P.O. BOX 2120

October 26, 2001


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Algebra Readiness Forum

The Standards of Learning Algebra Readiness Initiative was approved by the 2000 General Assembly for implementation during the second year of the 2000-2002 biennium. The purpose of the initiative is to provide mathematics intervention services to students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 who are at-risk of failing the Algebra I end-of-course test, as demonstrated by their individual performance on diagnostic tests that have been approved by the Department of Education.

In May 2001, the Department of Education issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Algebra Readiness Diagnostic Test. Vantage Learning has been awarded the contract to work with Virginia educators in the development of this on-line diagnostic test. We anticipate this diagnostic mathematics test will be available for school divisions to use in early December.

To assist school divisions with the implementation of the Algebra Readiness Initiative and to provide additional information about the diagnostic test, the Department of Education is conducting a forum on November 12, 2001, at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke. We are inviting two representatives from each school division to participate in the forum. The targeted audience will be division-level key instructional leaders and mathematics contact persons.

The program will include a discussion of intervention models, strategies, and resources. During the forum, participants will have an opportunity to talk with the assistant superintendent for instruction and staff in the Division of Instruction. I hope that you will encourage your key instructional leader and mathematics contact person to join the department staff and me at this forum.

School divisions have the option of using the state-provided diagnostic tests or using locally developed diagnostic tests that align with the criteria for diagnosis of mathematics deficiencies that are similar to criteria used in the state-provided tests and have been approved by the Department of Education. Information regarding the criteria established for the tests and the process divisions should follow for certifying which test(s) they intend to use will be discussed at the November 12 forum.

Attachment A is a registration form for the Algebra Readiness Forum. Please complete a separate form for each participant and return as indicated on the form. The Department of Education will provide lodging for those persons traveling 150 miles or more round trip. Each person will be responsible for contacting the hotel for a reservation. Contact information for the hotel is included on the registration form.

For questions concerning registration for this forum, please contact Mr. Roy Jones ( ), at 540-231-9448. For information concerning the forum or the Algebra Readiness Initiative, please contact Wendy Geiger ( ), mathematics specialist, at 804-786-2799 or Maureen B. Hijar( ), director, office of middle instructional services at 804-225-3616.