LEXINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Carol Pilarski Program Grant for Professional Development: District wide Summer Professional Development Workshops.
Christine Lyons, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning, will create a program of summer professional development workshops that enable educators from all LPS departments and schools to engage and collaborate to address topics of expressed educational, academic and instructional need as well as supporting learning that addresses the goals and priorities of the District Improvement Plan.
Integrating Technology and Education.
Library teacher Melinda Loof will attend the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Chicago to meet educational technology teachers from around the world and enrich her knowledge of interactive maker spaces, digital citizenship practices, and other areas in which librarians partner with instructional technology teachers, guidance counselors, and classroom teachers. Bowman School.
Strengthening the Teaching of Reading.
Kathryn Jones, K-5 Literacy Specialist at Fiske, and Amy Muzyka, K-5 Literacy Specialist at Hastings, will attend the Columbia University Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project Coaching Institute to learn professional development strategies to build the skill of teachers across the district to strengthen students’ reading ability. Fiske and Hastings Schools.
Improving English Language Learners’ Academic Achievement.
ELL teacher Catherine Murphy will complete an online course on Evaluation and Leadership for ELL Equity, with an eye to strengthening collaboration between ELL specialists and classroom teachers across the district to make course content accessible to all English language learners. Fiske School.
Research Based Approaches to Building Reading, Writing and Spelling Skills.
Francine Hannan, K-5 Special education resource teacher, will complete the training and practicum required to achieve certification in the Orton-Gillingham method, which has proven effective in boosting learning by dyslexic and struggling learners. Estabrook School.
Building an Inclusive and Cooperative Music Classroom.
Music teacher Nick Hart will attend a workshop to develop the skills, dispositions and experiences to adapt and modify music instruction to meet the needs of all students, including students with autism and special needs. Fiske School.
Applying the Principles of Design Based Learning to the Teaching of Art.
Visual Art Teacher Iris Goldfarb will attend a summer institute at the Art Center College of California to learn and practice an innovative teaching approach that builds students’ higher-level problem solving, comprehension and engineering skills. Bowman School.
Integrating Engineering and Literacy Learning.
School Librarian Laura Kopinski will collaborate with instruc tional technology specialists and classroom teachers to offer Novel Engineering lessons which use existing classroom literature as the trigger for engineering design challenges that engage students in identifying problems, designing realistic solutions, and engaging in the engineering design process while reinforcing their literacy skills. Harrington School.
Bringing Responsive Classroom Approaches to Recess and Lunchtime.
Assistant Principal André Pelettier will pilot a teacher-led professional development program for Student Support Personnel to enable them to employ effective classroom-based approaches on the playground and in the cafeteria to deal with challenging behaviors and help students practice independent social skills. Harrington and Bridge Schools.
Robotics for Young Learners: Coding and Creating.
Jennifer Judkins, LPS’s Director of Technology, will work with all first-grade teachers at two schools to implement a curriculum that exposes young learners to computational thinking concepts through Kibo Robotics, which uses sequencing with wooden blocks to build essential skills in math and science. Bowman and Bridge Schools.
School Community Grants
Bowman Elementary School is undertaking faculty-wide antibias professional development and implementing a comprehensive K-5 Dismantling Racism – Serious Talk Curriculum.
Bridge Elementary School is creating purposeful sensory motor break stations in hallways throughout the school to give all students opportunities for stretching, breathing exercises and other stress-relieving outlets during the day.
Estabrook Elementary School will celebrate the school’s culture and diversity through a schoolwide student and staff “identity poem” writing project facilitated by artist-in-residence Regie O’Hare Gibson that culminates in an original spoken word poetry and musical performance for the Estabrook family community.
Fiske Elementary School will undertake activities that create and express a welcoming atmosphere for students, staff and families, including multilingual “welcome” entryway windows, a community garden, the purchase of books that emphasize the ways differences can create stronger communities, and professional learning on managing difficult conversations.
Harrington Elementary School will complete construction of an alternative outdoor area for students who benefit from a quieter, calmer space for walking, sitting, and talking during recess in an area separate from the physical activities on the rest of the playground.
Hastings Elementary Schoolwill launch a multi-year art project that will involve the entire student body in designing and creating a mosaic piece that celebrates the current student community and will be hung in the new Hastings School.
Advancing Middle School Math.
Joanne Fagan, Peter Mitchell and Joanna Schlegel, Math teachers at Diamond, and Daryl Isles and Kristen Rangel, Math teachers at Clarke, will attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition to learn about the newest curriculum, intervention and enrichment strategies; trends in technology and instructional materials; and ideas for implementing Common Core standards. Two areas of interest are access, equity and empowerment to enable all students to meet high expectations, and the development of a coherent math curriculum across grade levels. Clarke and Diamond Schools
Lessons from the Finnish Education System.
Anna Monaco, Principal of Clarke School, and Jennifer Turner, Principal of Diamond School, will participate in an intensive one-week study tour that gives principals an opportunity to learn about and experience such aspects of Finnish school administration as pedagogical leadership, implementing a learner-centered approach, collaboration of schools with various stakeholders, and other groundbreaking educational practices that have made the Finnish education system a world-renowned model of excellence. Clarke and Diamond Middle Schools
Enriching the French Curriculum.
French teacher Christine Goulet will attend the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of French, where she will take several seminars focusing on the culture and history of Martinique, and take an immersive advanced French language program in the region. Diamond School.
School Community Grants
Clarke Middle School will provide professional learning to a core group of teachers to develop the skills and knowledge needed to design and implement a rigorous, relevant, project-based learning curriculum.
Diamond Middle School will provide all staff with an introductory presentation by Think:Kids on Collaborative Problem Solving, and give 10 staff members intensive training in this research- based approach to helping children and adolescents deal with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
LEXINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
Best Practices in the Teaching of Spanish.
Spanish teacher Ryan Casey will participate in two professional learning programs in Salamanca, Spain: the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (where he will deliver a presentation on incorporating dance and movement activities into the Spanish classroom) and an intensive course on pedagogy and best practices in the teaching of Spanish. Lexington High School
Harriet Wallen, LHS Librarian and LPS K-12 Library Department Facilitator, will attend the International Society for Technology in Education Conference in Chicago, where she will explore such subjects as global connectedness in the classroom, student-centered learning spaces, and technology-enabled project-based learning. Lexington High School and LPS District
Using Yoga to Support Students with Special Needs and Build Resilience in all Students.
Melissa Buttaro, Counselor, Section 504 Coordinator, and Mindfulness Educator, will attend a professional development program on incorporating yoga and integrative therapeutic techniques into work with students challenged by ADD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, and on using yoga to help all students manage anxiety and stress, enhance focus, and build compassion. Lexington High School.
Modernizing the Teaching of Latin.
Latin teacher Maureen Haviland will attend the Conventiculum Bostoniense, a weeklong professional learning Latin immersion program that addresses a new, more active approach to teaching Latin – one that emphasizes spoken as well as written Latin and more authentic assessments (beyond translations into English) that make Latin accessible to all kinds of learners. Lexington High School
Meeting Adolescents’ Mental Health Needs.
School Nurse Janet Foley will attend a School Mental Health Course offered by Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance on best practices for enhancing children’s and adolescents’ emotional well-being at school, with an emphasis on promoting learning, resiliency, and social and emotional growth. Lexington High School
Learning about Cultural Change in Germany through Popular Culture and Media.
German teacher Heidemarie Floerke will attend a course in Maine to enrich her knowledge of materials and strategies for teaching about change in German popular culture as represented in the media, a particularly relevant subject in upper level LHS German classes which focus on political and historical developments through German literature and film. Lexington High School
Helping Students Navigate Issues of Intimacy and Sexuality.
Social worker and counselor Hallie LeBlanc will attend a professional development program offered by the South Shore Sexual Health Center to learn approaches to help students manage the competing pressures of intimacy and sexuality, feel comfortable with assertive communication in sexual relationships, and be better prepared to handle social-sexual expectations as they transition to college. Lexington High School
Project-Based Learning in United States History.
11th grade history teachers Matthew Gardner and Erin Barrettwill develop and pilot a project-based learning approach to four units of the U.S. History curriculum to determine how students of diverse backgrounds and abilities interact with this innovative approach.
English teachers Taylor Liljegren and Samantha St. James will create a new senior elective that focuses on female voices in literature and builds students’ understanding of how and why the constructs of gender and race affect identity and power dynamics.
Introduction to Computer-Generated Music.
LPS Performing Arts teachers Pat Donaher and Rachel Jayson will equip a Music Tech and Production Lab and offer a new general music offering that teaches students to compose and arrange music using computer technology.
Journeys in East Asian Literature.
In recognition of the significant population of Chinese-, Japanese, and Korean-Americans in Lexington, English teachers Marshall Dury and Brendan Moran will create a new senior elective that brings greater diversity to the English curriculum by moving outside the American and European literary traditions to demonstrate the vibrancy and current relevance of East Asian ideas and worldviews.
School Community Grant
Lexington High Schoolwill (1) bring Yaa Gyasi, award-winning author of Homegoing, to LHS to give two talks: one to the entire sophomore class in connection with their study on her novel, the other to the larger Lexington community about cultural inheritance and the African Diaspora; and (2) offer additional students and educators an opportunity to participate in “Challenge Day – Be the Change,” a nationwide program that helps high school students develop communication and resiliency skills.