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Lexington Education Foundation

2015 Grants

 

LEF awards grants in three categories:

  • Fellowships enable individual educators to pursue professional development opportunities that will have a direct impact on their teaching in the classroom.
  • Program Grants support the exploration and implementation of innovative instruction, enriched curricula, and the use of new technology in the classroom.
  • School Community Grants enable each of the nine Lexington public schools to undertake activities that will strengthen learning and build community school-wide.

Awards By School

Bowman Elementary School

Fellowships

Laurel Harris, a 4th grade teacher, will travel to France to participate in an EarthWatch field project, “Wildlife in the Changing French Pyrenees.” She and two Harrington 4th grade teachers will study the effects of mountain erosion, the changing behaviors of animals, and the survival of plants – content that aligns with the new 4th grade Next Generation Science Standards.

Jean Claffey, the school nurse, will attend the National School Nurses Association annual conference in Philadelphia.

Kate Jones, a 1st grade teacher, will attend a course at Lesley University on Effective Literacy Coach Training. This training will enable her to provide instructional coaching and mentoring to fellow teachers at Bowman.

 

Bridge Elementary School

Fellowships

Deborah Side, a K-5 music specialist, will attend the American Orff Schulwerk Conference in San Diego, where music educators share ideas and approaches to building musicianship in every learner through the integration of music, movement, speech, and drama.

 

Estabrook Elementary School

Fellowships

Rachael Quebec, a 1st grade teacher, will participate in a professional development tour of China that explores Chinese education, history, and culture. She will bring her new knowledge to the 1st grade global community unit on China.

Kirsten Laicer, Ellen Silberman, Jesse Richardson, and Caroline St. Onge, 5th grade teachers, will attend the Columbia Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project’s Summer Institute on the Teaching of Writing. The institute introduces a unique workshop model that has been shown to boost student motivation and skill development in writing.

 

Program Grants

Elementary Afterschool Robotics Curriculum

LHS will develop and pilot an afterschool robotics and engineering course at Estabrook. Through the acquisition of robotics kits, the development of curricula, and teacher training, this pilot will provide the basis for independently run, sustainable robotics programs at every elementary school in the LPS.

 

Fiske Elementary School

Fellowships

Nick Hart, a music teacher, will attend the American Orff Schulwerk Conference in San Diego, where music educators share ideas and approaches to building musicianship in every learner through the integration of music, movement, speech, and drama. 

 

Program Grants

Elementary Afterschool Robotics Curriculum

LHS will develop and pilot afterschool robotics and engineering courses at Fiske. Through the acquisition of robotics kits, the development of curricula, and teacher training, this pilot will provide the basis for independently run, sustainable robotics programs at every elementary school in the LPS.

The Newcomer Project: Supporting New English Language Learners through Mentoring and Technology Support addresses the needs of students who arrive at Fiske with very limited English ability and the additional challenges of an unfamiliar school culture and different academic expectations. These students will be matched with teacher mentors who will help them navigate the school community, and will have all-day access to iPads with apps that enable them to access the English language and the curriculum in a comprehensible way.

Sensory Based Language Learning for Students with Profound Disabilities

Speech/language pathologists will create a sensory-based resource library and approach that Intensive Learning Program teachers can use to help students with profound disabilities to acquire basic language skills. The project team will develop differentiated lesson plans that incorporate the selection of appropriate sensory reinforcers (items and activities that are highly motivating to students) to build vocabulary

 

Harrington Elementary School

Fellowships

Lauren Archibald and Amanda Densmore, 4th grade teachers, will travel to France to participate in an EarthWatch field project, “Wildlife in the Changing French Pyrenees.” Along with a Bowman 4th grade teacher, they will study the effects of mountain erosion, the changing behaviors of animals, and the survival of plants – content that aligns with the new 4th grade Next Generation Science Standards.

Jennifer Litchfield, a K-5 special education resource room teacher, will take the Wilson Intensive Reading System Level 1 Certification program to learn research-based strategies for reading and spelling instruction, including multisensory techniques to teach struggling readers who have not responded to regular education phonics instruction.

 

Program Grants

Developing a 21st Century Learning Space: Bringing iPads into the School Library

Through the acquisition of dedicated library iPads, this project will provide greater access to technology during library classes, enabling all students to use the library’s databases and eBooks, learn online catalog skills, express their learning with technology tools such as Book Creator, and practice digital citizenship skills.

Developmental Learning Program Curriculum Mapping 

The Developmental Learning Team will create curriculum maps of key skills in the Language Arts, Art, Math, and Social Skills programs for the K-7 Developmental Learning Program, which serves students who have significant developmental delays and cognitive impairments.

 

Hastings Elementary School

Fellowships

Nancy Salitsky, the school nurse, will attend the National School Nurses Association annual conference in Philadelphia.

 

Program Grants

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support in Action across the Hastings School

Hastings will work with the director of the New Hampshire Center for Effective Behavioral Interventions and Supports to strengthen Hastings’ school-wide positive behavioral support initiative. The project will establish student and adult behavior expectations and supports for Hastings’ entire learning community.

 

Clarke Middle School

Fellowships

Rick Rogers, Jodi Sandler, and Jim Werner, Clarke’s 6th grade science team, will participate in a field experience in Iceland that explores the geologic principles and dynamic processes at work in a unique environment marked by widespread volcanic activity and glaciation. This program presents an opportunity to explore effects of and responses to climate change.

Sing-dye Ding, a Mandarin teacher, will attend the College Board’s National Chinese Language Conference in Atlanta to learn new instructional strategies and meet with fellow educators, school leaders, academics, journalists, and policymakers.

Tracey Herbert, a Spanish teacher, will take a professional development tour of Cuba to gather authentic resources, practice Spanish, and deepen her knowledge of Cuban culture. She will use her new knowledge to help her students develop both their language skills and an understanding of Cuban culture.

 

Program Grants

Expanding Curriculum and Cultural Proficiency about Greater China:

A collaboration among the Visual Arts, Social Studies, and World Language Departments responds to LPS’ growing Asian population and to the expanding importance of Asia in the global society and economy. Teachers will take an educational tour of Taiwan and Hong Kong that enables them to develop curriculum units that incorporate an interdisciplinary perspective of greater China; to add resources from Taiwan and Hong Kong to the LPS schools’ shared library of Chinese artifacts, books, and videos; and to explore additional locations for the Mandarin program’s foreign exchange trips.

Aligning Grammar and Writing Instruction at the Middle School

Sixth grade English teachers from Diamond and Clarke will attend a summer institute on incorporating the teaching of grammar into the Writing Workshop model. They will redesign the writing curriculum to align instruction in parts of speech with writing units in narrative, poetry, response to literature, and argumentative writing.

Developmental Learning Program Curriculum Mapping 

The Developmental Learning Team will create curriculum maps of key skills in the Language Arts, Art, Math, and Social Skills programs for the K-7 Developmental Learning Program, which serves students who have significant developmental delays and cognitive impairments.

 

 

Diamond Middle School

Fellowships

Kate Bromley, a drama teacher, will attend a Broadway Teachers Workshop in New York City. The workshop will offer master classes with performers, creative teams, and production staff to share new teaching methods, enhance production skills, and provide for the exchange of ideas with peers and professional artists.

 

Program Grants

Creating a Mobile MakerSpace to Teach Robotics in Middle School

Diamond’s science teachers and technology specialist will launch a pilot robotics course, creating a mobile space with the necessary tools for students to explore science, technology, engineering, and math topics through the creative design and manufacturing of robotic parts. The project immerses students in project-based learning in which they propose questions to be solved and conduct their own learning through self-designed experimentation.

Expanding Curriculum and Cultural Proficiency about Greater China

A collaboration among the Visual Arts, Social Studies, and World Language Departments responds to LPS’ growing Asian population and to the expanding importance of Asia in the global society and economy. Teachers will take an educational tour of Taiwan and Hong Kong that enables them to develop curriculum units that incorporate an interdisciplinary perspective of greater China; to add resources from Taiwan and Hong Kong to the LPS schools’ shared library of Chinese artifacts, books, and videos; and to explore additional locations for the Mandarin program’s foreign exchange trips.

Aligning Grammar and Writing Instruction at the Middle School

Sixth grade English teachers from Diamond and Clarke will attend a summer institute on incorporating the teaching of grammar into the Writing Workshop model. They will redesign the writing curriculum to align instruction in parts of speech with writing units in narrative, poetry, response to literature, and argumentative writing.

Enriching French and Music Programs with Artist-in-Residence Brice Kapel

French and choral teachers and students will collaborate long-distance throughout the school year with Brice Kapel, a Franco-Tongolese singer/songwriter/performer, in composing songs for an original production to be performed in the spring of 2016 by French students and the D-Minors choir. Next spring, M. Kapel will travel from Paris to Lexington to serve as artist-in-residence for three weeks, during which time he will perform and work with a broad range of students in the areas of French oral expression, cultural understanding, the performing arts, movement, sound and rhythm.

 

Lexington High School

Fellowships

Christen Walters, a 9th grade English teacher, will attend the Globe Theatre’s three-week “Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance” course in London. She will explore text- and performance-based approaches to teaching Shakespeare while working with Globe scholars and directors of design, text, voice, music and movement.

Melissa Buttaro, a school counselor, attended Mindful Schools’ Mindfulness Curriculum Conference, which introduced approaches and resources she can use to develop mindfulness activities in grade-level seminars and other programs to reduce student stress and anxiety.

Patrick Donaher, a music teacher, will attend the Jazz @ Lincoln Center’s Band Directors Academy in New York. Prominent jazz educators will lead professional development sessions on the essentials of teaching jazz, emphasizing hands-on learning and practical techniques. The workshop will enable him to tailor his professional skills as a composer and bandleader to his new role as LHS’s jazz ensemble director.

Kelly Kilts, a physics teacher, will attend the Advanced Placement in Physics Summer Institute in Vermont to prepare her students for the new AP Physics I examination.

Sarah Regdos, a 9th grade earth science teacher, will travel to Costa Rica to participate in an environmental science workshop and field experience for educators that focuses on tropical ecosystems, geologic history, and species conservation. She will use her new knowledge to implement a subunit on species conservation and sustainability within the ecology unit of the earth sciences course. 

Janet Foley, school nurse, will attend The Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education’s national conference and pharmacology session in Brewster, MA to update her knowledge of research-based best practices to meet the increasingly complex health delivery needs of LHS students.

Stephanie Hoban, LHS’s Instructional Technology Specialist, will attend the International Society for Technology in Education’s Conference in Philadelphia, where she has been selected to present a workshop on “The Innovative Learning Program: How to Embolden True Innovation in the Classroom.” 

Kelly Lisowski, a Spanish teacher, will participate in a month-long immersive study-abroad program in Costa Rica to enhance her linguistic ability and cultural knowledge of Costa Rica. Upon her return, she will enrich the Spanish curriculum with lessons and activities on such topics as ecology and topography.

Kristen Strobel, a 9th grade world history teacher, will attend the annual World History Association National Conference in Savannah, GA, where scholars and teachers will gather to learn and share the latest ideas and approaches in the field. The 2015 conference theme, “Art in World History,” relates directly to the LHS 9th grade team’s goal of expanding nontextual primary source material.

 

Program Grants

 

 

High School Research and Development/MakerSpace Program

Students and advisors of LHS’ LexRobotics teams will establish and run a research and development engineering space at the high school where students can learn engineering at their own pace under the guidance of student and adult mentors. Equipped with 3D printers and modeling software, the space will be available to classes during the school day, and after school to all members of the LHS community – students, teachers, and PTA members.

Strengthening Pronunciation in the Learning of French

LHS French teachers will work with an expert in French pronunciation to improve the pronunciation of French department teachers and to infuse specific pronunciation objectives in the French curriculum at every level.

Elementary Afterschool Robotics Curriculum

LHS will develop and pilot afterschool robotics and engineering courses at two elementary schools. Through the acquisition of robotics kits, the development of curricula, and teacher training, this pilot will provide the basis for independently run, sustainable robotics programs at every elementary school in the LPS.

 

Lexington Public Schools System-wide Grants

 

District-wide Summer Workshops 2015

The Lexington Public Schools Central Office will create and implement a summer workshop schedule for educators to address a variety of topics of educational/academic/instructional need and professional learning opportunities.

Care for the Student with Diabetes

Five LPS school nurses and the Director of School Health Services will create a resource manual, guidelines, and a protocol for the care of diabetic LPS students. The project addresses the physical and emotional challenges students with diabetes and their providers face in managing the disease during the school day.



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