New AEF Grants Support Strategic Plan Implementation and Updated Technology for AHS Instrumental Students

The latest Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) grants continue the organization’s commitment to supporting continuous improvement and innovation in the Arlington Public Schools. Strategic Initiative Working Groups enables the creation of Working Groups (WGs) that consist of building leaders, directors, coordinators, and other stakeholders such as students, teachers, and family members to develop and support the processes through which the strategic plan will be implemented. The teams will gather information and plan and implement actions in their schools and departments. As part of a Combined Learning Community (CLC) the members will share progress, build connections across initiatives, and engage in collaborative problem solving around shared challenges.

Beginning in 2023 and continuing through 2024, the WGs will assist in driving the work of the school system over the next five years. The shared values of belonging, growth, joy, and empowerment will underpin this work. There will be three CLCs, each focused on one or more of the APS Strategic Plan Priorities–Ensuring Equity and Excellence, Valuing All Staff, and Effective Operations and Community Partnerships. AEF has committed $42,000 to this work.

The second grant of $15,000 has been awarded to the Performing Arts Department for iPads that will be used by the Arlington High School instrumental groups. These resources will replace the paper sheet music that currently has to be printed out for each student, decreasing waste and eliminating loss of materials. The iPads will be shared between the approximately 169 students currently in the AHS band and orchestra.

Using this technology for performing and studying musical scores is now preferred by many professional musicians. AHS students will be able to research and upload music to sight-read instantly, use the iPad to compose and arrange music, and share files with teachers and classmates. It also gives the students experience using a technology that is expanding in the world of music.

These grants are the latest demonstrations of the ongoing work that AEF does, as their website indicates, “ support and advance public education in Arlington, Massachusetts.” Their efforts enable our educational professionals to expand the district’s capabilities, enrich the curriculum, and research, build, and implement 21st-century programs that ensure every student is prepared for future success.