Northborough Education Foundation

In Support of Our Schools

Northborough Education Foundation - In Support of Our Schools

Virtual Team Trivia Night Registration Starts Today!

Are you ready to break up your week and try something new? Grab 2 or 3 of your smartest friends and test your knowledge to help make important strides for the Northborough Schools!

The Northborough Education Foundation (NEF) invites you to its Virtual Team Trivia Night on Friday, March 26, 2021, in your living room (or room of your choosing). Trivia Night will begin at 7:30 pm and will be live via Zoom and hosted by Triviahub.io. This event is being sponsored by Michelle Gillespie Realtors, Karen Scopetski, Realtor, St. Mary’s Federal Credit Union, and Metrowest Oral Surgical Associates. Round sponsors currently include Wolf Greenfield Intellectual Property Law and Aero Coffee Roasters.

To register your team CLICK HERE

NEF Awards $5219 in the Second Round of School Grants

Thanks to the overwhelming support of the NEF Welcome Back Pinwheels campaign, NEF was able to run a 2nd mini-grant cycle in late October. The grants funding are as follows:

Don’t Forget to Play!
Julie Morancy – Melican

In such an uncertain and stressful time, we need to make sure our students are still finding time for PLAY and FUN.  The purpose of this grant is to purchase a variety of fun and interactive activities/games that can be used safely during the socially distanced school setting.  The best part is that most of these games can be used in a remote setting, so they can be played in-person  (for example, in a classroom or during lunchtimes when students are unable to socialize, in the winter when students are unable to go outside for Brain Break, etc) or remotely from students’ homes (during class, free time, or in an extracurricular “Game Night” setting).

Flying During the Pandemic
Crystal Coonan – Melican

This grant will provide ten drones and an accompanying field kit and curriculum for students to use in their STEM/Technology Engineering classes.  With these, students will be able to build upon their coding knowledge and skills and watch their abstract skills become tangible.  Students participating in hybrid learning will be able to design codes, test their work, and see physical results when flying their drones, while students who are participating in the Stand Alone Remote Program will be able to actively participate in coding activities and will join a class Zoom where they will observe their work being tested.  The drone activities will allow students to participate in the engineering design process from beginning to end and will be a tremendous asset for learning long after the pandemic.

Grade 5 Genius Science
Deb Donston-Miller & Kara Bayley – All Elementary

This grant provides an opportunity to bring more meaningful science experiences to fifth-grade students participating in the SARP in all elementary schools. Generation Genius is a teaching resource that brings science standards to life through fun and educational videos paired with lesson plans, activities, quizzes, reading material, and more. This online-native program will provide a rich STEM experience for students and can be used by teachers of both the Hybrid and Stand Alone Remote Programs to help them continue to develop students’ love for and curiosity about science, technology, and engineering.

Grade 5 Storyworks
Kara Bayley, Andi Daunais, Halle Coots – Peaslee

This subscription to Storyworks will give remote and hybrid learners high-quality reading materials to be used for reading groups or independently and can be accessed both digitally and in print. Fifth graders at Peaslee will now have access to even more rich text to use as they continue to grow their reading independence.

Multicultural Moments Matter
Erica Astrove & Alexandra Lento – Zeh

This grant will provide the opportunity to build Zeh’s multicultural libraries to ensure that all students are being included in our growing, diverse community.  Having multicultural books validates all students’ existence, reinforces that they matter, and brings positive and open conversations about race and culture to all students in our schools.

Phonemic Awareness for Remote Success
Lois Shaughnessy, Kelly Strout, Casey Jennings – Proctor

Prior to reading, students need to develop an understanding of sounds in isolation and be able to manipulate, rhyme, and sequence sounds.  This grant will help address the challenges of providing these critical pre-reading skills to students who are mostly or fully remote.  The Heggarty Phonemic Awareness program provides a multisensory approach to improve phonemic awareness, where students are taught to use gross motor movements to help them identify and sequence sounds. As an added bonus, it uses movement within the instruction, which is much needed for students who are sitting for most of the day on Zooms.

Remote Technology Resource for EL and FEL Students
Loni Sotir – All Elementary & Melican

This grant provides a one-year subscription to English Grammar 101, a versatile online instruction program used to engage English Learner (EL) and Former English Learner (FEL) students in a meaningful and interactive curriculum.  The goal of this program is not to learn grammar for grammar’s sake, but to become better communicators.  It has been used at the high school level to great success and will now be available for all EL and FEL students in the Northborough school system.

Sensational Tools
Jenilee Mullin – Lincoln

Because of hybrid/remote learning, there has been an increased need for digital resources that can be used during therapy sessions as well as hands-on learning tools that students can access safely both in school and at home.  This grant will provide a lifetime subscription to The Pink Oatmeal, an online pediatric therapist resource website that will enhance hybrid and remote learning opportunities for years to come. It offers school-based movement and brain breaks that can be shared with teachers and parents, motor planning activity ideas, yoga lessons, theme-based fine motor activities, as well as printable and digital materials to use during in-person and remote occupational therapy sessions. In addition, this grant will also provide sensory tools including noise-buffering headphones, chair bands, and fidget tools to accommodate varied needs within the classroom and home settings.

Student Art Display Initiative
Sean Bevan – ARHS

This grant will provide twelve frames that will be used to display student artwork in the E-corridor at Algonquin.  Currently, most of the art displayed throughout the building is permanently affixed and was created by students who have since graduated.  These twelve new frames will provide a space for current artwork to be displayed and routinely changed to showcase the talents and hard work of the current student population.

Warm Wishes Now on Sale!

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your teacher or school staff? Give them a personalized Warm Wish from NEF.

With every Warm Wish, the teacher/staff member receives a personal note from the student and a free beverage of their choice from Aero Coffee Roasters – and a donation made in their name to NEF.

Show your appreciation for the educators who have worked so hard to support your child this year!

Warm wishes will be printed individually with your personal message and delivered to the schools for you. Deadline to order for delivery before the winter break is December 14. Any orders placed after that time will be delivered when school resumes in the new year.

To order, click here

NEF Awards $8300 in School Grants

This year has proven to be a bit challenging when it comes to well…everything. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, NEF events, like everything else, were put on hold. As the summer went on, we realized that the school year would look a lot different than in the past, and with the introduction of remote learning in the spring, it was likely the teachers and school administration would require new tools and programs that the school budget was not able to support. In August, NEF decided to run a grant cycle so that the district could apply for grants with the focus on remote learning. The grant cycle moved faster than is typical and NEF was not surprised to receive a good number of applications. Though there was limited funding this year, NEF was able to support quite a few of the grants. For a full list of the grants supported, click here.

NEF Awards $8300 in School Grants

This year has proven to be a bit challenging when it comes to well…everything. Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, NEF events, like everything else, were put on hold. As the summer went on, we realized that the school year would look a lot different than in the past, and with the introduction of remote learning in the spring, it was likely the teachers and school administration would require new tools and programs that the school budget was not able to support. In August, NEF decided to run a grant cycle so that the district could apply for grants with the focus on remote learning. The grant cycle moved faster than is typical and NEF was not surprised to receive a good number of applications. Though there was limited funding this year, NEF was able to support quite a few of the grants which include the following:

ARHS Physics Lab Grant
Lorraine Zanini (for all Physics teachers at ARHS) – ARHS

This grant will provide every Physics student at ARHS a subscription to PIVOT, an interactive tool that will allow them to participate in labs virtually. Labs are an integral part of students’ learning in science, but remote learning and social distancing requirements have made it challenging for teachers to provide these types of meaningful experiences. This software program, which can be used both during in-person classes and remotely in conjunction with whole-class and breakout sessions on Zoom, will be a game-changer for teachers and students this year.

Melican SAR Science Kits
Jessica Eisenlord – Melican

This grant provides each Standalone Remote student at Melican (approximately 125 students) a science kit that will allow them to conduct experiments at home. Middle school is an important time in students’ development of the foundational skills and practices that they will use throughout their educational careers. This is also a critical time to encourage and foster their curiosity and interest in scientific exploration. By providing these kits, which include materials that are not typical household items (i.e. beakers, thermometers, magnifiers) it will allow all students to participate in labs that are fundamental to their science learning. These materials will be returned at the end of the year and will be a welcome addition to the lab supplies for all Melican science teachers.

Art Education FLEX Membership
Jennifer Hackenberg – Lincoln & Zeh

This grant provides the art teacher for Lincoln & Zeh a membership to FLEX Curriculum, a first-of-its kind bundled visual art program that is 100% digital and contains lesson plans, videos, artists bios and more that can easily be downloaded and shared with students either online or in-person. Visual art will be one of the most challenging areas to adapt to remote and socially-distanced learning. These materials have been created for just that purpose and will allow the teacher to focus on teaching, rather than creating every resource from scratch. The new and exciting art experiences and ideas in this program will bring enrichment not only to the students’ experience this year, but for years to come.

Remote Labs for 6th Grade Science
Jonathan Lanza & Annie Shaughnessy – Melican

This grant provides each 6th grader at Melican a science kit that will allow them to conduct experiments remotely. In 6th-grade science, students are introduced to the foundational skills and practices that will be applied throughout their middle school experience and beyond. These core skills are best taught through hands-on, student-driven investigations and experiments. By providing these kits it will allow all students to participate in at least three of the traditional 6th grade labs that address the Massachusetts State Frameworks and are integral to the curriculum.

Robotic Cameraman
Susan Dupre – Melican

This grant provides six personal robot “cameramen” plus six wireless microphone systems that can be used by any teacher at Melican. These systems will allow teachers to create more natural video presentations that may be shared synchronously or asynchronously. The tracking robotic cameraman allows the teacher to move about the room freely while the cell phone or ipad tracks the teacher’s movements. Teachers will be able to utilize the tools within the classroom such as hanging maps, anchor charts, and notes on the whiteboard. Lessons will be more natural. Adding the microphone allows for better quality sound and will enhance the video quality. The microphones may also be used in the classroom to project the teacher’s voice since it will be difficult to do so naturally through a mask and shield.

Remote Apps for World Languages
Hilary Novitski (for all World Language teachers at Melican) – Melican

This grant provides the World Languages teachers at Melican with several interactive educational app subscriptions that will allow them to create meaningful and engaging remote lessons for their students. These include: Gimkit, a specialized and entertaining form of vocabulary gamification that can be played as a group online in-person, remotely as a group, or given as an individual assignment; the premier version of Quizlet that can be used as an individual learning tool or as a group game (Quizlet live) and includes images which are an essential component for foreign language learning; Flangoo which provides differentiated listening and reading experiences for students to easily access in and out of the classroom in lieu of in classroom paperback readers; Kahoot premium which allows access to the full suite of question types, distance learning tools, and playing school-size games; and Rockalingua, an online learning platform that includes songs, videos, and interactive games in the target language.

Math & Science iPad Styluses
Elizabeth Dore (for all Math & Science teachers at ARHS) – ARHS

This grant provides a stylus of every math and science teacher at ARHS. In the Spring, teachers found that using a stylus, in conjunction with the Notability app on their iPads, allowed them to present clear notes, diagrams and equations for their students remotely. By providing a stylus for every teacher in these departments at ARHS, all students will benefit from high quality presentation of instruction in math and science.

Parlay: A Solution to Hosting Digital Socratic Seminars
Kristin Turner – ARHS

This grant provides one subscription to Parlay, an online tool that is used to enhance and promote discussion. It can be very challenging to organize and track Zoom discussions, but one ARHS teacher has discovered this program that allows students to get in line to speak or to challenge, nudge or question each other using their devices. This also allows teachers to keep track of who talks and the kinds of discussions they raise, as well as message students privately to encourage them to participate. With face-to-face time (both in-person and online) being so limited, this will allow the teacher to maximize the time they have by helping all students to be active in their class discussions.

Boom Cards
Meaghan Reade (for all Lincoln teachers) – Lincoln Street School

This grant provides ten teachers 1000 points each to purchase “Boom Card” activities for their classes. Boom cards are interactive lessons that can be used on Zoom and they are paperless. They can also be used by students for independent work or for parents to help carry over skills learned in the classroom. The premade ones are in a fun, game format that are really engaging for students. They can be used in the regular education setting and also for remote speech and language therapy services.

SEL Remote Learning
Lisa Arpino – Lincoln

This grant provides a one-year subscription to Everyday Speech, a social-emotional learning platform. It provides teachers, psychologists, and speech therapists with video-modeling curriculums to nurture the fundamental strategies and skills that all students need to maximize potential towards a healthier, happier, and fulfilling future. This learning platform can be used in school or remotely, and it offers a nearly endless selection of topics, videos, lessons, and worksheets to be used by the School Psychologist and the Speech Language Therapist with students in grades K through 8.

Remote Technology Resources for EL Learners
Catherine Arcona & Loni Sotir – All Schools

This grant provides all of the elementary, middle and high school ELD teachers with requested programs that will be used to enhance remote instruction for English Language Learners. The use of Pear Deck Premium, Kahoot Premium, and English Grammar 101 will allow these teachers to provide fun, interactive and meaningful lessons that motivate students to be active learners. Students will participate in activities relating to reading, listening, speaking, and writing that offer opportunities to engage and feel safe to take risks in their learning.

To the Classroom & Beyond
Elizabeth Villaflor (for the 3rd grade team at Zeh) – Zeh

This grant provides learning kits for the Zeh school third grade hybrid students to use while learning remotely. The kits will include Math & ELA manipulatives that resemble materials used in the classroom including counting manipulatives for addition, subtraction, and multiplication, a whiteboard and markers for solving problems, and letter tiles for spelling instruction. These kits will assist both the teachers and students by providing needed hands-on learning tools as well as materials to make the transition between in school and at home learning flow more smoothly.

Remote Reading Bags
Elizabeth Matthews – Lincoln

This grant provides materials to help the Lincoln Reading Specialist create at-home reading bags for students receiving reading services. Included in these bags will be whiteboards, markers and letter tiles that will allow for productive and engaging remote sessions that more closely mirror in-person instruction.

Welcome Back Pinwheels now on sale!

Help us say “Welcome Back!” to our amazing students and staff with a display of colorful pinwheels for the front of each Northborough school! Not only are the pinwheels a wonderful way to show that we are “Northborough Strong” — but each pinwheel represents a donation that will directly fund a request from a teacher or administrator in our district. NEF has received a number of requests in the past month to support online and hybrid learning initiatives. With your support, we can continue to fund programs that will help the teachers and students navigate this new landscape.

To order your pinwheels today, CLICK HERE