Current Grants

Grants awarded for the school year, 2017-2018. 

Google Expedition Virtual Reality Kits (MCCPS)

Field trips are a great way for students to gain deeper insight into topics that are studied in class. The greatest downfall is that they are expensive and time consuming, even when only traveling locally. Google Expedition Virtual Reality (VR) kits will allow MCCPS students to “visit” and have an immersive experience in amazing places such as the Great Barrier Reef, the International Space Station, and the Louvre.  

This is a new field and there are more and more companies developing VR products and creating educational experiences.  Some experiences are not only about traveling to far off places, but to travel in time to Ancient Rome, or to travel inside the human body. These one of a kind experiences will enhance learning and leave lasting impressions.


Continuing Support and Growth of the Mindfulness Programs in the Marblehead Public School (District-Wide Grant)

Current research shows that mindfulness programs increase the emotional well-being and resiliency of our students, and decrease discipline issues. A year-long immersion and certification in teaching mindfulness to adolescents will prepare professionals working with adolescents in order to implement an in-depth mindfulness curriculum

Participants will learn mindfulness practices developed for adolescents and the skills to be effective mentors. Our programs introduce young people to mindfulness through guided meditation, mindful movement, small group discussions and fun group activities. Participants in our programs learn self-awareness, empathy, techniques to calm and focus the mind and mindful communication: the foundations for success in all areas of life.


Glover Kindergarten and First Grade Flexible (Alternative) Seating Grant

This grant will add flexible seating to Glover kindergarten and first grade classrooms to provide a variety of ways to stay active, engaged and healthy while learning. With a lack of flexible seating, children are sitting in their desk chairs, in the same position, for the entire lesson. Grant writers cited research that shows powerful links between physical activity and academic performance. 

“Not only does alternative seating benefit students who have learning differences (like ADHD or autism), by giving them an outlet, it benefits all students in a classroom,” says Glover School Psychologist, Amanda Lockerbie. “Allowing students choice and movement in their seating arrangements, especially in the early elementary years, can greatly improve attention, behavior, and academic performance.”


Hydroponic Garden (Glover)

Glover third-grade teachers will guide students through the process of planting a seed, and watching it germinate and grow to a fullsized plant and produce fruits, vegetables or flowers. This will be undertaken using a lighted, hydroponic system inside the school building. Funding for this pilot project will provide the basic equipment to create an ongoing part of the 3rd grade curriculum. 

The students will achieve a first-hand understanding of where food originates; understand the science behind hydroponics, germination, photosynthesis, plant growth and water conservation. There is also a service component: student will be sharing the harvest with the Marblehead Food Pantry. 


The Power of Yet and Growth Mindset Teaching Strategies (Glover)

Glover School implemented an exciting new initiative during the 2016-2017 school year: Growth Mindset. The result is children who are encouraged, supported and able to reach their own unique potential. Growth Mindset was developed by Dr. Carol Dweck and is now implemented in schools across the country. Growth Mindset believes that intelligence can be achieved through hard work, thoughtful strategies, and feedback. If you ask a Growth Mindset student if they have the answer to a difficult problem, the response you will get is, “I don’t have it…Yet.” 

There will be no question that can’t be explored because, “I’m really not good at math,” or “I’m not a good artist.” Instead, our children will approach these questions with the awareness that they are not good at these…YET!


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Training (Bell and Glover)

Mindfulness training provides the tools to allow the practitioner to pay attention to the present moment by using techniques like meditation and breathing. It helps people become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, they are better able to manage them. This grant will fund aMindfulness Fundamentals course that teaches how to develop one’s own personal practice which can elevate levels of self-compassion, bolster well-being, decrease stress,and provide emotional and instructional support of students. 

Research shows a class environment based on mindfulness strengthens attention and concentration, reduces overall anxiety, improves classroom participation, and enhances social and emotional learning.


Successful Work-Based Learning Opportunities (MHS)

During the current school year, the Marblehead Special Education Department has successfully utilized the community-based service provider Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) for students who face barriers with successful employment. Pairing students with individuals who have valuable work experience is the key to help students work towards independence, and gain beneficial employability skillsThe goal is to develop more successful work-based learning opportunities for students on IEPs to help them reach their post-secondary goals. This grant will grow and expand business contacts and develop new individual work and assessment sites for students.


Equipment for new MHS course: Engineering 1

Engineering 1 will be a lab-based, semester-long science/technology elective that will give students an introduction to electronics, electrical engineering, materials science, andmechanical/structural design and engineering. This grant will fund the purchase of equipment including Arduinos to explore electrical engineering, a structure and material tester and associated hardware to explore mechanical design, and a heat treat oven to explore materials science.


Growing Independence (MHS)

Growing Independence is a grant for the post-graduate VOICE program.  This program is located at Eveleth School, and the grant will expand the garden/nutrition/cooking program. This program runs during the summer and fall, perfect seasons to work with the garden harvest.  The garden supports skills (spatial, organization, sequencing) and also cooking,collaboration, and community.

The grant provides an opportunity for these post-graduate students to learn lifelong skills while enriching their community and expanding their curriculum.


MHS Biology and Science Whale Watch

Ecology and ecosystems is one of the last important chapters for high school biology students. This three-hour trip out of Gloucester to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located 12 miles off the coast of Marblehead, is a great opportunity to study marine biology and ecology first hand. Seeing the beauty and fragile nature of our marine ecosystem first-hand will transfer back to learning in the classroom. 


Active Science in Special Education Classrooms (MHS)

This project will pilot the use of Active Science® technology and curriculum in Marblehead High School special education classrooms. This technology blends physical activity measurement and incentives with STEM content, and games using interactive tablet-based activities. Research has shown that the use of this approach can improveunderstanding of STEM concepts, and also increase physical activity levels substantially while not detracting from academic classroom time. Evidence from multiple studies and research reviews suggests that physical activity improves many mental health and academic outcomes among both typically developing children and those with special needs. Physical activity also facilitates positive behaviors such as increased time on-task in the classroom and improved levels of concentration. 


Sensory Prevention and De-escalation Strategies for High School Students (MHS)

Marblehead High School’s TLC program serves approximately 30 students each year who struggle with a variety of challenges including autism, trauma, and anxiety.  Given their challenges, these students can be triggered by environmental stressors, such as noise and crowded hallways. We are seeking to provide these vulnerable students with increased opportunities to use developmentally appropriate sensory de-escalation strategies. This grant will fund the purchase of equipment and tools such as yoga mats, noise-cancelling headphones, weighted blankets and balls, and Therabands. 


Physics Sensor Interfaces (MHS)

This grant will equip the MHS science department with funds to purchase improved Vernier sensor interfaces, which translate scientific information to graphing software, for the physics labs. The sensor interfaces will reduce lab group size, and increase time on learning.

The current number of sensor interfaces are a limiting factor for making more lab groups. Smaller lab groups would allow for more meaningful engagement in the labs. Also, the new interfaces can connect to an online app to collect and analyze data, and the interfaces would also allow for more flexibility as the high school implements its new technology improvement plan.


3D Printer (MHS)

Catherine Landergan’s Applied Arts classroom has one 3D printer, but 3D printers are inherently slow. One printer cannot support a productive classroom: students end up waiting in line, and some never get the chance to print.  This grant will fund a Lulzbot Mini 3D printer kit, and will be used by student studying practical and fine arts, engineering, and technology.

As students learn to draw and use 3D software, it enables them to visualize concretely what it is they are drawing in a way that doesn’t happen if they are just seeing it on the screen. It also familiarizes them with cuttingedge technology

Improved Instructional Technology for Special Education Students (MHS)

The smallgroup mathematics classes are based around making content accessible to all students at varying levels of proficiency. At Marblehead High School, general education math classes are able to utilize the advantages of having Smart Boards in classrooms. Special Education students would also greatly benefit from all of the specialized instruction that can be built around the use of a Smart Board in a math classroom.

Smart Boards allow teachers to print notes directly from the board to meet IEP accommodations. Using a Smart Board also gives the opportunity for unique learning experiences where the teacher can manipulate the content on the screen, and provide a more concrete representation.


MHS Photo Darkroom Equipment and Improvements

The MHS darkroom (and most of the equipment in it) is now fifteen years old. There are currently only four functioning enlargers, and this grant will provide funds to update the equipment.

Students learning to function in the traditional darkroom must wait (sometimes days) for their turn to use an enlarger to create images for projects assigned. Now all students could be more productive with their time in class


DSLR Video Camera for the MHS-TV Studio

This grant will fund the purchase of a DSLR video camera to be used by Advanced Television and Field Production and Editing Classes as well as by other students using the MHS-TV Studio for other classes. This updated technology is being used in colleges and professional studios, but it is currently missing from the MHS-TV Studio, and one of the primary goals in these courses is to prepare television production students for what they will encounter if they pursue this subject area in college or in the workplace.  

DSLR cameras feature a larger sensor, resulting in a better, more cinematic image. They also shoot better in the low lighting situations that high school student typically encounter.  Students would also be able to experiment with and have more control of depth of field settings.


Mini Straw Rocket Launchers (MVMS)

As a result of the changes included within the 2016 Massachusetts Science Technology & Engineering Curriculum, MVMS engineering teacher Ned Dawes has developed a new project having student teams design, build, and test straw rockets. This grant is for the purchase of the straw rocket launchers needed as part of this project. The teams will try different design elements and collect data on their rocket’s performance. After completing their initial data collection, teams will be given a challenge to design a straw rocket that meets specific criteria and constraints. Teams will use their data in order to select their best design to meet the challenge. The end activity will be for the teams to demonstrate that their final design meets the specific criteria and constraints.


West African Percussion and Dance Workshop (MVMS)

Each year, 8th grade French students at MVMS study francophone West Africa with a focus on Senegal. Students learn about the history, geography and culture, and French vocabulary specific to this region. As part of this multi-disciplinary unit, we would like to invite Sidi Mohamed “Joh” Camara to teach a dance and percussion workshop in French.

The goal of teaching foreign language in school is providing students with interdisciplinary activities that reinforce linguistic skills and broaden cultural perspectives.  The drum/dance workshop meets this goal by providing an authentic experience conducted in French that ties together many threads and themes of the West Africa unit. 


MVMS Literary Magazine

This grant will extend the publication of the MVMS Literary Magazine for a third school year.  Students explore different genres of writing, share their own work, and receive feedback from other writers. Participants are part of an editorial board that solicits writing from the entire school, evaluates submissions, and makes decisions about publication.  

The magazine provides a chance for a much larger group of students and parents to read the writing and view the artwork produced at MVMS. The magazine is published once yearly at the end of the school year. Through the magazine, students will be recognized beyond the classroom for their talents. This recognition furthers an interest in writing and the arts, and, hopefully, will lead to future involvement in these areas.  


Visual Learning in the Language Based Learning Disabilities Program (MVMS)

A multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning is integral for facilitating a successful learning environment for students with language-based learning disabilities. To be successful, students must see it, hear it, and do something with it. This grant will cover acolor printer, a laminating machine, ink cartridges and laminating pouches in order to use visuals, card sorts, and other manipulatives effectively in order to enhance teaching practices as well as the experiences of the students in the classroom. 

Such resources are instrumental in building and facilitating a classroom that builds in multi-sensory dynamics, and provide opportunities for student to become involved in the process.


Alternative Student Work Stations (Village)

The 21st century classroom incorporates movement through stations, in group work, collaboration, and more project-based learning.  The classroom of today looks different and encourages active learning. This grant is to provide one standing work station for each regular education classroom at Village School, thereby offering students a healthy, kinesthetic option for learning. These workstations would reduce sedentary behaviors, increase student attention, and provide options for students to engage more fully in the learning process. Standing desks promote increased blood flow, higher oxygenation, and come equipped with a swinging footrest bar for added student movement. This allows students to have energy flowing without disrupting the learning environment. 

Grade 6 Reading Challenge/Classroom Libraries (Village)

This year, the sixth grade embarked on a “Reading Challenge” in which each sixth grader is attempting to read forty or more books. Our goal is to provide high-interest, high-quality texts that can provide the foundation of our classroom libraries.

This grant will be used to purchase one of the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project’s Classroom Libraries (compiled by a team led by reading expert Lucy Calkins) to split between the ELA teachers. The teachers will use the books to provide a solid base of books in the classroom to make the Reading Challenge more effective and engaging.


Growing the Village School Garden

The Village Organic Garden is an incredible assetIt was originally funded by an FMPS grant, and has provided several years of successful learning opportunities. As a result of four years of use and weathering, it needs repair and enhancement in order to make it a more functional and practical learning space. This grant will update and enhance the existing garden in order to accommodate more student driven learning and involvement. 

The improved Village Organic Garden will connect students to the responsibilities of community, increase student initiative and responsibility, and promote healthy living.


Learning Commons Phase Two (Village)

One of the most desired and exciting outcomes of the new Learning Commons at Village School is a heightened interest in a collaborative model of teaching and learning. To supplement the Learning Commons, students and faculty have identified the need for a common space for students to tinker, create solutions and construct models. This grant will help fund Phase Two of the Learning Commons: the Innovation Lab, or Makerspace. 

A Makerspace is an informal, flexible design lab that supports self-directed learning. Makers are equipped with a wide range of digital and physical tools for creating. Makerspaces include materials as simple as cotton balls and Legos, or as complex as laser cutters, 3D printers, and recording spaces. Schools, libraries and communities across the world are using Makerspaces to facilitate the limitless learning that comes from innovation, engineering and collaboration.