In the News

Interdisciplinary Learning Initiative Video

Have you heard about the Interdisciplinary Learning Initiative but don’t really understand what it’s all about? In 2012, the NEF and the Needham Public Schools partnered on this collaborative initiative to break down silos between academic departments at Needham High School. Since then, interdisciplinary learning has continued to expand at the high school and is now being implemented at all other Needham public schools – including the STEAM curriculum at the elementary schools. Since 2012, the NEF has contributed over $500,000 to support this partnership and innovative educational initiative. Watch this informative video (produced by Sam Bookston, NEF board member and Instructional Technology Specialist at NHS) to learn more and hear how students are benefiting.

$32,125 in Spring Grants Awarded by NEF

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.

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Grant Recipients!

The Needham Education Foundation held its first reception on May 1st at the Eliot School to honor those administrators, teachers, parents, and students who received NEF grants during the 2017-2018 school year. Attendees heard remarks from Dr. Dan Gutekanst, Superintendent of Needham Schools, and NEF Co-Presidents Kelly Partridge and Sarah Winig.

See coverage of the event on the Needham Channel.

NEF Wins Massachusetts School Library Association Award

We are honored that the NEF is this year’s recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association PALS (Parents as Library Supporters) Award. This award honors any parent/teacher group working within a school or district, including PTAs, PTOs, or other parent/teacher groups who have had a significant impact on the school library and library programs in the district.

Thanks to Needham High School Librarian Paige Rowse for nominating the NEF — as well as writing so many terrific grant proposals that have brought authors and enriching materials to Needham High School.

The NEF Co-President, Sarah Winig, attended the Awards Banquet on March 25th at the DCU Center in Worcester to accept the award on behalf of the NEF.

NEF Awards Three Large Grants Totaling $33,135

The NEF announced the recipients of three large grants totaling $33,135 at the Needham School Committee on March 6, 2018.

Two Needham parents, Carolyn Guttilla and Martha Cohen Barrett, were awarded a grant for the development and execution of a program which aims to: increase students’ awareness of how social media posts can be misinterpreted, encourage students to develop empathy regarding the impact of digital communication on those around them, aid students in creating personal strategies for dealing with digital communication, and help students decrease stress surrounding digital communication. The program will be developed and led by a Boston University sociologist and will include professional development for Pollard teachers, parent meetings to discuss and provide practical tips, and workshops for Pollard students.

Jean Tower, Director of Media and Digital Learning at Needham Public Schools, was awarded a grant to purchase a Padcaster Studio for each school, as well as five iPads with enhanced cameras and storage space. This new mobile technology will allow K-12 students to create video projects that demonstrate their learning.

The third grant awarded was for a summer reading program for at-risk readers in fourth and fifth grades. Available to all five elementary schools through Needham Community Education, the Skills & Thrills: World Tour program will build upon the successful structures already in place in the Skills & Thrills program for grades 1-3. Through engaging, interdisciplinary projects, students will apply critical reading and note-taking skills as they explore countries of the world through informational text, biographies, hybrid fiction and traditional literature. Upper grade students will have the opportunity to mentor younger readers, develop global awareness, and avoid the “summer slide,” a significant regression in reading that often occurs during the summer months. The grant was written by Andrea Vargas, a Needham Public Schools Literacy Coach.

ARCHIVES click to expand

2020 (13)

2019 (11)

2018 (16)

2017 (13)

2016 (10)

2015 (8)

2014 (14)

2013 (12)

2012 (11)

2011 (6)

2010 (5)

2009 (1)

2008 (1)

2007 (2)

2006 (1)

2005 (3)

2004 (1)

Connect with Us!

Email Facebook Twitter Youtube Linked In