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Jonas Clarke Middle School
17 Stedman Road, Lexington, MA 02421

LEF Grants Awarded in 2017

  • Donna Motherway, Clarke Middle School Nurse, will attend the National Association of School Nurses Annual Conference, where she will learn best practices for keeping children healthy, emergency preparedness, and addressing specific health conditions that may have an impact on learning.

  • Danielle Paddol, Clarke Middle School 7th Grade Social Studies: World Geography Teacher, will take part in an experiential professional learning program created by and for Clarke teachers with Education First, to explore South Africa’s geography, climate, people, and history, with an eye to transforming the world geography unit.

LEF 2016–2017 Grants


  • Jamie Welsh, a Clarke 7th grade science teacher, James Werner, a Clarke 6th grade science teacher, and Kevin Buckley, a Diamond 8th grade science teacher, (along with Diamond’s Science Department head Valerie Franks, whose participation is funded by LPS), will attend the National Science Teacher Association’s annual conference in Nashville, TN, where they will learn how to use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to build students’ scientific literacy. The team will be responsible for determining the scope and sequence of the new middle school science curriculum based on NGSS and MA standards.
  • Jillian Aldrich and Amy Timmins, Clarke 6th grade English teachers, will attend the Columbia Teachers College Summer Reading Institute. They will learn how to use the Readers Workshop model in the 6th grade English/Language Arts class to create a learning community in which students develop skill in and love of reading as they share ideas and learn both from the teacher and from one another.

Program Grant

  • Using LEGO Mindstorms to Teach Middle School Robotics. Based on learnings from an LEF-funded robotics project at Diamond, Clarke science teachers will develop and teach a robotics course during Clarke’s WIN enrichment blocks. Students will explore science, technology, engineering, and math topics through the use of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits that contain software and hardware to create customizable, programmable robots from LEGO parts.

School Community Grant

  • WIN Block Online Scheduling. Clarke will implement an online program to schedule students into WIN block assignments in the school’s pilot intervention/enrichment program.

LEF 2015–2016 Grants


  • 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.

School Community Grant

  • Clarke Middle School used its 2014–2015 School Community Grant to bring a team from Project Adventure to the Clarke campus to run a day of community building activities for all sixth grade students and their teachers, with the goal of easing the transition from elementary to middle school.

LEF 2014–2015 Grants


  • Yoga-in-Schools Symposium and Teacher Training: An English/Language Arts teacher who is also a certified yoga instructor attended two workshops at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health on using yoga to help students manage anxiety and stress and give teachers a tool for classroom management.

Program Grants

  • Harnessing Student Inquiry in the Social Studies Classroom: Social studies teachers from all three grades at both Clarke and Diamond attended a summer seminar on teaching students to “ask the right questions” using the Question Formulation Technique. The teachers created lesson plans in Ancient Civilization, World Geography, and United States History that use this technique to foster an inquiry-based approach to study and higher-order thinking skills.
  • iPads in the Middle School Art Curriculum. Art teachers at Clarke and Diamond acquired a cart of iPads and developed instructional units that engage every middle school student in creating art on these versatile devices.

School Community Grant