Arlington Education Foundation has committed over $155,000 in support of an Arlington Public Schools Distinct Vision and Strategic Planning grant, in addition to many programs that will enhance learning at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
A District Investment grant for $117,400 was awarded to APS for District Vision and Strategic Planning. AEF, in collaboration with Envision Arlington, supports new school superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Homan, as she leads the district through a strategic planning process that will enable identification of priority initiatives over the next five years. This grant allows the district to retain an external facilitator to engage a diverse group of APS staff, town leaders, community members, and students on the visioning process. Work on the five-year district plan will begin as early as this month.
Two Development and Expansion grants, in the amount of $27,795 were awarded to projects that will enhance hands-on and creative learning for students at all elementary schools and at AHS.
- At all elementary schools, robotic BeeBots will bring hands-on and inclusive STEAM learning to students in PreK, 1st, and 2nd grades. Young learners will program the BeeBot to do activities in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making, such as, walking through mazes, following the life cycle of a butterfly, or mapping the steps to narrate a story.
- At AHS, the MakerLab equipment and curriculum will be expanded to bring greater creative opportunities to all students. A kiln, vacuum table, electric furnace, and sandblaster will be added to the new building, allowing students to create in mold-making and metal casting, as well as jewelry and metalsmithing.
Seven Innovations in Education grants, in the amount of $11,830, were awarded for projects spanning classrooms in elementary, middle, and high school.
- At Hardy, students in 5th grade will explore Chinese and Japanese poetic traditions, and increase their appreciation of poetry with Arlington’s Poet Laureate.
- At Ottoson, handheld STEAM robots will bring computer-generated art to the computer science program for 7th and 8th grade students.
- At Thompson, small pianos will be added to the music room where students will learn to create music and use electric keyboards.
- At Dallin, 5th graders will work with a visiting artist to create 2D and 3D wire sculptures and learn about entrepreneurial business skills from a professional artist.
- At Ottoson, Tchoukball will be brought to Physical Education classes. In this game, that promotes problem solving and creative thinking, all students can participate at any level.
- At AHS, one classroom will pilot a program to enhance learning through reduced cell phone use during class time by securing cell phones in teacher-monitored pouches during class.
- At Stratton, Decodable Readers will provide ample practice texts with diverse and content-rich materials that align with the Science of Reading for students in grades 3-5.