P. O. BOX 2120
May 14, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Virginia Satellite Educational Network (VSEN) Courses 1999-2000
The Department of Education is pleased to announce 
distance learning credit course offerings and staff 
development options available to Virginia students and 
educators through the Virginia Satellite Educational 
Network (VSEN). VSEN is entering its sixteenth year of 
providing exceptional educational opportunities to 
Virginia students. 

Student credit offerings for the 1999-2000 school year 
include advanced placement courses in calculus, English, 
statistics, U. S. History, and government. Additionally, 
three years each of Japanese and Latin for high and 
middle school students are offered. 

No Tuition for Virginia Public Schools

The Department of Education received funding from the 
Schools and Libraries Corporation under the E-rate 
program for discounts on satellite transponder charges 
retroactive to January 1, 1998. Because of this one-time 
payment, Virginia public school students will not be 
charged tuition for the 1999-2000 school year. Schools 
will continue to be responsible for textbook purchase. 

Block Schedule Option

Advanced Placement English and AP Government will be 
offered as traditional full-year courses and as a 4X4 
block option. Each course will meet fifty minutes per day 
through the entire year like traditional VSEN courses, 
but will be broadcast back-to-back in a single 100-minute 
block from 8:30 - 10:10 a.m. Schools using 4X4 block schedules
may enroll students in one or both courses and assign a single
fall and spring period for the courses. Because VSEN courses 
can be taken on a tape delay basis, the fall and spring periods
do not even need to meet at the same time. These courses will also 
meet the SOL requirements for twelfth grade government 
and English courses.

Staff Development

Math Connects, a graduate level algebra staff development 
course, will be offered by Virginia Tech during the fall 
of 1999. The course will be broadcast via satellite and 
available at all locations with satellite downlinks. 
Virginia Tech has received a grant to cover the cost of 
graduate tuition for the first one hundred Virginia 
public school teachers.  Call (540) 231-7229 for 
registration information.

Techknowledgy Academy, a staff development course 
concentrating on technology standards for educators, 
offered this spring, is planned for fall 1999 broadcast. 
Call (800) 609-2680 to register. There is no charge for 
the course, but registration is limited.

For detailed information on VSEN courses or staff 
development offerings, visit the VSEN website at The 
Department contact for distance learning programs is Greg 
Weisiger. He can be reached at (804) 692-0335 or e-mail