Randolph Basis for Schooling offers instructor grants, funds for COVID testing
The Randolph Foundation for Education, like many organizations, struggled through the pandemic – but now it’s restarting its “Teacher Grant” program.
The RFE spent the pandemic doing a few teacher grants each semester, but mostly focused on distributing more than 4,000 COVID PPE kits. It now invites teachers and community members to join the board and restore the teacher grant program to its previous frequency. It will meet at 6 pm March 23 on Zoom, with the link https://tinyurl.com/2tux5nza. Teacher grant applications are due April 29 for the next grant cycle.
Here are some of the teacher grants the foundation awarded during the pandemic:
Replacement Books (Donovan School)
These books are replacements of older copies, to align with newer themes, for grade 5. The teachers are delighted to have replacements for the older, worn-and-torn copies.
Two examples are “Esperanza Rising” and “I am Malala” book, which are about diversity, inclusion and identity.
Water Quality Testing (RCMS)
Water Quality Testing for Randolph Lakes & Ponds: Completed at one school with RFE funding and planning a second round of RFE-funded testing.
The water testing kit contents included:
* Digital thermometer with probe. Why is testing temperature important? Water temperature is the first water quality parameter that can impact the health of an aquatic environment in a lake or pond. If the temperature is too high, then cold water fish species such as brook trout will perish. If colder than 40 degrees, then warm water fish such as bass get very sluggish and become inactive. High water temperatures also reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water that fish rely on for survival.
* Wide Range pH test solution bottle. A pH of 7.0 is considered ideal for plants and fish in the pond. Some species of pond, or lake plants, such as waterlilies and hyacinths thrive in slightly acidic water below 7.0. Pond fish prefer an alkaline pH above 7.0. An acceptable pH range is generally accepted at between 6.8 to 8.2. Extreme pH levels above 8.2, or below 6.8 is not good for aquatic life.
Beebots (Young School). Young School grade 2 literacy
Bee-Bots are a wonderful tool to teach students the fundamentals of computational thinking. The small robot can remember up to 40 commands consisting of forward, backwards, left and right movements to maneuver around the floor. The Bee-Bot allows students to create, explore, and solve problem to achieve success.
This project was run by Young School teacher Susan Rudden-Horgan. She notes the newly purchased Beebot robots are a tool to teach the students the fundamentals of computational thinking as well as to create, explore, and problem-solve with 40 different commands.
Math Manipulatives (RCMS)
Students must learn mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from experience and previous knowledge. The school is planning to create a Math Manipulatives Library with material from all of sixth-grade math domains. A Math Manipulatives Library will allow students to start at the concrete level and build to the abstract level. It also will give them the chance to actively build that knowledge from experience. A hands-on approach with manipulatives will deepen that understanding and allow them to be ready to expand on that knowledge and carry it to the next level with learning.
First Grade Vocabulary (Kennedy School)
Building vocabulary and phonemic awareness through visuals: Not only to help the three first-grade classes, but also the special needs classes. This project is a huge benefit for English-language learners, as well.
RFE provided funding for four “kits” of hundreds of picture vocabulary cards, for four different classrooms. Project was run by Kennedy School teachers Nicole Houghton and Giuseppe Delisi.
Wild Turkeys in the New England Area (Donovan School)
Right before Thanksgiving, the people of Randolph saw wild turkeys everywhere around town. What’s their story?
Donovan School students were treated to a presentation of the Eastern Wild Turkeys by photographer Bob Michelson Nov. 12. He also made a presentation at the Randolph Community Middle School.
Teachers passed out informational hand-outs to explain the different aspects of wild turkeys. The presentation was attended by RFE Board members Mary Barrett and Judy Conway.
“Students were attentive and had great questions for the presenter, and I learned so much myself to talk about at Thanksgiving,” Conway said.
The presentation was made with the participation of Principal Beth Gannon, and the attendance and participation of Assistant Principal Erin Finn. Several teachers brought in their students and enjoyed the presentation as well.