The NEF recently awarded five small grants, totaling $22,125, as well as a special, $10,000 grant to help support the Portrait of a Needham Graduate initiative.

The $10,000 grant, submitted by Superintendent Daniel Gutekanst, will allow five teachers to participate in the 26th Annual Model Schools Conference in Orlando, Florida. This nationally renowned conference focuses on innovation and emerging trends in classroom instruction. The five teachers will bring back their findings and share them with the Portrait of a Needham Graduate committee. 

For the small grants, three will fund professional development opportunities for teachers.

Melanie Bunda of Needham High School received funding for three NHS chemistry teachers to attend the American Modeling Teachers Association Modeling Curriculum Workshop, Chemistry II. The modeling approach to chemistry has been shown to increase student understanding of fundamental chemical concepts and strengthens students’ ability to critically examine data, understand the application of mathematical concepts to science, and to discuss and represent chemical phenomena.

Three Needham High School teachers will attend the Computer Science Teachers Association Conference in Omaha, Nebraska this summer thanks to a grant written by NHS teacher Hans Batra. The conference will provide the teachers a chance to learn about new technology, applications, and teaching methodologies.

Stephen Guerriero of High Rock will attend an archaeological dig and field school outside of Delphi, Greece over the summer. The knowledge gleaned from this experience will allow the Social Studies department to strengthen, expand, and update major areas of study within the curriculum.

Additionally, fourth grade classrooms at Mitchell Elementary School will become student-centered and highly-flexible with new types of seating and desks at the grant request of Seth Evans, a Mitchell fourth grade teacher.

Bethany Crowe of High Rock received funding for books, audiobooks, and a “Learning Ally Link” school membership, which will give extra support to struggling readers.