You are here

2013-14 Grants

District 128 Foundation for Learning Announces 2013-14 Innovation Grant Winners

The District 128 Foundation for Learning Trustees announced the recipients of 2013-14 Foundation Innovation Grants at a recognition breakfast held Nov. 20 at Libertyville High School. The Grants are awarded annually to Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School teachers to fund projects that will enhance and enrich student learning at LHS and VHHS. This year’s 15 grants total $25,188.66, which brings the total amount of money awarded by the Foundation since 2008 to $101,387.06.

This year’s winning grant proposals and the teachers who wrote them are:

Swivl Flips the Classroom – To purchase four sets of the Swivl/iPod Touch System for Chemistry and Physics teachers to easily record an engaging lesson without a filmographer. The Swivl auto-follows the instructor, who wears an infrared transmitter. This allows the teacher to record all aspects of the lesson, including demonstrations, notes (traditional or electronic), SmartBoard manipulatives, and other kinetic classroom activities.  The captured lesson can then be edited by the teacher, posted online, and reviewed by students at their own pace.  This is useful for cases including, but not limited to:  flipped lessons, student absences, and review of course material.  Presentations recorded using this system will provide the students with online access to course content outside the school day.  LHS-Mark Buesing, Mike Bush, Mike Cook, Sherri Rukes; Awarded $2,000.00

ALEKS Remedial Math Program – To purchase 47 student licenses for Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS), a research-based math remediation program by McGraw Hill. This program can be used in conjunction with the existing curriculum to fill in math gaps that students have, as well as familiarize students with standardized testing formats.  VHHS-Sheila Russell, Carly Fine, Megan Hendrickx, Robin Myerberg; Awarded $2,000.00

Jazz Ensemble Commissioned Work – To commission a jazz composer and educator to create an entirely new work for the Jazz Ensemble. Students will receive the educational benefits of working with an actual composer throughout the school year as they participate in the composition process from start to finish. Students will perform the completed work at the final jazz concert in Spring 2014. LHS-Adam Gohr, Tim Barclay; Awarded $2,000.00

Social Thinking Reward – To purchase supplies for the Tutorial A (Program for Independence) class, a class that explicitly breaks down the art of social communication for students who exhibit Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) characteristics. Each week the students will be given group and individual challenges to target the social and learning objectives for that particular week. Since many of these students are not internally motivated to learn these social and learning objectives, an external reward will be utilized if both challenges are met to help make the connection of how important their social thinking skills are to their future success.  VHHS-Rebeca Garcia, Kelly Garrison, Alyssa Henning; Awarded $2,000.00

Bridge Group – This project is targeted for a specific group of students that have social-communication difficulties. Students will participate in social and transitional activities to enable them to be better prepared with life skills during and after high school. The grant funds will provide money for activities such as cooking, grocery shopping, eating at restaurants, using public transportation, and other recreational and leisure activities. LHS-Marissa Frederick, Amy O’Neill, Amanda Wine; Awarded $750.00

5-Star Student Program – The 5-Star Student Program is a web-based data collection program that allows the Student Activities Coordinator to collect data on student participation in extracurricular school activities. Research indicates a strong correlation between involvement in school activities and student achievement. This program will allow the coordinator to identify populations of non-participating students and target interventions to reach out to those students. The expectation is to encourage more student participation in after-school activities to raise student achievement and promote school spirit to give students a positive high school experience.  VHHS-Debbie Beagle; Awarded $1,554.00

Waging the War on Plagiarism and other Writing Faux Pas – To purchase a site license for web-based Grammarly.com for students to check their written papers for plagiarism and grammar. Students can run their papers through the grammar checker and the plagiarism checker in order to evaluate the quality of their mechanics. If students find that they have plagiarized, it is because Grammarly has located the offending text; students can then remedy their situation, heightening student awareness as to what is plagiarism and what is not. Grammarly encourages students to be more thoughtful about their own writing and sentence creation, as well as more careful about what material they are using and citing in their papers; in other words, Grammarly allows students to be more introspective into their own writing, something for which all teachers strive.  LHS-Dave Lapish, Andrea Lara, Matt Leone, Karen LeMaistre, Erik Rogers, Kristi Robertson, Meredith Tarczynski; Awarded $2,000.00

Flipped Class Equipment – To purchase equipment necessary to produce video lessons and post them online for students to view at home and then come to class ready to apply their new skills in the classroom with teacher guidance. VHHS-Shannon Etnyre, Sarah Stoub, Chris Wolf; Awarded $1,641.66

Digital Painting-Working with Graphics Tablets and Brushes – This project involves the exposure to development, exploration and integration of digital graphics tablets and pressure sensitive pens into a traditional Painting Studio curriculum. Students will create artwork using a computer paired with a tablet and pen as an expressive art tool. They will learn the Photoshop skills required to paint, select color, manipulate brushes, adjust value, and work with layers.  They will acquire skills using a pressure sensitive pen and tablet hardware to create expressive and original works of art.  LHS-Ray Gossell; Awarded $2,000.00

iPads in the Testing Center – To purchase two iPads for use in the testing center. The Mastery Manager program, along with Chromebooks or iPads, is currently used for assessments in the classroom. The testing center needs to provide absent students an opportunity to make up missed assessments. The iPads will allow the testing center to provide students these online assessments along with the ability to block Internet access during these assessments. VHHS-Paul Brettner; Awarded $1,196.00

Special Resource IXL Math and Language Arts Online Program – To purchase a three-year license for the IXL Math and Language Arts online program. This program focuses on basic life skills, mathematical concepts, grammar, and writing skills. The IXL Math and Language Arts program provides hands-on opportunities to build conceptual understanding, analytical discovery skills, and promote creative problem-solving skills. Educators will use the tools of this program to individualize instruction, with benchmark reports tied to summative assessments that track student progress and document student growth. LHS-Lynda Ward; Awarded $1,407.00

Independent Science Inquiry by AP Chemistry Students – To purchase supplies for use by students to perform a scientific inquiry on a topic of their choice during the last three weeks of school after they take the AP Chemistry exam. The inquiry process will include research on their topic, proposal of a question/hypothesis, conducting an experiment, and reporting their findings in written and oral form.  VHHS-Sarah Stoub; Awarded $1,000.00

 iPads with SmartMusic APPS – To purchase iPads and the SmartMusic APP for music students.  This APP allows students to work on technique and repertoire with helpful tools such as a tuner, metronome, and accompaniment music. Students will receive an immediate assessment score from the APP, giving feedback on what needs to be corrected.  LHS-Jeremy Marino; Awarded $2,000.00

Equipment for the College / Career Resource Center – To purchase a large screen TV and DVD player for the CRC to enhance visits by college representatives and for group presentations. This equipment will provide a full screen video look at a college campus, which is the next best thing for those who cannot personally visit every college they are interested in. VHHS-Sue Butler; Awarded $2,000.00

Thodos Dance Company Educational Performance and Residency – This two-part interdisciplinary project is comprised of an educational performance and a choreographic residency with prominent contemporary dance company Thodos Dance Chicago. The primary objective is to promote the application of literacy skills in the creative process as students study the methods behind Thodos Dance Chicago’s highly acclaimed story ballets, which draw from literature and historical research. The project culminates with a student performance of a commissioned dance piece staged by a Thodos dancer and the presentation of student-generated choreographic compositions.  LHS-Eryn Brown; Awarded $2,000.00

Grant winners and Foundation trustees pictured above at the Nov. 20 awards ceremony are: (seated) Meredith Tarczynski, Sherri Rukes, Rebeca Garcia, Debbie Beagle, Marissa Frederick, Lynda Ward, Robin Myerberg (standing) Foundation Treasurer Kris Blaser, Foundation Chairperson Anne Landgraf, Shannon Etnyre, Karen LeMaistre, Sue Butler, Kelly Garrison, Alyssa Henning, Mike Bush, Amy O'Neill, Ray Gossell, Amanda Wine, Mike Cook, Eryn Brown, Sheila Russell, Sarah Stoub, Megan Hendrickx, Carly Fine, Foundation Secretary Martha Watt, Superintendent Prentiss Lea. (Grant winners not pictured: Mark Buesing, Chris Wolf, Adam Gohr, Tim Barclay, Paul Brettner, Jeremy Marino, Andrea Lara, Matt Leone, Erik Rogers, Kristi Robertson, Dave Lapish)