Mission to Mars (Highcrest)
Joanna Flintz and Amanda Utynek, 6th grade math teachers at Highcrest, have been awarded a grant to fund a Mission to Mars program at Highcrest Middle School. This project will complement the math curriculum, requiring data collection and graphing, and will incorporate 21st century skills such as design technology and computer programming, as students design and operate their own Rovers. Students will work collaboratively and draw on problem solving skills as they simulate what NASA does with the real Mars Rovers.
Band and orchestra teachers Michael Holden, Ann Dufek and Laura Guili have been awarded a grant to incorporate SmartMusic software into the current band and orchestra program at Highcrest Middle School. This software aids in instruction differentiation and at‐home practice as students submit practice submissions online for teacher comments, guidance and grades. Teachers can customize lessons and students can customize how they practice and explore music.
iPads for Connected Learning (Central)
The D39 Educational Foundation has long supported innovative technology initiatives and this fall will fund a pilot grant to Central School principal, Melanie Horowitz, and District Technology Director, Adam Denenberg, to enable special education students to access the curriculum through interactive tools. The iPad offers a single vehicle for a broad range of assistive technologies to boost writing, reading, math, science, and social studies skills as well as overall communication and organizational skills.
Prairie Mural (Romona)
As part of the Educational Foundation’s ongoing support of the District’s garden‐enabled curriculum, a grant has been awarded to Romona art teacher, Katelynn McAllister, to create a mixed media mural depicting a prairie eco‐system. This mural crosses several disciplines including Art, Science, Social Studies and Library Media Center Studies. All of Romona’s 3rd grade students will collaboratively develop this mural, in support of the fall focus on the prairie eco‐system and will also reinforce the many art techniques and skills students have learned.
Doll Family (District‐wide)
To support students throughout the district with developmental disabilities, the Educational Foundation has awarded a grant to social worker Alene Frost to fund the purchase of a set of anatomically correct dolls, which will be used as part of an adapted curriculum in many areas of health education. These dolls will enable developmentally disabled D39 students to achieve more independence in personal hygiene while enabling deeper comprehension of puberty and associated bodily changes. Importantly, students will develop an increased awareness of, and learn strategies to protect, their privacy and their body.
Equipment for Mini‐Farm (Highcrest)
Sixth grade teachers Brenda Raccuglia and Penny Straub have been awarded a grant for a shed and equipment for the new mini‐farm located in a previously unused courtyard by the school’s cafeteria. The mini‐farm has been instrumental in providing students with the seed‐to‐table experience of an edible garden.
Professional Development‐ Reading/Writing Workshop (McKenzie)
In an on‐going commitment to D39 teachers’ professionaldevelopment, the Educational Foundation will provide funds to enable McKenzie teachers Jane Dolkart and Jennifer Weil to attend Columbia University’s Reading/Writing workshops. This nationally recognized educational gathering will feature cutting‐edge reading and writing approaches. These teachers are leaders in the District’s Academy 39, so they will be able to share their learnings with their colleagues.