The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 25, 2010

Concord-Carlisle Parents Association awards $24,000 in grants

Through the Annual Appeal, the Concord-Carlisle Parents Association (CCPA) raises money to supplement the classroom and extra-curricular activities at Concord-Carlisle High School(CCHS) to enhance the quality of the educational experience. The committee looks for innovative ideas it can pilot for a year or two. This year, the CCPA distributed $24,000 in grants to teachers, fulfilling 44% of the grants requested.

The most innovative grant was given to the Special Education Department to purchase ten SmartPens and associated hardware for $1,551. A SmartPen looks like a fat ball point pen which includes a recording device and camera. Students write with it on a special tablet which looks like an ordinary spiral notebook. Often students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) have trouble with note-taking. This device allows students to record a lecture, write down some key notes and phrases and later re-listen to the lecture to get more details. The big advantage is that a student can write a key phrase down and the lecture will proceed from that point. The goal is to make the student more independent. If this technology proves successful, parents may want to get them for their students. The devices are used in colleges today.

The Special Education Department also received a grant of $5,310 for five Mac laptops. These will be lent out overnight to students for specific assignments. The department requested new computers with the most up-to-date software so that students would not have difficulty accessing data. Currently, there is a waiting list for nightly laptop lending.

The Science Department received several grants. One grant for $1,750, will allow the chemistry teachers to acquire a Vernier Mini Gas Chromatograph. It will be used for separating and analyzing compounds. The Earth Science teachers received a grant for $2,360 to purchase energy analysis tools. The grant will allow the department to buy a set (30 each) of P4400 Kill-A-Watt units and Raytek Minitemps. The Kill-A-Watt units measure home appliances to assess how energy-efficient they are. The Minitemps are portable infrared thermometers used to determine door, window and wall insulation and leakage. The Physics teachers received a grant for $1,542 for electrical circuit kits to further students’ understanding of electricity with hands-on activities.

CCHS Principal Peter Badalament received a grant of $4,000 to improve the 2Volunteer website. Currently, office staff has a cumbersome process to keep track of students’ community service hours. The new website will allow students to record their volunteer hours. Staff will be checking students’ input.

David Prifti of the Art Department received a grant for $2,155 which will be used for materials for the 19th Century Wet Plate Collodion Process photography classes. Materials include silver nitrate, trophy aluminum for tintypes, reference materials, and expendable items such as gloves, goggles and glass. Cuts in the school budget have caused Prifti to look to the CCPA for materials.

Al Dentino of the Music Department received a grant of $2,000 for eight clinic sessions for the CCHS String Orchestra. The sessions will be run by former Director of Music at the Lexington Public Schools, Dr. Walter Pavasaris.

Tracy Davies of the Social Studies Department will be offering a new course in the spring called Current Affairs. The grant of $600 will cover media to support the new class.

The English Department received $485, which will be used to purchase three study carrels. Currently, 15 or 16 teachers share one departmental room and one small room, which was designated for the office of the chair. The small office is currently being used as a quiet space where teachers can grade papers. With these new carrels, the room will accommodate up to five teachers instead of two.

English teacher David Nurenberg received a grant of $2,399 for being the exchange coordinator for Japan. He organizes trips between CCHS and sister schools in Japan. This year, one or two delegations will be visiting from Japan. Other departments’ coordinators are in the school budget. This position will be covered in the 2011-2012 school budget.

The Grants Committee was made up of Jeanine Calabria, Debra Hankey, Susan Mills, Barbara Bokhour, Lori Bromberg, Paula von Kleydorff and chair Sue Gladstone. Gladstone said, “We’d like to thank all the parents who donated to make this possible. We hope they will continue to contribute to the annual appeal so we can support teachers who bring innovative programs to CCHS.” ∆

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