2015 Carlson Event highlights 20 years
of Foundation Funding
On January 29, 2015, a group of approximately 80 District 36 parents gathered at the home of Kirsten and John Halston to hear about some of the specific applications of Foundation funds. Co-Chairs Jenny Keller and Susan Wigdale kicked off the event with introductions and a brief history of the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, emphasizing that in the past 20 years, WPSF has used donations to fund $4.2 million in curricular and extra-curricular grants for the District's five schools. Superintendent Trisha Kocanda and Curriculum Director Alison Hawley then took the floor to introduce teachers who are currently using grants in their classrooms to benefit the students of District 36.
First, Skokie School Resource teacher Kathy McDonough detailed the technology innovations (cameras, music, green screens, 3-D printers, etc.) she's used over the past 17 years in her classroom. These circuits, printers, iPods, and robotic components have fueled students imaginations and facilitated collaboration in their work on technology. Ms. McDonough then showed videos and pictures so that parents were able to see 5th and 6th grade students engage in activities that encourage exploration in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics or "STEAM" disciplines.
Following Kathy's remarks, Washburne Science Teachers Emily Berna, Katie Nelson, John Pappas and Jesse Semeyn presented their "Flipped Classroom" project. Through this Foundation-funded program, the Washburne Science curriculum allows students to watch teacher-created video lectures outside of school and complete lecture-related experiments in the classroom. This gives students an opportunity to learn independently, while teachers have more interaction in the classroom with individual students and small groups. Washburne teacher Katie Nelson was able to demonstrate the benefits of this program with a slide show which showed 7th and 8th graders using this program to master essential science building blocks while receiving targeted and individualized instruction from teachers.
The Carlson Event was a great success and parents walked away with a much clearer understanding of what the Foundation does and where their money is going. Many thanks to all who attended and participated in this informational and fun event!