AEF Invests $200,000 in Behavioral Health FEATURED UPDATE

AEF understands the relationship between behavioral health and school success, and has committed to investing $200,000 between 2017 and 2020 to support the district’s Safe and Supportive Schools initiative.

Image of three interlocking hands

The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has completed its spring grants cycle and has awarded a total of $10,310 in two grant categories, Innovations in Education and the Continuing Scholar Award.   “AEF is proud to continue its mission to support Arlington’s public school teachers and administrators despite the current school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to schools re-opening and these exciting new opportunities getting underway at that time,” remarked Julia Schilling, AEF President.

Innovations in Education grants support innovative teaching and learning in classrooms throughout the district.  This spring there were four such grants awarded:  

  • Live Animal Library: APS’ Science Department will maintain a Live Animal Library, making animals available for all teachers to check out for use in their classrooms to support specific areas of study.
  • This is Who We Are – Movable Art:  Students at Ottoson will use the theme “This is who we are” to create art which explores issues of identity and community, and will be exhibited in the cafeteria.
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Project at Gibbs: Gibbs staff will develop a multi-tiered system for identifying students who require various supportive interventions to maximize their school readiness, engagement, and academic potential.
  • AHS Peer Helper Program: The Arlington High School counseling department will create a peer-to-peer support program, including the training of students.

AEF also awarded one Continuing Scholar Award (CSA) which supports individual teachers’ professional goals and personal interests.  This spring’s CSA recipient is: 

  • Hannah Dingman, English Learner Teacher, Hardy School, who received funding to participate in the WIDA (World-class Instructional Design and Assessment) Annual Conference originally scheduled for this fall in Denver, CO.

The Arlington Education Foundation is committed to enhancing teaching and learning in all of Arlington’s public schools.  Through charitable donations and business sponsorships, the foundation grants over $100,000 annually. 

To learn more: apply for a grant or donate here. 


Event attendees

Spirits were high at Arlington Education Foundation’s annual fundraiser on November 25th as all those gathered celebrated innovations in education within Arlington’s public schools. AEF Board members, supporters, guests and grant recipients shared a lively evening recognizing AEF’s work. The event raised $9,380 for the foundation. All funds raised will directly support AEF’s work supporting and advancing public education in Arlington.


Empowering students to make meaningful art as confident, expressive, and independent thinkers is key to high-quality art education in our schools.  With the support of a $10,000 Development & Expansion grant from AEF, all of Arlington’s art teachers will receive professional development on Teaching for Artistic Behavior, an innovative, choice-based art education teaching strategy. 


In sixth grade, most students are just beginning to understand their social identities. With the support of a $10,000 AEF grant made in June 2019, a new project-based learning (PBL) course will help students develop both their social and self-awareness. 


The high quality of Arlington’s public schools is thanks in great part to the outstanding teachers who work across the district. Two of Arlington’s devoted teachers were recently awarded the 2019 Gibbs/Ottoson Middle Schools and Arlington High School Star Teachers of the Year.


In order to effectively analyze all of the data points derived from assessments, classroom observations and other sources, a $14,575 Development & Expansion grant from AEF will support the training needed to implement the Data Wise project in all of Arlington’s public schools.


This winter AEF awarded two Continuing Scholar Awards to Arlington educators:

Sonya Connelly, a math coach at Thompson Elementary School, will attend a week-long workshop at the Mount Holyoke College Mathematics Leadership Summer Institute for Coaches where she will focus on the essential pedagogical issues of math coaching.

Hannah Borden, clinical social worker at Pierce Elementary School, will attend the Embodied Leadership Facilitator Program at JourneyDance in Mexico where she will work to develop specific leadership skills in the areas of emotional and social health.

The next application deadline for Continuing Scholar Awards is Friday, April 26, 2019.