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Archive for the ‘Grant Services’ Category

Lake County teachers secured more than $150,000 in grant funding for classroom or school-based projects during the 2013-2014 school year and the Grant Services Department recently recognized some of the top grant winners.

Mighty Pen award winners included (left to right) Kellyann Goring, Andrea Bonvento, Lori Westphal, Virginia Schoenthaler, Ed Anderson and Charles Minyard.

Mighty Pen award winners included (left to right) Kellyann Goring, Andrea Bonvento, Lori Westphal, Virginia Schoenthaler, Ed Anderson and Charles Minyard.

The Grant Services Department annual Mighty Pen awards are divided into three tiers with dollar amounts varying each year based on grants received. The “Big Bucks” award goes to the person with the most funding acquired. The “Super-Achiever” award belongs to the second tier of outstanding grantees. The “Grant Go-Getter” award recognizes the third tier of outstanding grant production. Typically three to seven awards are given each year. Recipients received trophies and gift cards sponsored by the Educational Foundation of Lake County. Recipients included:

GRANT GO-GETTER

    • Edwin Anderson, Seminole Springs Elementary
    • Andrea Bonvento, Astatula Elementary
    • Kellyann Goring, Astatula Elementary

SUPER ACHIEVER

 

    • Charles Minyard, Umatilla High
    • Lori Westphal, Astatula Elementary

BIG BUCKS

 

  • Virginia Schoenthaler, Cypress Ridge Elementary

“These teachers have brought in many, many dollars for their schools,” said Liz Hobert, Coordinator of Special Projects. “Each school has a liaison between the Grant Services Department and the school. This person shares grant-getting possibilities with their teachers and encourages them. Astatula Elementary has brought in over $20,000 in grant awards.”

To honor this excellence in school wide participation in grant activities, the Grant Services Department created a new award this year to recognize the “LINK” who does an outstanding job of grant coordination and total amount of grants received. The LINK award this year went to Lori Westphal from Astatula Elementary.

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Lake County Schools received notice last week that it has been selected to receive a $100,000 planning grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and present its design for a full-scale personalized learning system.

The School District will use the Next Generation Systems Initiative grant to work from October through January to develop an innovative instructional delivery system that could scale up to include all schools by 2025.

“I am pleased to announce Lake County Schools has received this grant to plan for personalized learning across the District,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our District — to plan for a new way of teaching and learning that will better prepare students to be college and career ready.”

The goal of this new planning grant is to create personalized learning for all students will include technology delivery within classrooms to provide very specific learning designed to meet the academic needs of each student. The District will be working with an experienced consulting group to design the system and build the capacity to improve delivery of instruction on this large scale.

The University of Central Florida will be a key development partner. A working group of experienced professionals representing teachers, principals and administrators will create the foundational plan for personalized learning. In January the plan will be presented to the Gates Foundation with the potential of receiving additional funding for long-term implementation.

The Next Generation Systems grant will coordinate with the EngageLCS initiative by expanding on Personalized Learning. Through the $1.2 million EngageLCS project, also supported by the Gates Foundation, Lake County Schools is evaluating the best use of its existing financial resources to ensure students continue to get a great education. This is an unprecedented measure for Lake County Schools — significantly improving student outcomes without a large increase in new money. By reallocating resources, the School District is looking to increase student achievement by focusing on four instructional priorities:

  • Compensation & staffing — Create a talent development pipeline for teachers and leaders.
  • Professional development — Implement an instructional coaching framework for teacher and principal induction and District instructional coaches
  • Technology — Establish personalized learning through digital support for teacher/leader professional development and student instructional delivery
  • Teaching & Learning — Implement an innovation process to initiate and extend promising initiatives.

To learn more about EngageLCS, log on to http://engageLCS.mindmixer.com.

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, the first release of data comparing Lake County Schools resource use to other school districts from across the nation may eclipse the word count of an encyclopedia set.

“Now the really hard work begins,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “Please take the time to review this data and become engaged on how Lake County Schools can strategically align resources to increase student achievement.”

To the extent possible, the data is offered without interpretation. The comparison district data shared does not represent a goal, but rather a general indicator for understanding how Lake County Schools currently uses its assets. The data shared is the first of two sets that are part of the ongoing EngageLCS resource alignment work. Some summary findings from the first data set includes: 81 percent of the District’s spending is on staff (salary and benefits); percent of budget spent on professional development is higher than comparison districts; and Lake County Schools’ compensation is lower than comparison districts for most positions, including teachers.

“The data provides a starting point of how we can begin to transform teaching and learning for Lake County Schools,” Moxley said. “With this information we can take the first steps toward developing ideas to better align our resources to meet the needs of students. A critical part of EngageLCS is being transparent in providing information, but also getting your feedback and ideas on the information that is shared.”

EngageLCS is a $1.2 million project supported by a national grant. The goal of the grant is to increase student achievement by better aligning resources to Lake County Schools’ four instructional priorities:

  • Compensation & staffing — Create a talent development pipeline for teachers and leaders.
  • Professional development — Implement an instructional coaching framework for teacher and principal induction and District instructional coaches
  • Technology — Establish personalized learning through digital support for teacher/leader professional development and student instructional delivery
  • Teaching & Learning — Implement an innovation process to initiate and extend promising initiatives.

To view what ideas are being shared and to submit your own ideas, log on to http://engageLCS.mindmixer.com.

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What do robots, healthy eating, databases and competitive grants have in common? It’s the areas of expertise for recent honorees of the Superintendent’s Achievement Award at Lake County Schools.

CAROL BREWER, LIZ HOBERT, HARRIS JACOBS & BART NASH

CAROL BREWER, LIZ HOBERT, HARRIS JACOBS & BART NASH

The annual award recognizes employees who have shown meritorious achievement that exceeds well above and beyond expectations, and which is supported by evidence of noteworthy accomplishments and measurable performance results. This year’s four recipients of the Superintendent’s Achievement Award include:

  • CAROL BREWER, Cafeteria Manager at Triangle Elementary – She was nominated by Principal Kathy Billar who wrote in a recommendation letter, “She fulfills her regular daily duties as manager in an excellent fashion, but she also looks at our school as a whole and finds wonderful ways to supplement whenever there are needs.” Some of her accomplishments include: implementing a daily breakfast for students; adding a salad bar at lunchtime twice week; supplying fresh vegetables to the salad bar by starting hydroponic garden towers; and teaming up with school staff to host a Triangle Health and Fitness Night. Brewer is also a tireless fundraiser by writing grants to help fund special initiatives. In the past several years, she successfully secured more than $35,000 in grants, including a pouch recycling program that has raised $3,600.
  • LIZ HOBERT, Administrative Coordinator of Grant Services Department – Like so many of the previous honorees of the Superintendent’s Achievement Award, Hobert wears many hats for the District. In addition to managing grant services, she is project manager for the Race to the Top grant and worked tirelessly to secure grant funding for the District’s new EngageLCS initiative. “The ability to multi-task and provide collaborative work groups technical assistance is truly an outstanding characteristic displayed daily by Ms. Hobert,” wrote Hugh Hattabaugh, Chief Academic Officer for Lake County Schools, in a recommendation letter. He continued, “Ms. Hobert uses her skills and experience to enhance the quality of education for all children in Lake County Schools. Liz effectively works with various teams, acquires necessary grant funding to support district initiatives, and wisely allocates resources to impact learning through effective leadership and innovative programs.
  • HARRIS JACOBS, Information Services Manager at Information Technology Department – This past school year Jacobs has come to the aid of the Student Services Department by developing an automated notification system for school personnel and teachers that alerted them of changes to student health care plans. In addition, Jacobs forfeited leave to assist the Students Services Department with transmitting important data to the state, which had hit a snag due to technical issues at the state level. He was nominated by Jan Tobias, Director of Student Services Department. She wrote in a recommendation letter, “Not only does Mr. Jacobs have extensive knowledge of technology, his listening and problem-solving skills along with the ability to apply the technology to solve real-world problems are exceptional.”
  • BART NASH, Technology Teacher at Carver Middle School – His nickname, “Mr. Roboto,” only begins to tell the amazing accomplishments of Mr. Nash and his students. During the 2011-2012 school year, two of the middle schools qualified for the VEX Robotics world championships in Anaheim, Calif. The first team won the design award at the ESPN Disney All-Star challenge with 50 teams competing from all over the United States and some international teams. The second team qualified by winning the excellence award, which is the highest honor in robotics at the Central Florida Tournament, a 46-team tournament hosted at Carver Middle. “The topper to the whole trip was the students secretly wrote an essay to nominate me for VEX Robotics World Teacher of Year, and on the second day of the three day competition in front of 10,000 people, one of the Carver Middle students read his essay, as I was presented with the award,” Nash wrote in a letter.

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For the ninth consecutive year, the Grant Services Department at Lake County Schools is proud to announce the annual winners of the Mighty Pen Awards.

The Grant Services Department of Lake County Schools recently recognized its 2013 Mighty PEN (Proposals Easing Needs) Award winners. Many teachers throughout the District apply for grant funding for classroom or school-based projects. In an effort to recognize these efforts, the Grants Services Department initiated the Mighty PEN Awards in 2006.

The Mighty PEN Awards are divided into three tiers with dollar amounts varying each year based on grants received. The “Big Bucks” award goes to the person with the most funding acquired. The “Super-Achiever” award belongs to the second tier of outstanding grantees. The “Grant Go-Getter” award recognizes the third tier of outstanding grant production. Typically three to seven awards are given each year.

Recipients were surprised with trophies and gift cards sponsored by the Educational Foundation of Lake County. The “Big Bucks Award” went to Charles Minyard at Umatilla High. The “Super Achiever Award” went to Cindy Bellamy at Mount Dora High. The “Grant Go-Getter Awards” went to Mary Baker at Eustis Heights Elementary, Jennifer Kaye Lykins at Clermont Elementary, Rachel McGhee at Eustis Middle and Kevin Von Maxey & Michelle Metheny at Tavares Middle.

This school year more than 110 teachers wrote and submitted winning proposals to external funders, bringing in about $95,000 to support innovative projects for classrooms.

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Four months of diligent planning, meeting, strategizing and grant writing came to fruitful close today as the Lake County School Board approved grant funding that enables the School District to proceed with its EngageLCS initiative.

The goal of the initiative is to align resources to maximize student success. A three-year strategic finance plan will help guide the initiative as instructional priorities will be planned farther in advance. EngageLCS will increase the ability of Lake County Schools to spend money smarter — so that every dollar is being used to support the community’s educational vision and priorities.

In addition to developing a three-year strategic finance plan, the District is partnering with Boston Consulting Group for 18 months to build capability in the District to update the plan annually and to increase six critical capacities: Measuring initiative cost and return on investment; Specialized analytics (primary areas: financial projections and school scheduling); Effective prioritization and strategic decision-making; Building a resource alignment culture; Project management; and Communication.

Lake County was one of four school districts chosen for the $840,000 grant. In all, seven school districts from across the United States were invited to submit grant applications.

“I am pleased to announce the Lake County School District has been awarded the grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to make the best use of existing financial resources to ensure our students continue to get a great education,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “This is an unprecedented measure for Lake County Schools — significantly improving student outcomes without a large increase in new money.”

To guide the EngageLCS initiative, Lake County Schools has developed a Theory of Action: “Aligning resources to develop highly effective teachers and leaders and support key student initiatives will advance the goal of developing ‘C2 Ready’ students.” (C2 refers to students that are prepared for college or a career). Instructional priorities outlined in the grant application include:

  • Compensation & staffing — Create a talent development pipeline for teachers and leaders.
  • Professional development — Implement an instructional coaching framework for teacher and principal induction and District instructional coaches
  • Technology — Establish personalized learning through digital support for teacher/leader professional development and student instructional delivery
  • Teaching & Learning — Implement an innovation process to initiate and extend promising initiatives.

The effort to have continual, transparent communication that is two-way is vital to the EngageLCS initiative. It is important all stakeholders are well informed so they can be active participants in the decision-making process of how Lake County Schools supports instructional priorities. Through EngageLCS online magazine (available to view at http://www.lake.k12.fl.us), it is the District’s hope the information provided will supplement a host of electronic communication efforts, including, information available on the District’s website (www.lake.k12.fl.us), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/lakeschools), Twitter account (@LakeSchools) and WordPress blog (www.lakecountyschools.wordpress.com). In addition, information will be regularly shared in staff briefings, school advisory council meetings, and School Board workshops and meetings.

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Homeless students at Lake County Schools will have greater opportunities to learn thanks to a recent grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The Foundation recently awarded Lake County Schools with more than $14,500 to purchase laptops that will be loaned to homeless unaccompanied youth who will be high school juniors during the 2013-2014 school year.

The term “unaccompanied youth” includes youth in homeless situations who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. Lake County has the fourth largest homeless student population in Florida.

“Homeless youth face many challenges, and this project will allow them to be part of the district’s new Bring Your Own Device initiative, boosting their academic achievement and helping them to graduate high school and move on to careers or post-secondary education opportunities,” said Jan Tobias, Director of the Student Services Department at Lake County Schools.

Kristin McCall and Kathy Entler of the Student Services Department led the visioning and planning for this grant and submitted it with the support of the Grants Services Department.

Participating students will receive the guidance and support they need to achieve success from McCall and Entler, who will also serve as the project managers and coordinate the program. They will work with students to track credits, attendance and achievement. Those students selected to participate and remain in the program will be required to maintain specific academic standards.

The homeless students will benefit both by being afforded equal opportunity for higher achievement and by believing that they can graduate from high school and have the same career and college opportunities as other students. The community will also benefit as students become graduates and attend local colleges and technical centers and obtain employment.

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