Don’t miss your chance to see first-hand how technology plays an important role in student-centered learning. At the Technology Showcase on May 3rd, students from Davis, Lane, JGMS and BHS will present technology-based projects and speak about how technology is used to enhance their learning.
The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) is proud to announce the funding of ten grants in our Summer 2016 grant cycle, totaling over $13,000. Congratulations to all of our grant recipients! To date, the BEF has funded $168,000 towards creative and innovative projects and materials in the Bedford Public Schools.
GRANTS FUNDED AT DAVIS SCHOOL
Davis School teachers Susan Nocera and Amy Corssino were awarded a $1,300 grant for a Buddy Bench for the Davis School playground. A Buddy Bench is a colorful, clearly marked bench designed for students who may have difficulty navigating the process of finding playmates, or finding the confidence to join in, at recess. It will give students the opportunity to both reach out for help and give other students the experience of offering themselves as a friend. The goal of the bench is to teach students to reach out to one another, to eliminate loneliness and to foster friendships on the playground.
Davis School guidance counselor Paula Francis-Springer was awarded a $500 grant for a portable PA Sound System for assemblies in the cafeteria and grade level meeting spaces. This improvement upon current technology will not only add to the success level of the assemblies so close to the heart of the Davis School mission, but can also be used by classroom teachers interested in using this equipment for innovative projects.
GRANTS FUNDED AT LANE SCHOOL
Fourth grade teacher Julia Herman was awarded a $1,000 grant for a SMART Document Camera SDC-450 for her classroom. During the school day, the document camera will allow Ms. Herman to instantly share student work and demonstrations with her class and give students the opportunity to share their own learning and process with their peers. Additionally, the document camera can be used to create recordings that students and parents can access at home.
Lane School was awarded a $500 grant for materials and supplies for the Lane School Chicken Coop Project led by Keith Kinney and Jean Mickel. Keeping live chickens allows Lane School students to investigate external and internal structures of animals as well as deepen their understanding of animal adaptations. This funding will allow Lane’s creative and innovative school-wide endeavor to flourish in the coming year.
GRANTS FUNDED AT BEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL
BHS Robotics teacher John O’Connor was awarded a $2,800 grant for a robotic model sailboat project. In class, the students will expand their programming and operating skills by working with a 3 foot robotic model sailboat with on-board computers, sensors, and servo motors. The students will take what they know about sailing and teach it to a computer. The computer can “feel” using sensors, “think” with the program the students write, and “act” via servo motors controlling rudders and sails.
BHS teachers Beth Billouin, Scott Stief, and Liana Heldman were awarded a $1,500 grant for a Social Justice Awareness program for all ninth graders. Starting this fall, once every six days during homeroom, all freshmen students will participate in a 20-minute discussion or activity to encourage conversations centered on social justice. The teaching team will host class-wide assemblies and work with Dr. Allyson Livingstone to train discussion leaders and support the initiative through the year.
BHS English teachers Cassie Dresser and Sarah Kane were awarded a $450 grant for a classroom set of graphic novels and adapted texts for struggling readers. These texts will allow students to access the original texts in creative ways that will increase the amount of class time analyzing literature and decrease the amount of time spent on basic comprehension of the texts.
BHS teachers Kimberly Comeiro and Victoria Breslin were awarded a $1,300 grant for Project Adventure Challenge Course Team Building program for the students in the STEP program, a therapeutic program for students who struggle with social-emotional challenges. Project Adventure in Beverly, MA has designed a curriculum that focuses on building trust, teamwork, self-confidence and empathy. Skills learned from this exciting hands-on experience will be integrated into the STEP classroom and carry beyond the students’ time at BHS.
BHS Academic Achievement Center teachers Adelle Girvan, Kathleen Campbell, Jerome Freedman, Carol Twombly, and Lisa Morrison were awarded a $3200 grant to create an innovative learning space. A variety of seating options–comfortable arm chairs, stools with high tables, collaborative work spaces–will help meet the individual needs of each student and encourage the success of BHS’s unique and diverse student body.
BHS Black Student Association club advisor Chris Zellner was awarded an $800 grant for a BSA Speaker Series that will bring in presenters from outside the school to speak with students about key social issues so relevant to our society in 2016. The importance of diversity, life after high school, and the role of social activism will be among the topics presented and discussed.
Superintendent Jon Sills recently updated families on Bedford’s ongoing work in the wake of last year’s anti-semitic incidents. The Bedford Public Schools are taking a multi-pronged approach towards addressing this issue.
This year the BEF is funding curriculum changes through the Facing History and Ourselves program. As noted on their website, “Facing History and Ourselves provides ideas, methods, and tools that support the practical needs, and the spirits, of educators worldwide who share the goal of creating a better, more informed, and more thoughtful society” (www.facing.org). We are honored to do our part.
We encourage all Bedford residents to do their part, too. Supporters can get involved in the newly formed Equity and Diversity Committee, participate in the town-wide “Love your Neighbor” campaign, and/or make a designated donation to the BEF helping to fully fund the Facing History and Ourselves program (please include “Facing History” in the memo line of your check).
To read Superintendent Sills’ full statement please go to: Superintendent Sills’ Update 9.12.14