     Education will reimburse school divisions for repair of
     satellite systems used to receive this course. 

     This course is offered through the Commonwealth Campus
     program which allows students to transfer math graduate
     credits to other participating universities. Math
     Connects is offered as a course for a grade or as a
     pass/fail option.  Visit the Math Connects web
     site for syllabus, assignments, registration and
     teacher discussions at: 

     Through Eisenhower funding, the first 40 participants
     may take the graduate course tuition free. Virginia
     Tech tuition for all other graduate students is $414.
     Contact Gail Hunger, Virginia Tech professor, at (540)
     2231-7229 for registration information.

     Teachers also may enroll in Math Connects as a
     recertification course. The Department of Education is
     recommending 45 points for successful completion.
     Television instructors will evaluate recertification
     participants and there is no charge for enrollment.
     Call (800) 609-2680 to register for recertification. 

     Department of Education content questions should be
     directed to Maureen Hijar at (804) 786-6418. Contact
     Greg Weisiger at (804) 692-0335 for technical