Grants awarded for the school year, 2016-2017.
Follow that Shark
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) raises awareness about white sharks as a keystone species of the ocean ecosystem. This grant will sponsor the local placement of one of the AWSC’s shark tracking buoys. Data gleaned will help students learn about the habits of sharks as well as the health of the ocean. This grant also supports a speaker series, open to the public, which will bring marine scientists to Marblehead.
This grant supports the seventh grade Wellness curriculum at MCCPS by providing The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens book and accompanying workbook. The author, Steve Covey, provides a simple approach to help teens improve self-image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, as well as tackle new challenges of our time like navigating social media and cyberbullying.
Scrabble Showdown for Champions
This timeless game of words will be offered to grades 6 and 7 as part of the MCCPS Enrichment program. In the first term, students will have a creative and entertaining opportunity to sharpen their word skills and practice their socialization skills. The second and third terms will be devoted to friendly competition, working up to a champion showdown!
iPad Initiative: Engaging and Enhancing Student Learning by Merging 21st Century Technology Skills with Content Across the Curriculum
The 7th grade teachers at Charter will use new iPad devices to enhance learning by enabling their students to demonstrate depth of knowledge through an array of multimedia projects, such as movies, animations, public service announcements, and book trailers. The awarded iPads will add a more creative element to their project based curriculum.
Seamless Integration of Technology into the Curriculum and the Classroom
This grant supplies iPads, Apple TVs, and document cameras to enable collaboration, group presentations, and differentiated learning. The 6th grade teaching team at Charter want their students to demonstrate knowledge through web-based technologies, research solutions to their own questions, and have the opportunity to access programs that meet their individual learning needs.
Enhancing Student Inquiry Through Technology
The 4th grade at Charter will benefit from stereo-microscopes along with visual and auditory presentation technology such as speakers, document cameras, and Apple TVs. This technology will provide students with valuable opportunities to enhance their scientific inquiry process and communication skills, and allow them to present their discoveries in creative, media-savvy ways.
Transitional Skill Development with Curriculum
Transitional skills allow students to use knowledge and apply it to everyday situations in life. In Massachusetts, transition services must begin for the special needs population starting at age 14. This grant will provide new and engaging curriculum for students grades 8 – post graduate to support these individuals toward the multiple skill sets they will need for independent living.
Marblehead Track Association Field Day
The Marblehead Track Association is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting running and the sports of track and field and cross country in our community. The Field Day (June, 2017) will reinforce the Spring PE activities in the middle schools, grades 4-8. Three practice days will be held in May to teach track and field skills.
This grant supports a 3 -5 week classroom curriculum that culminates with a day trip to Enterprise City in Dover, New Hampshire. Enterprise City is a student run “city” that includes 9 – 10 “businesses” where classroom skills can be exercised in a “real –life” setting aligning economics and consumer skills. This program will be tailored for special needs students grades 8 – post graduate to enhance transitional skill building.
Promoting Behavior Self-Regulation
There is mounting evidence that aerobic exercise can improve behavioral self-regulation. Studies have shown that exercise was linked with less disciplinary time out of class and lower impulsivity/hyperactivity scores among students. This grant will to provide access to integrated opportunities for physical activity throughout the day to students in the TIDES program through the purchase of an appropriately sized virtual-reality exergame-cycle for the Village School.
Text Based Discussion Group
The Text Based Discussion Group has been highly successful during its first year of operation. Funding is being provided for a second year to purchase books for the program. Teachers from across the district meet as a collaborative forum to read and engage in professional, text-based discussions.
This grant will fund a professional development opportunity for speaker Sarah Ward to present to grade K-3 teachers on the topic of Executive Functioning. A presentation to parents and the community will be held in the evening. Sarah Ward is a highly regarded educator, speech and language pathologist and director of Cognitive Connections. Executive Functions is a term used to describe processes associated with goal setting, carrying out organized steps, and modifying a plan to complete a task successfully. These skills are needed to be successful in school. Funding will also provide specialized clocks to be utilized in the classrooms.
Visiting Author Workshops, 2nd and 3rd Grades
The study of biographies is part of both the 2nd and 3rd grade curriculum. April Prince Jones is a MA-based author who workshops the process of writing (and publishing) a biography for students. Her biography – Jackie Robinson He Led the Way – is the cornerstone of her presentation and the grant includes copies of the book for the students to read. The benefit of visiting authors to students – in this case, breathing life into the study of biographies – is well documented. Thisgrant aligns with the state frameworks while enhancing the core curriculum.
Under Desk Elliptical Equipment
Under desk elliptical “machines” are manual and silent. They are used in the classroom to keep students engaged so that they are able to complete assignments. Primarily for students who learn best while moving, the ellipticals are available for all students; on indoor recess days the ellipticalsmay serve double duty providing an indoor outlet for physical movement. The grant offers all students an opportunity to work off excess energy and improve focused time on learning.
Glover School Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Education
Mindful Schools is a highly reputable program out of Emeryville CA that offers online mindfulness training for teachers and curriculum for students. This teacher initiated professional development project is in two phases: (1) 7 teachers taking a 6 week Mindfulness Fundamentals workshop over the summer; followed by (2) a 6 week Curriculum Training program in the fall. During the fall the teachers will work together as a professional learning group. They will introduce/expand age-appropriate mindfulness practices to their classrooms as well as share with other teachers in the building. The grant builds upon the mindfulness initiative underway in the district and also offers the opportunity for proof of concept of a inexpensive whiles still being effective option to train more teachers at all grade levels.
A Tale of Two Carts: Chromebooks for ELA
This grant supplies 30 Chromebooks, a cart for storage and a wireless printer to the English and Language Arts Department at MHS. Having the Chromebooks in the classroom will change how students at MHS receive writing instruction at the curricular level. The technology will allow the teachers to creatively address goals for student achievement in writing.
Chromebooks for Math Department
This grant purchases 30 Chromebooks, a cart for storage, and wireless printers for the Math Department at MHS. Chromebooks in the classroom allow the students and teachers to take advantage of the online math tools such as MathXL and Pearsonrealize in school. Using the Chromebooks with MathXL gives all students access to every problem in the textbooks as well as online examples, guided examples and a variety of other resources that assist in the learning process.
Sharing Resources: Staff Library
The professional development collection will be updated in the library at Veterans Middle School. It will be organized by academic department, PBIS, Special Education, Study Groups, Meditation, and Advisory. It will be a professional library that will support staff across the school and be an area in which staff will find resources and collaborate across the curriculum. It will provide a way of sharing what we have learned in our study groups and will promote ideas for future areas of staff development. In addition, staff will have resources to apply meditation and PBIS strategies to the classroom.
Village School Book Club
The Village School Book Club is a monthly forum of approximately 10 teachers. This grant will fund the purchase of professional books related to current research and best practices in education as well as award winning children’s texts. The book club and book club blog will be managed and moderated by the grant writers, and the blog will allow on-line dissemination of ideas to community members, fellow teachers and students. A copy of each book purchased will be added to the library collection dedicated to teacher resources, and titles of the children’s books will be available as part of the general library collection.
Village School Mosaic Mural
A unique visual arts piece will be created that will utilize the math, science and social studies curriculum of the 4th grade students at the Village School. An artist-in-residence will help the fourth grade students design and then create a mosaic mural that will be installed on the front façade of Village School. The design and build will integrate scientific inquiry and engineering and also link visual arts to other fourth grade disciplines, with a focus on land and water of our community. The glass mosaic mural that will be created will be permanently on display for the entire community to enjoy.
If We Build It, They Will Come
“If We Build It, They Will Come” will begin the process of converting the current traditional library space at the Village School to a more flexible “Learning Commons” space. The Learning Commons will be a learning, reading, research, and project space that offers flexible and inviting physical spaces; technology and information resources for students and staff; and space for building community and collaboration. The versatile and multipurpose environment will allow Village School to address the changing needs of students and staff by extending traditional classroom learning, increasing technology access, and allowing physical space configurations to fit the various dynamics that change throughout the school day.
Closing the Gap
This grant will provide Lexia software to Village School students. The Lexia program, along with direct instruction, is proving to be a highly effective tool to provide instruction in all areas of reading development. Lexia is presently being used at Veterans Middle School and has been piloted this year at the elementary level.