Five Spring 2020 Gripp Grants totaling $17,104 were awarded to 12 teachers, positively impacting students and inspiring learners at each of the District 39’s six schools.
Bonny Skutch, Differentiation Specialist Teacher at Central, received a grant to bring Tang Math ‘Math Mania Days’ to each of the District 39 schools, which will be co-funded by the district. Math Mania Days will provide an immersive full day experience at each school for students, teachers and parents in the 2020/21 school year and will include: student assemblies, materials for teachers and students, professional development training for teachers, and family math nights led by Greg Tang. The goal of this program is to enhance mathematical fluency for students, develop best practices for teaching math fluency for teachers, and educate parents about how to support math fluency at home.
Learning Behavior Specialists, Julia Ryan (Romona), Kristen Olsen (Romona), Jen Archer (Central), Amanda Kahana (Central), Nate Rahn (McKenzie) and Cori Piper (McKenzie) received a grant to purchase 37 curriculum tasks from ‘Shoe Box Tasks’. These task boxes will allow students with low incidence disabilities to have access to instruction that is systematic, direct and conducive for academic growth. In addition, task boxes can be used in inclusion opportunities with peers.
Jessie Kerber, 4th grade teacher at Harper, and the fourth grade team at Harper will pilot The Nora Curriculum for the 2020/21 school year as a possible social emotional learning (SEL) program for the district. The goals of this SEL curriculum are to promote inclusion and empathy in the classroom in a rich, involved, hands-on, regular basis through consistent curriculum throughout the school year.
Andrea Dwenger, 7th grade math teacher, and Jennifer Wood, 8th grade math teacher, received a grant to transform the math office space connected to their shared classroom. The Math Zen Den will provide a more relaxing space for small group testing, reteaching and when students need a break to refocus and relieve anxieties associated with math assessments. Students actively participated in the designing of the space.
Nicole Martin, 2nd grade teacher at Romona, and Sammi Zauner, teacher for the visually impaired , received a grant to install a specialized Braille Panel and Braille Labels for the planned new playground at Romona School. The Braille Panel and Labels will promote inclusion with all students while in social settings. In addition, the Braille Panels and Labels would be used during lessons on Helen Keller and for disability awareness activities.