The Highline Schools Foundation’s Excel Grant program was created to support classroom innovation in our district, and to provide teachers resources they need to help our students be successful! The Foundation applauds our Highline teachers’ dedication to providing the best possible education for our students and we are thrilled we were able to fund so many of the grant requests we received this year.
In 2015, the Highline Schools Foundation awarded $80,472 through 112 classroom grants!
Some of the Excel Grants were given out via the Foundation’s “Prize Patrol” — surprise visits by Foundation Trustees to staff meetings, classrooms and assemblies during which the checks were presented to excited and deserving district staff. The Highline Public Schools Web & Social Media Manager created this great video showcasing some of the Excel Grants the Foundation funded this year:
In 2015, The Highline Schools Foundation awarded $80,472 through 112 classroom grants! Because of events like the Burien Brat Trot and Oktoberfest, and the generosity of our community, the Foundation was able to fund more grant requests this year than ever before!
2015-2016 Excel Grants
Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment (ACE)
Engineering Discovery Days
Savannah Benally, Learning Specialist
Students from four Highline District high schools (Global Connections, the Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment, Technology, Engineering & Communications High School, and Heath Sciences and Human Services High School) will have the opportunity to attend the University of Washington’s Engineering Discovery Days in late April. At the event, students can participate in hands-on engineering activities, discover a wide variety of engineering careers, and learn about the University of Washington.
Give Voice to the Tyee Choir Students
Elaina Malcolm, Choir Teacher
ACE has added Concert Choir to its list of elective classes this year and provided the same opportunity to Global Connections so that more students will have the opportunity to sing and give voice to their soul.
Arts & Academics Academy (AAA)
Digital Reading works!
Joanne Glasgow, Teacher Librarian
Help us keep the momentum going with eBooks for our struggling readers; especially those for whom English is not their first language
Beverly Park Elementary
Math manipulatives and games
Amanda Scofield, 5th Grade math and science teacher
I teach at Beverly Park Elementary and the students I have are struggling in math. I would like to use math games to help solidify their math fluency during intervention time.
Big Picture Schools
Climbing To The Top
Angie Erdman, Teacher
I am requesting an Excel grant to take my 30, 10th grade students on an outdoor experiential learning experience. We will spend a day in the woods of Camp Long in West Seattle working together as a small learning community to develop skills as critical thinkers, decision makers, problem solvers, leaders, and effective communicators.
I Can Go To College Too!
Stan Harrison, Advisor / Teacher / ASB Coordinator
Funding two university visits for the ENTIRE junior class at Big Picture High School. This is part of a four-year strategy for ALL students to actualize their potential and envision themselves attending college. The two universities selected are Western (including Fairhaven) in Bellingham and Central in Ellensburg.
Urban Forest Field Guide
Joshua Medaris, Teacher
Eighth graders at Big Picture are participating in a service project at Seahurst Park by removing invasive plants and restoring those areas with native species. They are creating a field guide to deepen their knowledge and aid their ability to distinguish native and invasive plants, while also providing a resource for other volunteers. This project synthesizes research, writing, science, and art.
Jessie Towbin, Teacher
In an eight week engineering unit, eighth graders at Big Picture Schools will engage in hands-on, collaborative, project-based learning that focuses on the science of building construction. Using ordinary materials, students will develop understanding of the math and science behind how buildings stay up. They will then apply that understanding to design and construct models of their own buildings.
Bow Lake Elementary
Seeing is Believing
Sue Bjelke, Music Specialist
I am requesting a Flip Video Camera (8 GB, 3rd generation) to give students a birds eye view of proper drumming and xylophone techniques, record individual student and small group work to be assessed by the students (in order to learn from each other), and record student performances to be reviewed and assessed for grades.
Big Hearts and Open Minds
Tamasha Emedi, 6th Grade Classroom Teacher
6th grade students at Bow Lake Elementary are already on their way to becoming socially and emotionally intelligent adults. With structured lessons, role play, and assessments, sixth graders can learn even more about those who join them in their community. This could be the generation that truly teachers the word to get along.
Challenge Course Facilitator Backpacks
Johnny Gannaw, Dean of Student Success
Waskowitz Experiental Education programs impact most fourth graders, all sixth graders, hundreds of high school students and teachers, as well as the growing PSSC/WELS programs. This grant would go towards providing the trained Waskowitz Facilitators with the tools needed to successfully bring any group through a challenge experiences. The supplies purchased will be available to use for any Waskowitz type programming which consistently benefits nearly all Highline Pubic School District students.
Caroline Lauka, Teacher
Inquiry-based project that is developed and maintained by WELS students. Allows students to practice career-based skills, critical thinking, and inquiry research through a project that counts toward their final grade in social studies curriculum. Will also act as a window for the community into the unique WELS experience.
Hiking Essentials for Students
Deborah Lindsay, Inclusive Special Education Teacher
This grant will be used to purchase Hiking Shoes for WELS students to be used at Waskowitz Camp in North Bend.
Wilderness First Aid Course
Lauren Marziliano, CTE Teacher
I am requesting funding to support my students in participating in a nationally-recognized Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certification Training facilitated by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) via their Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) branch of the organization. This is a critical training for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the outdoor recreation industry and is cost-prohibitive for the majority of my students. WFA Certification is required for most jobs in the outdoor recreation industry.
Cascade Middle School
Music Contests and Festivals
Sarah Butler, Music Teacher
The Cascade Music Department has been working to build a tradition of excellence in both musicianship and citizenship among our students. One of the most beneficial things that students can do to promote excellence in both of those fields is to attend regional festivals and contests to perform for judges and hear other ensembles perform. The Cascade Student Musicians have three opportunities to attend festivals this year: The District Choral Festival is happening again this year on February 9, Soundview Music Educators’ Association will host the Choral “A” Contest on March 22 and on March 31 the Soundview Music Educators’ Association will host the Middle School Band Contest.
Classroom Chromebook Printer
Emily Harris, Teacher
With a printer in my classroom that has ePrint capabilities (and will work with Chromebooks) students who need to see their work on paper can do so, which will help with revising and editing their work. Plus, they will be able to print their own copies of any work they need to take home. I will also be able to print off resources instantly for students, which I currently cannot.
See You on the Mat
Claudia House, PE/AVID Teacher
This year I teach girls only PE classes, a wonderful opportunity to offer yoga in a controlled, safe environment. I want to present yoga as a way to explore individuality to help my teens feel that something is within their control. 40 yoga mats gives me enough equipment for even a large class plus a couple extras.
Cougars to College – Attendance Matters!
Juanita McGilton, Success Dean
Cougars to College — Attendance Matters: We would like funding to offer students incentives to increase our school wide attendance. A large number of our students are coming late to school and/or missing who days. We would like to hold regular attendance competitions and also award Academies and students with the best attendance throughout the school year.
Making Music Tech-Savvy
Emily Black, K-6 General Music Teacher
The Cedarhurst music team strongly believes that our overall instruction time as well as the students’ hands on music making time will greatly increase and improve with the addition of an iPad for each of our two classrooms. iPads save classroom transition time, allow teachers to maintain equitable assessment data and offer students the ability to reflect on performance practice.
Bethany McGinn, 1st Grade Teacher
We need new bins to hold our new books. The Highline School District has invested money in buying new books for classroom teachers for the last two years. In order to keep those books in good condition we need new, high quality book storage solutions. These books, when taken care of and organized well will inspire so many students to read more and more and achieve their goals in literacy. I am requesting bins for the classroom library and boxes for the students to use to hold their own classroom library books and other literacy materials.
Chinook Middle School
Bring on the High-Interest Books!
Kim Meschter, Teacher Librarian
Help me bring high-interest books to Chinook Middle School Library. These books are requests from multiple students and would serve the entire student population of Chinook for years to come.
Science In The Kitchen
Rita Miller, Special Education Teacher
We will be exploring gases, solids and liquids through cooking experiences. Cooking is a life skill for our students with special needs. We will explore how ice cream changes from liquid to solid, how shortening changes from solid to liquid. Why water changes to gas when we are cooking spaghetti. Each experiment will include the Science concepts and the life skill of cooking. Students will prepare the food using science and then learn about how food fuels our bodies. Healthy food choices and cooking for health will be a focus too.
Creating a Transformative Atmosphere of Reading and Learning
Lisa Penor, 7th Grade Language Arts Teacher
This Excel Grant will benefit in two ways. First, the funds will be used to create a learning environment where students have pillows, chairs, and rugs to read on in order to be comfortable as they read for 30-40 minutes during Independent Work space. This will be their home away from home, where students entered excitedly into the room so they can get to their reading with ease and security. Second, with the remainder of the funds, will be used to purchase books that interested them, but have yet to be purchased by the school. It is important that students gain access to new and current books, especially those that interest them and resonate with their values and identities.
CLIP (Children Living In Patient) at NAVOS Lake Burien
Physical Science Explorations
Danniel Gehring, Teacher
The program I teach in is very new, and we don’t yet have the ability to control the content for the internet, so finding fun and engaging science is somewhat difficult. The items chosen for this grant support Physics and will be reused several times. I have an opportunity to get some of my student back on track and focused on their education again.
Des Moines Elementary
Waskowitz 4th grade day
Marilyn Allen, Paraeducator IAC
The Intensive Academic Center (4, 5 & 6th grade special Ed class) at Des Moines Elementary rotates the curriculum every three years so that all the students have a chance to learn about Washington history if they are in the program for the 3 years. This year is one of those years. We would love to participate in the 4th grade Washington history day at Waskowitz to learn about logging, pioneering, railroad, Native Americans, and the miners of this area.
4th Grade Field Trip to Camp Waskowitz
Meghan Burke, Teacher
Every year the 4th grade students at Des Moines Elementary attend a field trip at Camp Waskowitz for one day. The curriculum in 4th grade focuses on Washington State History and this field trip provides students with an opportunity to learn more about our state’s history in an environment that is both interesting and engaging. Students will participate in activities that will enrich their understanding of topics learned in class during our Living History day at Camp Waskowitz.
Rodney Olsen, Music/Band Specialists
I have been building the capacity to create quality recordings and publications of the music our students create. While many students are comfortable playing instruments, others would rather write the parts and print them. The addition of a keyboard controller and Finale’s Print Music software to our classroom will give the students the opportunity to produce music at a higher level.
Engaging social-emotional learning through technology & media integration
Lisa Reasner, School Counselor
A new laptop computer will enable me, as the school counselor and PBIS program coordinator, to deliver all the DVD & media components of my lessons with one device, to maximize the engagement of all my students during my lessons to fully access the social-emotional learning. This is part of our school-wide PBIS program.
Karen Smith, Teacher/Librarian
I would really like to expand on my teaching to implement an owl pellet discovery science unit. With this, students would take part in learning about Barn Owls, its habitat and the food chain by dissecting an owl pellet, which is essentially the materials that the owl doesn’t digest, like bones of smaller animals.
Encouraging Positive Behaviors and Mindset with Books
Karen Smith, Teacher/Librarian
Staff need books that incorporates a particular behavior trait that is being focused on in their classroom to not only help highlight the behavior and resulting consequence but to lend toward further discussions about more appropriate choices those situations. In conjunction, books that help to stimulate a growth mindset/positive self-talk is also needed to help implement those on-going classroom discussions among students. These books would start a collection in hopes of adding additional resources in future years.
Juli Morgenstern, Adaptive Physical Education Teacher
Sport Stacking is a fitness based sport that kids with all abilities can do. It is a sport that can be done in a gym, classroom or even a hallway. Students who sport stack use both their left and right side of their brain and cross the “midline” of their bodies which develops new connections in their brains. Sport stacking not only promotes physical fitness, but also academic learning.
Evergreen Drama Club
Stefan Nelson, Central Office Arts Support
This is to help support and continue the Winter and Spring sessions of an after school drama/theatre class on the Evergreen Campus. Through Theatre students gain confidence, public speaking and critical thinking skills that will launch them into successful college & career pathways. Students will choose scenes & monologues, work on text analysis to create their characters and develop collaboration skills as they stage their scenes together. This class will end on a final presentation for the students’ friends & family!
Global Connections High School
Linda Lambert, Special Ed teacher and Dept. Head
We, the Integrated Learning Center of Global Connections High School, are in need of adaptive curriculum for Washington State History. We would like to purchase, “The State We’re In: Washington Your guide to state, tribal and local government.” These materials will also allow us the opportunity to expose our students to varied cultures and about the local geography. Here at Global Connections, over 80% of our student population is on a free or reduced meal program, among other trying financial and economical restraints. We don’t have the budget and families aren’t able to help us afford these materials.
The Africa United Club Explores the University of Washington
Rachel Walker, Learning Specialist, Upward Bound
This specialized and unique visit to the University of Washington would give students of the Africa United Club a sneak peek into college life. Students would have the opportunity to meet with the college-level equivalent of their club, the African Student Association, go on a campus tour, learn about freshmen admissions, and sit in on a college-level class. Most students have not visited the UW, so this will provide vital information as they make decisions about where to apply and attend college.
Gregory Heights Elementary
The Library: The Living Room of Our School
Michael Bento, Librarian
Besides using the library as a reading space, many of our Gregory students visit the library to socialize during recess. These kids seem to prefer the quieter, calmer environment inside the library but still like to have fun and stay busy. I am seeking support for some small games and hands-on activities for the students to use in their library visits as well as a large, colorful, library themed, rug to place in our read a-loud area. I think these simple items will continue our progression toward creating “the living room of our school.”
Fabulous Fairy Tales
Suzanne Donato, Speech-Language Pathologist
I am an Speech-Language Pathologist who serves approximately 50 kids with varying language levels in multiple grades. I am asking for supplies to enhance my fairy tale unit which can be used to target all of my students’ goals. Fairy tales are engaging to many different age groups and contain concepts needed to work on a wide variety of language goals. With these supplies I will be able to help these students move towards mastery of their language goals.
Because Kindness Matters
Cindi Gilbert, Para Pro/Alternative Learning Center
Our Kindness Ambassadors will be working to perform selected acts of kindness throughout the building. Every member will be signing a kindness contract and agreeing to perform as many acts as possible from a provided list. In addition the Ambassadors will be meeting as a group weekly to work on larger school wide projects. Together during this time we will be reading books themed about kindness. These cleverly written children’s books will be the inspiration the kids use to decide which deeds to carry out and how to go about doing it. Then they will be contributed to the classroom libraries.
Elizabeth Hanna, 4th Grade General Education Teacher
Hands on math manipulatives are a proven way to help students build concrete knowledge of math concepts. These concepts are critical as students move into conceptual understandings. As a first year teacher, I do not have these fundamental resources for my students. This grant would purchase sets of math manipulatives so students can utilize these hands on materials in small groups.
Twin Bin Books
Brenda Martin, 2nd Grade Teacher
“One of the most powerful ways to teach children to think is to teach them to engage in thoughtful discussions, especially those that incorporate thinking under, between, and around texts.” (L. Calkins, 2015) My wish for my readers, current and upcoming, is to give reading partners consistent opportunities to have meaningful conversations about text that supports them with internalizing deep ways to comprehend. In order for this to occur, I need to have twin copies of leveled books for partner readers to choose from across genres.
Show Me the Music!
Melanie Shaw, Music/Band Specialist
Many of our students are using instruments provided by the Highline School District. However, the books that they need to learn music and progress on their instruments are not provided along with their instrument. I would like to provide books that students can “check out” for the year so that they can learn at the same pace as the rest of the class, regardless of if they can afford to purchase a book or not. These books will remain in the classroom and benefit students for years to come.
Huskies Rock – Books!
Shawn Will, 3rd Grade Teacher
Students would build our classroom non-fiction library as they research appropriate books, looking at text complexity as well as other important new learning to determine if the book should be purchased and added to our library. In doing so, students will not only use their new literacy skills, but will incorporate mathematics and problem solving.
Hazel Valley Elementary
Washington’s Living History Field Trip
Jairo Garcia, 4th Grade Teacher
Students will attend a one day field trip to Camp Waskowitz to learn about Washington State History. Students will work in 4 interactive stations and get to experience the following activities:Homestead Logging, Native Americans, Mining and Railroads. For some students this will be their first time leaving Burien. This field trip also helps us in future writing assignments.
Leveled Books for Our Class Library
Anna Leroueil, First Grade Teacher
I am a first grade teacher at Hazel Valley Elementary School with 24 enthusiastic learners who are motivated and passionate about learning to read. Our class library does not match their current needs, and would like to purchase 120 leveled books to differentiate for my young readers.
Books Needed for 1st Grade Classroom Library
Tania Zaballa, First Grade Teacher
I want to help my students become life-long readers and learners by igniting a love for reading in each and every one of them from an early age. I also want to help all of my students read at or above grade-level by the end of 1st grade. In order to achieve this, my classroom library needs more quality books. My students need “just right” books for their personal book bags to improve literacy.
Health Sciences & Human Services High School (HS3)
Communication is the key to success!!
Tyler Ashby, ILC Special Education Teacher
This grant will continue to help us shrink the gap of the technologies needs of our classroom in order for our students to communicate. The goal is to purchase 1 iPad so that my students who are non-verbal can use this technology to communicate their needs, provide opportunities for each student to tend to a daily visual schedule, use social stories to learn new behaviors and continue to learn greater independence.
Highline High School
Melinda Breeze, School Counselor
We are requesting these funds to purchase 5 copies of a video regarding suicide for our suicide prevention lessons. The lessons will be taught by advisory teachers and counselors to all of our 9th-12th graders. The goal is to use the video and discussion to teach students how to react when they or someone else is considering suicide in order to help ensure the safety of themselves and their peers.
Nonfiction to Support Students’ Emotional Health
Kirsten Gunn, Teacher Librarian
This grant is for nonfiction books selected specifically to help students learn about and process their strong emotions in a safe way. I want them to have current, factual and appropriate resources at their fingertips.
Self Defense Skills
Mary Legate, Physical Education Teacher
This grant will allow 2 Physical Education classes to be able to learn the basics of self defense. I would like to have a certified Martial Arts Instructor specializing in Moh Kempo Kung Fu teach basic self defense courses in my 9th grade Fitness classes. Self defense skills can increase confidence, mindfulness, and strength which can help prepare our students for college, career, and citizenship. This opportunity can provide students with skills that they can use for a lifetime.
Incentivizing and Increasing Attendance at After School Tutorials
Ashley Moorman, Success Dean
At Highline High School, we are implementing a new after-school tutoring program to help students catch up or get tutoring in subjects in which they struggle. We are open three days a week, 90 minutes each day, and cater to all students and all course subjects. Right now, we are aiming to increase our program attendance from the low 20s and below up to the 40s and 50s. We have the people, space, and knowledge, and now we are working to find ways to incentivize students to show up!
Point Defiance Zoo Field Trip
David Ruppert, Science Teacher
This is a field trip for two Biology classes to go to Point Defiance Zoo to study animal adaptations as part of our Evolution Unit.
How do scientists find a target for a vaccine
Dawn Tessandore, Science Department Chair
Since the inception of the program, teachers who have completed the two‐year research experience have been able to apply for supplemental awards, allowing these teachers to implement into their high school classrooms many ideas that were gained from the research. I will be able to purchase biotech equipment for use in all the biology classes and my AP Biology course.
AP Environmental Lab Supplies
Sara Ullmer, Science Teacher
I am teaching AP environmental science at Highline High School for the second year. I did not have any lab supplies specifically for AP environmental the first year. Whatever labs we did were either purchased by my personal money or pieced together from supplies I found. I am asking for lab kits to be purchased for my AP environmental class that can be used for years to come.
Hilltop STEM Resource Room
Martha Gibson, 5th grade teacher
Hilltop teachers have been pooling resources and have created a STEM resource room so that teachers can check out materials to use for hands-on science activities. We have donated all that we can from our homes and kitchens. In order to teach science well we now need to add more professional/commercial scientific materials. Although Highline teachers get three science kits per year, it is not enough to cover all of our science standards. Our goal is that through the purchase of additional STEM materials teachers will have increased ability to plan high-quality STEM learning activities.
Star Books Here, There, Everywhere!!
Yazmin Gil, Kindergarten Dual Language
Star books are my students’ favorite books to read independently and with their reading partners daily during our reading workshop. Our district’s new reading curriculum is full of exciting lessons on how to get my students reading the same book and fallowing in love with them at the same time. We have limited numbers of books in the classroom to share, and a new set will provide them the opportunity to share their love for reading at home with their families.
Terre Salzer, Librarian
In conjunction with the 6th grade trip to Camp Waskowitz, I would like to have four sixth grade classes learn about the Barn Owl, its’ habitat and the food chain, by dissecting an owl pellet. I have a salvage permit that allows me to collect birds. I have a Barn Owl that I will use to introduce the students to the owl. Dissecting the pellets takes the lesson one step further, allowing them to discover what the owl ate. I am excited to share my love of native NW wildlife with students. This unit is engaging and the amount of knowledge they gain is tremendous.
Author workshop to inspire student writing
Terre Salzer, Librarian
I would like to bring an author to school. He would meet with each fourth grade class and explain his writing process. He has visited before and not only does he give the students great ideas to enrich their writing, he is very entertaining.
New Mariachi Trumpets!
Bud (Barton) Jackson, Band Director
I have been able to find instruments for most of my Band students in 3 different schools. However, we are short 7 trumpets in the Madrona Elementary 5th Grade Band, and only 3 student families are able to rent or buy an instrument. Madrona Elementary has about 95% of our students on free and reduced lunch status. I’m hoping to receive a grant to buy 3 new, excellent quality student model trumpets to help close the gap for needed instruments.
Living History at Camp Waskowitz
Margot Munger, 4th Grade Teacher
This grant will sponsor 35 fourth grade students at Madrona Elementary to attend the Living History field trip at Camp Waskowitz.
An Extreme Need for Books about Extreme Weather
Alexandria Skagen, 4th Grade Teacher
Our students are eager to be researchers this year. In reading and writing class we are doing a unit of study about extreme weather. We don’t have enough books to get into the hands of knowledge thirsty readers.
Robot for our FLL Robotics Team
Michael Gudor, Robotics Coach
I am requesting funds for a LEGO robotics kit (core kit, expansion set, and computer program license) for the Marvista Elementary robotics team. We started our team last year, but didn’t have the funds for the robot kits. Your grant would be a big step to allow us success and be able to compete at the regional tournament. (FIRST Lego League). One of the main benefits is that the funds will be used for equipment (not consumables), so the grant will serve Marvista students for years to come.
Bridging the Gap With Books!
Kimberly Hollingsworth, 4th Grade Teacher
We need to fund the purchase of several leveled book sets for our Historical Fiction Book Clubs. This will directly impact 84 students in our Readers’ Workshop as we navigate our newly adopted Reading Units of Study. This will also support our Writing unit based on Historical Informational texts and our Social Studies unit on Westward Expansion.
I am Malala Book Study and Fundraiser
Stacie Latimer, Third Grade Teachers
Sixth grader Kellen Nelson and I will hold a sixth grade book study on the book “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai. This will be followed by a community fundraiser featuring/honoring Pakistani food and goods to raise money for Opportunity International. We will work with Pakistani students and their families to create the fundraiser.
McMicken Heights Elementary
iPad Air for students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities
Spencer Flanagan, Intermediate EBC Teacher
I am an intermediate EBC teacher at McMicken Heights Elementary looking for help purchasing a 32 GB iPad Air to help with academic learning, student motivation and data collection in my self-contained classroom.
Renew STEM POP for our Brains
Jennifer Walsh, Third Grade Teacher
We would love for you to renew our favorite online subscription to BrainPop Jr. It is a highly engaging resource for any primary grade. My third graders eager ask to watch their beloved characters, Anna and Moby teach them a variety of topics and subjects that are covered in most General Education classrooms.
High Interest Information books for Below Grade Level Readers
Michelle Heston, First Grade Teacher
First grade students are curious about the world and everything around them. They are so eager to learn as much as they can. According to Lucy Calkins, “studies of first grade classrooms have shown that students spend an average of 3.6 minutes each day interacting with information texts – less in low socioeconomic status schools.” We are requesting a grant to purchase the National Georgraphic Readers series. These are high interest informational texts with kids friendly diagrams and detailed photographs. Most iportantly, even our lowest level readers will be able to access these texts.
Helping Kids Find Their Voice – Continuing to Build a Solid Foundation
Erin Radheshwar, Speech Language Pathologist
The Special Education Team at Midway Elementary School wishes to purchase two “iPad Minis” as well as two Proloquo2go licenses. Proloquo2go is a symbol based communication application (app) that provides a voice to individuals who are unable to speak. People who use the application can touch images depicting words, and the iPad speaks the words for them. Having this app available for many students in our ILC classrooms allows them to express themselves.
Mount Rainier High School
Nichole Calkins, Physical Education Teacher
This grant will allow 5 Physical Education classes to be able to learn the basics of self defense. We would like to have a certified Martial Arts Instructor specializing in Moh Kempo Kung Fu teach basic self defense courses in our Yoga and 9th grade Fitness classes. Self defense skills can increase confidence, mindfulness, and strength which can help prepare our students for college, career, and citizenship. This opportunity can provide students with skills that they can use for a lifetime.
Graphic Novels: The Medium Kids are Readin’
Lisa Carlson, Teacher-Librarian
Graphic novels and non-fiction have become a resource in their own right. Graphic materials engage young learners who are accustomed to the integration of text and graphics in media, and can create a bridge between visual only media and text-based media. Our current graphic novel and non-fiction selections are extremely meager, yet our budgets cannot support expansion. This grant would provide our library with the means to improve this collection and better serve our students.
Bringing The Classics to Life!
Carrie Howell, Language Arts Teacher/Dept. Head, Advisory Coordinator
The LA 10 teachers at MRHS are hoping to buy class sets of the classic novels The Great Gatsby and Of Mice and Men. We would like to teach a film adaptation unit in which students analyze how the novels were adapted to film. First they will have to read and understand the novels deeply. Currently, we don’t have enough copies of the books for class sets.
Field trip to UW Health Science Center
Jolly Meloottu, Science Teacher
Applying for funding for a field trip [for IB Biology Seniors] to the UW Health Science Center. My seniors in the IB Biology program have been looking forward to this field for two years. It gives them an opportunity to tour Neurobiology and Nuclear Medicine departments in the UW Health Science Center. Students get to hear from professors and witness the cutting edge technology in medicine. Most come away inspired to take on Biology in college!
Mount View Elementary
Activity Boxes for Preschoolers
Ashley Andrews, Occupational Therapist
I would like to assist my teachers in developing sets of ready-to-use learning materials that are in alignment with WA Kids objectives, are easy to access and provide to students, and support the development of fine motor skills. This set of learning materials will be available for teachers to pull into their classrooms when needed for various units. They can be easily modified to allow teachers to provide differentiated practice of early learning concepts to students at different stages of development while supporting the development of essential fine motor skills.
Kristen Gainer, Special Education Preschool Teacher
This Grant request if for an iPad with LAMP, a voice output app for iPad. This grant approval will provide equitable access to technology and differentiated instruction to special needs preschoolers at Mount View Elementary. It could also lead to additional funding from outside sources for student’s whose communication benefits through access to this device.
Imagine Learning Espanol!
Cynthia Kniffin, Dual Language/ELL Facilitator
This grant requests the purchase of five licenses for the Imagine Learning Espanol software program/app. The district is paying for many English intervention programs (e.g. Lexia, myOn, Imagine Learning English) but there is not much available for students in our Dual Language program who need Spanish intervention. Being able to buy these licenses would allow us to pilot this program and hopefully convince the district to sponsor more.
Providing a Voice to Non-verbal Preschoolers
Julie Mahieu, Speech-Language Pathologist
Many of our students in the Mount View developmental preschool program are unable to speak, secondary to a diagnosis of Autism, Down Syndrome, or other Developmental Delays. I am requesting assistive technology which would provide those students access to thousands of new words.
Lenny Peyton, Special Education Teacher
Inclusive education doesn’t happen overnight, but with strategic supports and accommodations, we can increase our ability to make it happen.
New Start High School
Pacific Northwest History Out of the Classroom
Lissa Gilliam, Social Studies Teacher
This grant will fund field trips for Pacific Northwest History classes, such as trips to the Duwamish Tribal Longhouse, Washington State History Museum, Museum of History and Industry, Klondike Gold Rush Park, Northwest African American History Museum, Seattle Underground Tour, and the Wing Luke Museum. Pacific Northwest History is not only a graduation requirement, but also an opportunity for students to become better informed citizens by understanding the culture, history, and challenges of the region we call home.
Ceramics Program Development at New Start
Kelsie Maney, Science, Health & Art Teacher
New Start Alternative High School is developing a new fine arts program focusing on ceramics. To accomplish this feat, teachers need more funds to purchase reusable materials and first time supplies. This grant will help New Start begin funding the ceramics program at New Start.
New Start Sails
Kelsie Maney, Science, Health, Art Teacher
New Start has a valuable tradition of sailing with interested students on a 3-day voyage into the Puget Sound. This unique experience for students is integral to work we do at New Start and inspires the learning of generations of students.
The Kehinde Wiley Tour at The Seattle Art Museum
Tamara Nedell, Language Arts Teacher
Students will take a field trip to The Seattle Art Museum to engage in an interactive tour of the Kehinde Wiley exhibit. Afterwards they will eat lunch in the Grand Hall of the Museum which is filled with statues. This experience ties in with our year long study of literature and art, particularly my assignment entitled, “Tell the Story Behind the Painting.”
North Hill Elementary
Tina Bunes, Music Teacher
The addition of 9 new drums will help me to get more students playing at a time. This will also help them learn how to play together especially when playing multiple rhythm levels at the same time.
Of Cedar and Salmon
Carol DeSilva, Teacher
Of Cedar and Salmon is a multi-media, multicultural, hands-on educational program designed to maximize student participation and involvement with the native art and cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Students will experience the sights and sounds of the Pacific Northwest Coast people as they interact and participate in a wide variety of workshops. At North Hill Ronn provides “Legacy of the Potlatch” a full 2 day program which includes activities such as museum boxes, Native games, and silk screening.
A Real Author Is Coming to School!
Sherry Edwards, Classroom Teacher, Reading
Author Jim Whiting will give a presentation to each of my three Reading classes–demonstrating that true stories can be just as fascinating as their fiction counterparts, showing how books are printed, and explaining how rough drafts can be cleverly edited in the Writing process. In addition, he gathers student writers during a working lunch who have previously submitted their work to him to give feedback about the strengths of their writing.
Pacific Middle School
In It To Win It
Kristi Greenaway Cirignano, Science Teacher/Dean of Students
In order to increase attendance we hope to be strategic and intentional about helping our students be at school and congratulating those who are here each and every day. This money will be towards things like alarm clocks to help students be at school on time, as well as to purchase incentives for individuals and classrooms with good attendance.
PE Needs Sounds
Philip Wallen, Teacher
I am trying to bring music and PE together. With portable sound systems and ipods students will be able to workout with music. Students who enjoy their workouts will go on to be active throughout their lives.
Get kids to school on time and everyday
Philip Wallen, Teacher
We have an attendance problem at Pacific. I have created a morning activity club in the gym before school and open to all. I would like to increase the number of activities available so more kids can come. Everyday I have over 100 kids show up before school to get some activities in. Active kids do better in school and if they come early, attendance will no longer be an issue.
Hands-on & Brains-on Science
Christie Brown, Teacher
Highline School District provides science kits for our use. In the Challenge program, the students often have the same teacher for several years so we need to supplement our science curriculum to provide experiences and content beyond the kits. Through utilization of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that have been adopted by our state our students will. The four Challenge teachers at Parkside are interested in purchasing books, small kits and materials for this purpose.
Sustainable Supplies for Making Music For Life
Thara Cooper, Music Teacher
Sustainability is very important to me as an educator. I have acquired good instruments for our students over the years, largely through grant opportunities and donor funding, and hope to keep these instruments safe and well-cared for with the proper stands and hardware. Similarly, investing in high-quality, durable mallets will help maintain the items we already have and prevent the need for continual replacement.
Meagan Fleming, 5th Grade Teacher
My Excel Grant proposal is for Isokinetics ball chairs for my classroom. These chairs are a ball placed on a support chair with casters, allowing kids the chance to quietly bounce or move within their seated position. I have several students with diagnosed ADD/ADHD who could benefit from use of this chair daily at his or her desk; my other students would also appreciate the chance to move around while working in class. Aside from the benefits of movement while sitting the chair actually encourages good posture, balance and core strength, as well as coordination of the whole body.
Excited About Reading!
Alecia Mabalay, Kindergarten Teacher
We make reading come to life in kindergarten. How do we do that? We do that by reading, memorizing, and acting out books the kids have “read” (memorized). If you ask any of my 27 kindergarten learners who their favorite author is, they will respond in unison “Joy Cowley”. Joy Cowley is a renowned children’s author. Although we have a ton of Joy Cowley big books (used for shared reading) majority of them are falling apart. I am requesting more big books to replace the ones we have used the last 15 years.
Puget Sound Skills Center
Jane Judd, Nursing Assistant Certified Instructor
WE DAY last year was amazing. As an instructor, the whole WE focus had a tremendous impact on our students. It enlightening me to see student reactions just in going to Seattle and being a part of a bigger thing. The constant energy in the classroom on working on our local project and global project was very exciting. I’m hoping to bring that back around this year.
Raisbeck Aviation High School
Scott McComb, Science Instructor
Living sustainably on the planet requires new thinking about sources of energy. During this project, students will take on that challenge. Working in small teams, they will research the economics, environmental implications, and engineering challenges associated with our energy sources, and will design, build, test, and refine multiple iterations of model wind turbines and gear boxes.
Tokens to Show Pride!
Emily Hathaway, Success Coach/Principal Intern
Seahurst has instituted an all-school token system where students earn tokens for academic, behavioral, student growth goals, and for doing special student jobs throughout the building. Each student has received a necklace and can earn tokens throughout the course of the school year. Teachers have received a token sheet, which is attached for your reference, indicating how each student can earn each token. This system will build intrinsic motivation, all while focusing on our growth mindset, goal setting, and reflection work this school year.
Angela Gordon, 5th Grade Teacher
100 books in the Ready-to-Go Grade 5 set for Nonfiction from Scholastic. Covers reading levels from F-Z (which is about the actual span of my class). This will help support vocabulary, comprehension and fluency in complex nonfiction text.
Getting Into the Swing of Things
Abby Hardy, ILC teacher
I am asking for a stand-alone hanging chair stand, two hanging chairs/swings, and the needed accessories. My classroom is the only ILC classroom in the building without a swing because it cannot be ceiling mounted in my room. My students need a swing in our room to provide calming sensory feedback, an opportunity to request and use language, and to reduce disruptions caused by needing to take students into other classrooms when they require the use of a swing.
Southern Heights Elementary
Integrating Literary Forms
Lana Baroudi, Sixth Grade Teacher
I would like to take my students to view an original production, Brooklyn Bridge, at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. Students will be exploring story elements such as plot, character, and theme as well as author’s point of view in literature during reading, and will be asked to compare and contrast these elements in both literary forms after the viewing. I would like students to participate in a one- hour workshop before they see the play, during which they will participate in interactive drama activities to explore the themes and characters in Brooklyn Bridge.
Getting Books in the Hands of Readers
Jennifer Matthews, Kindergarten Teacher
For this grant I am asking to get more lower level books for my classroom. Now that there are 26 kids in my class and they are suggesting 10-14 books in each book bag I don’t have close to enough for all the students. At the beginning of the year most readers are in Levels A and B. I am asking for a set of Level A fiction and nonfiction books and a set of Level B fiction and nonfiction books.
Culturally Responsive Lending Library for Southern Heights Students and Families
Andrea Smith, Principal
The Culturally Responsive Lending Library for Southern Heights Students and Families will be a small, parent/family run library in the foyer outside the office at Southern Heights. This lending library will allow for students and families to select and borrow culturally responsive text representing the cultures and vast diversity of our student population.
Engaging Our Families through Art!
Kaitlyn Spore, Educational Asst./ELL Facilitator
‘Engaging Families through Art’ is a proposal for art materials for a Family Art Night co-led by parents, community members, and the school. Our goal is to promote the arts, allowing students and family members to explore their artistic talents, create their own unique art canvas, and develop a passion and interest in art. We also aim to bring together family members and the community in a fun, welcoming event to promote positive relationships between home and school.
Becoming Authors with the “Write” Tools!
Kaia Tomokiyo, Teacher
Writing is something we do everyday, even in kindergarten! We are working on becoming authors by telling our stories through pictures, labels, and words. With this grant, I am hoping to get more supplies for my kindergarteners to use during Writer’s Workshop time. These supplies would help our workshop be a fun and engaging time and students would be able to use the best materials possible.
Sylvester Middle School
CPR Insruction with AED Trainer
Troy Ahlf, Health/PE Teacher
Train students how to use an AED in life threatening situations. 90% of all heart attack victims that a non medical person will be involved in is with someone they know or a loved one. Giving students the confidence and knowledge on how to handle this type of situation is so important and could save a life.
Alternative Seating and work area
Julie Kastien, Classroom Teacher
Provide students alternatives to traditional chairs and tables in the classroom. 3 desks to stand up at and do classwork and 4 wobble chairs to sit and do work (similar to a exercise ball but more stable). These are indented to support ADD/ADHD and other students who struggle to stay focused in a traditional seat.
Claire Waistell, Teacher
7th grade intermediate band students would love the opportunity to collaborate with a professional, community composer. Each student will create an individual mini-composition. This grant would then give us the opportunity to push our musical thinking as we collaborate to identify rhythms and melodies to gather into our whole-band piece. The grant would give us the support of a community composer to ensure our ideas develop into a piece to share with our school and families at our Spring Concert.
Technology, Engineering & Communications High School (TEC)
TRIO Students Becoming Civic Leaders
Eric Burns, Upward Bound Learning Specialist
Every March in Olympia, students from around the state of Washington gather in Olympia for the Civic Leadership Conference. The Civic Leadership Conference is an opportunity for students to become engaged with policymakers, the electoral and legislative process, and a chance to network with students and professionals. This grant would pay for the registration fees for 30 TRIO students from the Evergreen and Tyee campuses, and would support them in increasing their civic engagement.
The Residential Program at Highline Schools
Mini Science Lab for the Highline Residential Program
Karen Stringer, Inclusive Education Teacher
An Excel Grant from Highline Schools Foundation will enable me to create a mini science lab at Highline School’s Residential Program to bring science to life for our students. I will buy basic science lab supplies so that we can do hands-on investigations for years to come!
For The Love of Reading
Robert Vegar, Teacher Librarian
Well published research strongly suggests students tend to read more when they are surround by many choices of interesting reading materials in their school’s library. Positive student achievement across all academic disciplines have been linked to students who tend to visit and access a school’s well supplied library collection. With more quality reading materials published for Young Adults added to the Tyee Complex Library’s holdings catalog, it is likely that the Tyee Complex library circulation rates will increase. More interesting books will draw more students into the library.
Valley View Educational Center
Preschool Pre-Academic Grant
Andrew Hobkirk-Frerichs, Preschool Special Education Teacher
The grant will be used to purchase a set of work boxes for preschool special education. Each box teaches children discrete skill sets related to developing pre-academic learning. Children will learn colors, shapes, letters, and numbers in a clear understandable manner.
Valley View Early Learning Center Augmentative and Alternative Communication Starter Kit Expansion
Denise Permen, Speech-Language Pathologist
In 2013 I applied, and was funded for, an Augmentative and Alternative (AAC) Starter Kit through the EXCEL Grant. This Starter Kit contains a variety of basic AAC devices, and has been invaluable to our students. One thing that is missing from our AAC Starter Kit is a high-tech speech generating device. Many of our minimally verbal students are ready to begin using longer, more complex sentences, and one way for them to do that is by using technology. I am asking for funds through this grant to obtain a high-tech speech generating device in order to expand our AAC Starter Kit at Valley View.
White Center Heights Elementary
Read to Succeed
Tu Dinh, First Grade Teacher
Coming into my second year of teaching at White Center Heights Elementary, I’ve been welcomed by the tremendous amount of support by my fellow teachers and administrators. One of the most urgent things I need this year are books! Being in the Vietnamese Dual Language program, I’ve been working on getting books, both in English and Vietnamese, that are appropriate for my students. Having these leveled books in my library would greatly help all the first graders that have my classroom both in the morning and afternoon.
Andrea Gardner, 2nd Grade Teacher
A Classroom Economy is a classroom management system that allows the students to maintain order and take responsibility for governing daily operations. Every student has a job, salary, bills, and is responsible for record keeping. At the end of each month, students can shop at the classroom store or save their money for a larger purchase (pay off their desk mortgage early?!) later in the year. Overall, it is a creative way to hold students responsible while teaching them real-life skills and thought processes.
White Center Pride: Our Place in the World
Nancy Hallberg, Librarian
Students will create a GIANT 64 square foot portable community game board on canvas with student written sets of geographic/cultural questions about their place in the world.
Bringing the World to our Students
Anne Hickey, Speech and Language Pathologist
This grant proposal is written to support the sensory exploration and participation of students with special needs that represent a low incidence population. These tools will address learning needs in the areas of cognitive, communication and motor development. These tools are not readily available in the district due to their specialization.
Fine Motor Tool Kit
Karen Sticklin, Occupational Therapist
These are supplies needed to help students develop writing skills by first developing their fine motor skills.