With "amazing gratitude" the Bronxville Board of Education accepted a donation of $496,000 from the Bronxville School Foundation. The funds will support 27 grant applications submitted by faculty and administration and approved by the Foundation Board earlier in May. The grants encompass technology, professional development, cultural enrichment activities, and instructional materials and equipment.
Building on last year's Chromebook initiative, also funded by the Foundation, this year's grants will introduce more devices, including tablets and laptops, but also support the redesign of several classrooms in the Middle and High Schools. The new designs focus on organizing space around small group work and student-directed learning. There is also a professional development component to this work, training teachers to use this space in creative ways. The renovated classrooms will be phased in over the next school year.
Other grants included materials related to Singapore mathematics at the Elementary School, an "imagination playground," and enhanced classroom libraries.
After the Board approved the grants, Superintendent David Quattrone described the process of grant development as collaborative, disciplined, and effective. "We had many meetings with the grants committee to align the grant applications with district goals and to find opportunities to avoid duplication and contain costs." He said he looked forward to sharing progress reports about the various grants to the Board. Jeff Rohr, the Board's liaison with the Foundation, singled out Lisa Smith Barr for bringing a systems perspective to the process and for making a vital contribution to the process through her diligence.