Northampton Education Foundation Endowment Distribution Awards
NEF Endowment Distribution Awards
The NEF Endowment was established to assist the Northampton Public Schools by providing funding for larger programs that cover more than one year, serve greater numbers of students, and require more than $3,000 which is the maximum award for the organization’s Small Grants to Teachers program. These awards include funding from the Endowment’s two named funds, The Florence Savings Bank’s Fund for Public Education and Northampton Area Pediatrics’ Education Fund.
The NEF Endowment Fund provides a permanent source of funding for the educational needs of Northampton public schools in all areas of school curriculum, faculty development and extracurricular programs and activities. Currently, the Endowment Fund has assets of over $1 million invested in the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
The NEF Endowment Distribution Committee selected these proposals from a large group of strong applications. The Distribution Committee comprises a broad-based group of Northampton citizens including representatives from each School Council, alumni, current students, the community-at-large and the NEF Board.
On our 25th Anniversary, the Northampton Education Foundation (NEF) is very pleased to announce the awarding of $40,000 in grants from the NEF Endowment for the 2017-2018 school year, with an additional $40,000 for the school years that follow.
With these grants, the NEF Endowment will have provided over $503,000 in funding to the Northampton Public Schools since its inception.
- Audubon/Acadia Climate Change: Will support the continuation and expansion of a climate science program that was funded this year by an NEF small grant. The program is to be undertaken by Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, in partnership with Northampton High School. All Northampton High School 9th grade Biology classes and 11th and 12th grade Environmental Science classes will have an in-class lesson focused on climate science and real world, local climate data, followed by a climate solutions field trip to Arcadia. Students will discuss the role of greenhouse gases in climate change and calculate their carbon footprint to determine how humans—and they personally—can reduce their impacts on the environment. They will then explore local ongoing data sets on maple sugaring to determine the long-term impacts on the economy and human and ecological health. The high school field study at Arcadia will include calculating the carbon capture potential for Arcadia’s forests versus the surrounding community and making predictions for changes in local plant and animal communities and important habitats, such as vernal pools, due to climate change. They also will visit the solar array, explore community-scale climate solutions, and learn about “green careers” that fit their personality types as another way to have a positive impact on our world. This program will be funded at $10,000 for the next three years.
- Global Stem: Will help support a continuation of a Global STEM partnership program with a partner school in Coventry, England. The program is in the 5th Grade at Jackson Street School and as an after-school program for 7th graders at JFK Middle School. The project for 2017-2018 school year will be to build, track, and retrieve two small wooden boats that would sail across the Atlantic. Students involved would consult with marine engineers on designing, prototyping, and building seaworthy vessels. Each boat would be equipped with equipment to allow for real time data collection on such things as wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, currents, ocean salinity and other weather data. Data will be uploaded into the NASA Globe project database and analyzed by students in Northampton and in Coventry. Students will collaborate on teams with both members from England and the US and will present to the larger group on topics that support the water quality and climate change curriculum. This program will be funded at $14,000 for one year.
- Outdoor Classroom: Will support the continuation of the Outdoor School Classroom and garden projects in all four Northampton elementary schools. This is building on a previous three-year NEF Endowment Grant and a number of Small Grants that enabled the four elementary schools to build the infrastructure for an outdoor garden program across the district (including the physical gardens, class garden visits for all students, collaboration time for teachers, and professional development with School Sprouts garden educators). This grant continues the collaboration with School Sprouts Educational Gardens (School Sprouts), to guide the operation of the garden program, oversee growth and maintenance of the elementary school gardens, and educate/support teachers in outdoor learning. It continues the development a garden and nutrition curriculum that promotes healthy food choices in students and has a strong carryover to families and the community, and it helps provide every child with regular access to the outdoor garden classrooms and surrounding natural areas. NEF strongly believes this has been a very successful program and want to continue to support it for two more years in hopes that, one day, it can be integrated in to the district’s budget or find a way to support itself. This program will be funded at $16,000 for the first year and $20,000 for the second year.
- Integrated Math: Will support Northampton High School IM1 teachers, SPED and ELL teachers by providing time to collaborate and create a library of 2 different levels of Modified IM1 curriculum that parallels the regular education curriculum. This library of modified curriculum would allow SPED and ELL students to participate along with regular education students. Doing the same activities and learning the same content while providing an opportunity to allow them to communicate and collaborate with regular education students within the IM1 content. This program will be run by Rachel Stavely, the NHS math Department Chair and Katheryn Kurtz NHS Special Education teacher. This program will be funded at $5,420 for one year.
- Bridge Street After School Enrichment (Base): Will support the start of an after school enrichment program at the Bridge Street School. The program hopes to offer students access to five, six week sessions with classes offered four days a week. This program will be implemented by Lori Shine and Jennifer Dieringer. This program will be funded at $10,000 for one year to pay for a coordinator to get the program started and grants writing to find transportation solutions for the after school enrichment programs in all four Northampton elementary schools. After the first year this programs goal is to be self-sustaining,
- All Elementary 3D Printers: Will support a project to introduce broad-based 3D printing technology to Jackson Street, Bridge Street, Leeds and Ryan Road elementary schools to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and integrated (cross discipline) curricula. A local Jackson Street Parent, Summer Cable will be overseeing this project. The program will benefit teachers at each grade level by providing 2 3D Printers for each elementary school, access to on-line CAD programming software, and training for teachers at each school on how to use this great technology. Teachers can create customized educational tools and lesson plans, and allow students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to learn age appropriate computer aided design (CAD) programming and rapid production technology (3D printing). This program will be funded at $15,192 for two years.
- JFK 6th Grade Social Studies: Will support the purchase of On-line subscriptions and Chromebooks for use by the JFK 6th Grade social studies classes. The program will be based in the library with the JFK librarian Gilana Chelimsky working closely with all the 6th grade social studies teachers. The goal will be to use online research, EPal and WeVideo to contact other countries in Latin America and Africa. The goal will be a final presentation of what they have learned. This program will be funded at $7,205 for one year.
- Responsive Classroom: Will Support the training of the Jackson Street school teachers and staff in the Responsive Classroom social curriculum. This curriculum has been implemented in other schools in our district with positive results for both the school and the community. This program will be funded at $6,000
- Safe Passage: Will support a pilot program in cooperation with the Safe Passage Organization to introduce the “Say Something” prevention curriculum to our high school. This curriculum is intended to address domestic abuse and sexual violence in our community. It will also establish an after school club with the goal of making our school safer. This grant was initiated by Northampton High School students and will be funded for $4,866 for this year.
- The Outdoor Garden – A Sense of Place: This is the last of three years of funding for this program. Funding supports the continuing efforts of our four elementary schools to implement outdoor learning and environmental education programs. The program is integral to all areas of the curriculum as children actively create and participate in each garden and teachers learn to deliver garden based lessons both within and outside of the school gardens. This program will be funded at $25,000 for this year.
- Caught Off Guard: This is the last of two years of funding for this program. Will support a troupe of Northampton High School students who interview HS, MS, and Elementary School students about their experiences and views about topical issues such as peer pressure, friendship, alcohol and drugs. They then create skits based on the interviews and their own experiences. Skits are presented at all levels at the Northampton Public Schools and at local conferences. The troupe has been in existence for several years under the guidance of Heidi Haas, a local social worker and theater activist and the Northampton Partnership for Drug Free Communities. Participation in the troupe is open to all comers and the troupe is ethnically diverse. This program will be funded at $5000 per year for this year.
- Caught Off Guard: Will support a troupe of Northampton High School students who interview HS, MS, and Elementary School students about their experiences and views about topical issues such as peer pressure, friendship, alcohol and drugs. They then create skits based on the interviews and their own experiences. Skits are presented at all levels at the Northampton Public Schools and at local conferences. The troupe has been in existence for several years under the guidance of Heidi Haas, a local social worker and theater activist and the Northampton Partnership for Drug Free Communities. Participation in the troupe is open to all comers and the troupe is ethnically diverse. This program will be funded at $5000 per year for two years.
- Modified NHS Biology Curriculum: Will support a multi-disciplinary group of teachers including the Biology teachers, Special Ed. teachers, ELL teachers and Pupil Aides to develop and utilize modifications in the Biology curriculum so that it is accessible to all students. Biology is the one science that does require standardized testing for the Commonwealth, so this is a high priority for all students struggling with the curriculum. As part of this process, a nationally known science educator who has been doing similar work will provide 2 days of professional education to science teachers at NHS. This program will be funded at $10,790 for one year.
- Energize Northampton: Will support the 4th grade teachers in all four elementary schools to learn, adapt and use a curriculum on energy and sustainability developed by the Hitchcock Center for the Environment of Amherst. The proposal will support professional development sessions, in classroom teaching by Hitchcock Center staff and mentoring for teachers so that they can provide the curriculum in subsequent years. In addition, each classroom will have a kit of energy materials developed by the Hitchcock Center. This program will be funded at $15,810 for one year.
- Expanded use of Computers for JFK Special Needs Students: Will support the purchase of Chromebooks for use in the Special Classes a JFK. This proposal follows up on the NEF funded project training JFK teachers in the use of Chromebooks last year. The laptops will be used as part of assessment and learning adaptation for Special Needs students. This program will be funded at $9560 for one year.
- The Outdoor Garden – A Sense of Place: This is the second of three years of funding for this program. Funding supports the continuing efforts of our four elementary schools to implement outdoor learning and environmental education programs. The program is integral to all areas of the curriculum as children actively create and participate in each garden and teachers learn to deliver garden based lessons both within and outside of the school gardens. This program will be funded at $25,000 for this year.
- The JFK Technology Institute will provide a three day intensive technology conference, in August, for 30+ JFK Middle School staff to enable them to broaden their understanding of technological possibilities that can then be brought back to the classroom to both enrich and enliven students’ educational experience and raise achievement levels for all students. In lieu of teacher stipends for attending, each participant’s classroom will receive a Google Chromebook so that they can utilize their new knowledge in the classroom.
- Childs Park: “Sharing Place”: A Multi-School Tile Installation is a collaboration between Northampton HS, Bridge St. School and Jackson St. School. Art teachers Sheryl Jaffe and Brenda Lilly will work with local artists and horticulturalists to develop and implement an innovative curriculum that engages students through science, technology and art. Students will work together to discover and explore one of Northampton’s jewels, Childs Park, and will then create tile mural installations based on their learnings.
- The Outdoor Garden – A Sense of Place, funded for a three year period, will build upon and support the continuing efforts of our four elementary schools to implement outdoor learning and environmental education programs. The program is integral to all areas of the curriculum as children actively create and participate in each garden and teachers learn to deliver garden based lessons both within and outside of the school gardens.
Living History in Northampton, Florence and Leeds is a program organized by Northampton teachers to work with local experts to develop and implement a coordinated local history curriculum throughout our elementary schools. Our students will have the opportunity to engage with our rich local history in the classroom and in the community. Funding will help pay for planning and research time for teachers, development of curriculum with the assistance of experts on local history, development of curriculum materials and field trips for students to local sites. This is the third and final year of funding for this three year grant.
Get R.E.A.L. Reading Education and Leadership will provide funding for 25 Northampton teachers from all four elementary schools to attend a week long summer institute to become experts in the current best practices for teaching non-fiction literacy. This is a major target area for the new national and state Common Core Curriculum Standards. These teachers will then form learning communities at their schools to share their knowledge with colleagues. In addition the grant will enable each school to purchase a full set of interesting and up to date non fiction books.
Change-Makers will support the development of JFK’s Social Studies curriculum (and other aspects of the JFK curriculum) into a global service learning project. Students will utilize the technology provided to build on curriculum developed at JFK over the past two years to connect to others around the world. They will be involved in microfinance projects, making “e-pals” and learning about the world from students in a variety of countries while sharing their experiences with others across the globe. This project meets one of the NEF Endowment Fund’s stated objectives of increasing global connections.
The Northampton Engineers Project will introduce students at Leeds and Bridge St. Schools to the fascinating world of robotics and engineering. The goals are to improve technological literacy, expose youngsters to the engineering process and to demonstrate exciting applications of math, physics and computer science. A consultant will work with teachers of different grade levels to introduce age appropriate robotic curriculum as part of this project.
Living History in Northampton, Florence and Leeds is a program organized by Northampton teachers to work with local experts to develop and implement a coordinated local history curriculum throughout our elementary schools. Our students will have the opportunity to engage with our rich local history in the classroom and in the community. Funding will help pay for planning and research time for teachers, development of curriculum with the assistance of experts on local history, development of curriculum materials and field trips for students to local sites. This is the second year of funding for this three year grant.
A High School Advisory Program: Civic Engagement and Tolerance Education will fund consultants to assist Northampton High School to continue their work in developing the Advisory/Advisee program started in September, 2011. The Advisory/Advisee program helps students and staff build relationships that promote a positive climate and improve student learning. Consultants will work with students and staff to provide training and coaching in designing, organizing and running Advisory sessions. This year the focus of the program will be improving on the Advisory program by extending it to more students, developing a peer leadership program, adding new sessions to both the Advisory program and developing tolerance education lessons for the History department, and working to develop a plan to sustain the Advisory program.
The Creative Classroom Initiative is a collaboration between the Enchanted Circle Theater and Northampton teachers to further integrate arts into the everyday core curriculum of our elementary schools. This project is the second phase of the Initiative, which was funded by the NEF Endowment in 2010. In Phase 2, the Initiative will develop a teacher leadership team, continue to support teachers in learning to integrate the arts into their teaching and develop a creative curriculum development â€œthink tankâ€ . The â€œthink tankâ€ will generate new arts integration ideas for the classroom, propelling the CCI agenda forward.
Living History in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds
Living History is a program organized by Northampton teachers to work with local experts to develop and implement a coordinated local history curriculum throughout our elementary schools. The students will have the opportunity to engage with rich local history in the classroom and in the community. Funding will help pay for planning and research time for teachers, development of curriculum with the assistance of experts on local history, development of curriculum materials, and field trips for students to local sites. Living History will be funded for a three-year period.
High School Advisory Program: Civic Engagement and Tolerance Education
This endowment will fund consultants to assist Northampton High School in designing the new Advisor/Advisee program starting in September, 2011. The Advisor/Advisee program will help students and staff build relationships that promote a positive climate and improve student learning. Consultants will work with students and staff to provide training and coaching in designing, organizing, and running Advisory sessions. In addition, they will develop some of the “curriculum” of the Advisory sessions around the issues of civic engagement and tolerance.
The FirstRobotics Team is a collaboration between Amy Johnson, Physics teacher at NHS and several engineers to work with students to develop a team of students to participate in the nationally known FirstRobotics Competition. In this competition, teams of students design, program, and build robots designed to FirstRobotics standards. They then compete in regional and national competitions. All the work is done after school hours and staff and local engineers are donating their time to this exciting project.
Creative Classrooms Initiative
A collaboration between the Enchanted Circle Theatre and Northampton’s elementary schools, the initiative is a cohesive, district-wide arts initiative designed to integrate the arts and learning in the everyday core curriculum. The program includes: District wide professional development for every elementary level teacher in the Fundamentals of Arts integration; intensive professional development for core group teachers in Creative Curriculum development; an Artist in Residence Program; mentorship for teachers who have already been trained in the program and development of student assessment rubrics with documentation of creative curriculum projects. The project will receive $15,000 for one year.
Green Action In Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program
The Green Action in Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program will receive a second year of funding of $10,000 for the 2010-2011 school year. GAINS will focus on reducing energy dependence, solid waste management and food and nutrition in the curriculum and daily workings of our schools.
Green Action In Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program
The Green Action in Northampton Schools (GAINS) Program is an innovative environmental program that brings real world problems into Northampton’s schools and engages students and other members of our school community in critical and creative thinking to address those problems. The focus is on education about sustainability and on organizing students to learn about and take action towards sustainability. Green teams are organized in each school to lead the school in identifying projects to work on. These initiatives will then be used to develop cross-disciplinary learning experiences in the classroom. GAINS is a collaboration between concerned citizens, the Northampton Energy and Sustainability Officer, the Waste Management Supervisor of Northampton’s DPW, The Hitchcock Center for the Environment, the Center for Ecological Technology and the Principals, Teachers, Staff and Students of the Northampton Public Schools. The project will receive $15,000 for one year.
Bridges: Bridging the Gap Between Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade
The Bridges, Bridging The Gap Between Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade is an innovative initiative which will involve all of the students and teachers of Northampton in their first years of schooling and have a long term effect on our children’s success as they progress through their school years. The program will use professional development to transform our early education program by implementing the model of “Emotionally Responsive Teaching and Learning”. Using this model, our early grades will limit their focus from an increasing reliance on “teaching to the test” and towards supporting healthy social and emotional development as well as self- regulation skills. Our early grades are currently struggling with an increase in disruptive behaviors, which this program will address. The program is based upon the ideas of Lesley Koplow, Director of the Center for Emotionally Responsive Practice at the Bank St. School of Education who has trained teachers in Northampton previously and who will be the primary consultant to our staff in this very exciting project. The program has strong support from all of the principals and early education teachers. The project will receive $40,000 in funding over two years.
Celebration of Ancient Greece
The Celebration of Ancient Greece is a partnership between John F. Kennedy Middle School and Athena Educational Resources, a 501(c) (3) non profit educational association in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. The program is collaboration between Massachusetts Cultural Council Creative Teaching Partner Nick Kachulis and twelve middle school teachers using stories, art, music, dance, dramatic play, technology, and research and classroom projects to teach Ancient Greek history, mythology, and culture to all 7th grade students at the school. The program seeks to deepen and expand cross-discipline connections, develop new content, and develop more effective strategies and modalities to engage students, community connections and resources. The project enlists local performing artists as well as parent and community volunteers. Celebration of Ancient Greece is based on an interdisciplinary learning model and is aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Education frameworks and school and district wide curriculum and initiatives in English, Social Studies, Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Art. The project will receive one year of funding at $10,000.
The Northampton Environmental Education Program (NEEP)
NEEP is a three-year initiative generated by the teachers at RK Finn Ryan Road School to develop and use natural areas surrounding Northampton elementary schools to enrich the district’s science curriculum, develop an enhanced appreciation for nature, and integrate science, literacy and mathematics. Teachers will partner with staff from the Hitchcock Center of Amherst to develop hands-on curriculum in life science, earth science, physical science as well as language arts, math, and local history while utilizing city conservation areas as laboratories. An in-school environmental lab with supplies and equipment will be created. Teachers trained by the Hitchcock Center will then become in-school trainers for new teachers using the curriculum. NEEP will be awarded $50,730 over a three-year period. From its introduction at Robert K Finn Ryan Road School, this program will be able to include all Northampton elementary schools.