P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VA 23218-2120
February 16, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Montpelier Foundation Educational Resources for Social Studies Teachers

The Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the Montpelier Foundation, is pleased to provide information about three exciting new initiatives for Virginia social studies teachers. These initiatives will focus on James Madison and the United States Constitution. They are as follows:

I. A Summer Institute for Teachers, July 21-28, 2001. Montpelier Foundation is sponsoring a summer institute to provide teacher staff development and resources about the United States Constitution. Approximately 40 teachers from upper-elementary, middle, and high schools will be selected to attend the institute, which will be hosted by James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The program will use the "We the People...the Citizen and the Constitution" curriculum developed by the Center for Civic Education. This is a nationally acclaimed program supported by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program has been aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning. A correlation of the program to the Standards of Learning can be found at or can be obtained directly from the Montpelier Education Department at (540)672-0024.

During the institute, scholars will provide additional insight into the study of the United States Constitution. Teachers experienced in implementing the "We the People" curriculum will assist participants. Participants will attend at no cost and receive free room and board, reimbursement for travel expenses, a classroom set of the "We the People" textbooks, and additional resources about the Constitution.

The Montpelier Foundation will mail applications for the institute in February to social studies department chairs at each of Virginia's public schools. Teachers also may request an application by calling the Montpelier Foundation at(540)672-0024 or may download the application online at Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by May 4, 2001.

II. A High School Lesson Plan, "What Was James Madison's Legacy to American Constitutionalism and Politics?" This lesson will be mailed in February to each high school social studies department chair. The lesson was developed by the Montpelier Foundation and the Center for Civic Education to commemorate in 2001 the 250th anniversary of the birth of James Madison. The lesson provides a brief biography of Madison and insight into his work on the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It also addresses his role in the development of political parties and his position on slavery.

III. A Musical Play for Elementary Grades, "Mr. Madison Remembers." Every fourth grade class in Virginia will receive a free CD-ROM in the spring of 2001. The CD-ROM will contain biographical sketches of the Founding Fathers, the entire musical script, and music for the songs in the play titled "Mr. Madison Remembers." The content of the play is correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning and additional resources about the Founding Fathers.

The Montpelier Foundation has a number of standards-based educational programs available to Virginia teachers and students. Visitors are welcomed throughout the year at James Madison's estate in Orange, Virginia. For more information on these exciting educational opportunities, please call the Montpelier Education Department at (540)672-0024, or e-mail