Once again the Arlington Education Foundation has generously supported the Arlington Public Schools by approving 10 grants. These grants represent over $40,000 in funding, and the content of the projects will enrich the curriculum and benefit students from elementary, to middle, and high school. Social emotional learning, interdisciplinary studies, inquiry-based learning, core academic subjects, and the arts are all represented in the recent awards.
Three Development and Expansion Grants are included in this round of funding.
- Understanding Our Differences implements three one-hour disability awareness curriculum units across all seven elementary schools. The grant covers one hour remote presentations for grades K-2 , access to materials, professional development sessions for teachers and staff, training for APS staff who will present the programs to grades 3-5, one training session for speakers with disabilities from the Arlington community, and a one hour parent information session.
- Engaging Students in Interdisciplinary Problem Solving Using Microbits & Finch Robots provides each elementary school with a class set of 10 Finches and 20 Microbits, an Interdisciplinary Instructional Guide, lesson plans, and activities. This enables the district to gain more experience designing, implementing, and evaluating a robotics curriculum and program for all students in grades 3-5.
- Narrative4Change allows for a collaboration between APS, the Arlington Police Department (APD) and Narrative4 in a series of “story exchanges' ' where students, staff, and police officers learn more about each other. Building trust and empathy between the participants will lead to a safer learning environment and improved interactions between students and the APD.
APS also received seven Innovations in Education Grants.
- Theater for Young Audiences Performance for Elementary Students creates a district-wide enrichment experience with an AHS performance of Strega Nona for several elementary grades. The younger students will learn the music and have the opportunity to see and participate in live theater, and the older students will have an additional opportunity to perform while using the arts to create a connection between grades.
- 3-D Structures in Social Studies enables an inquiry-based approach to learning about symbols and national monuments. After a virtual field trip to Washington DC, Stratton students will use Magnatiles® and Model Magic® clay to recreate the structures they have seen, create and represent a national symbol, and develop historical thinking and communication skills through discussion with classmates.
- National Academy of Science Transportation Research Board Student Design Competition enables two AHS CADD students to participate in the next round of the annual competition to innovate within the field of traffic and transportation control. The students were invited to continue after submitting their write-up of a device that has the ability to create a safer street environment for vulnerable road users.
- Brackett Art Room Nature Lab permits the addition of preserved and mounted taxidermy to the collection of natural objects already in place, creating the first art nature lab in the district. Ample and secure specimens provide more authentic observations of nature than using photographs and can be examined by students of all ages, enabling the integration of nature into more Visual Art lessons and allowing for more connections between art, science, and math (STEAM).
- The Intersection of Street Art and Skateboarding Pushes Culture is a project in which Peirce fifth grade students will learn about the connections between City Street art, skateboarding, and skate culture, understand the inspiring life and legacy of the famous LGBTQ street artist Keith Haring (known for over 40 wall murals and collaborations with famous musicians and artists), and use a skateboard to support their personal art and message.
- Project Kind is a student-led activity that involves decorating Ottoson Middle School bathrooms with positive, uplifting messages that create a welcoming, supportive, and inviting environment, fostering kindness and inclusiveness. Students across Learning Communities, ethnicities, and native languages will take responsibility for the space, and work on the project during WIN, a new period that is dedicated to giving students time to do independent projects that support learning and social emotional growth.
- Mathematics Games Library will complement and enrich the existing educational mathematics programming with the addition of well-researched games that create positive math experiences, support mathematical reasoning, and increase engagement in mathematics. Once the library is established, Stratton students would be able to check-out the games for home use, allowing for the involvement of family members in games that promote logic, reasoning, strategy, creative problem solving, spatial reasoning, practice and imagination.