Institute for Learning Partnership awards grants to Northeast Wisconsin educators

GREEN BAY — The Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has awarded nine grants to area educators to improve teaching and learning in Northeastern Wisconsin schools.

The grants were available to educators in Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) districts 7 and 8. Awards up to $7,500 were available for projects that explored effective approaches to closing achievement gaps between students.

Grant recipients, their schools/school districts and their projects include:
(Name, school district, project title, amount of grant, description of project)

Maureen Schiefelbein, Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine School District, Building Partnerships for School Improvement, $7,500.
The grantees will implement a staff development program to support a comprehensive design for continuous school improvement. The grantees will host a summer institute to build partnerships with the surrounding school districts of Northeast Wisconsin.

• Judy Munsey and Kirk Knutson, Gibraltar Area School District, Differentiated Learning, $7,492.
The project will focus on professional development that is continuous, school based, job embedded, supported and involves teachers and principals in the identification and design of learning experiences.

• Tammy Vann, Baird Elementary School, Green Bay Area Public School District, Closing the Achievement Gap in Math Through the Use of Differentiated Take-Home Math Bags, $2,968.
By using math take-home bags, third, fourth, and fifth grade English Language Learners (ELL) will better utilize at-home time to practice and master secure skills as outlined by the curriculum. Students will also master their basic math computational skills and experience the integration of literature in mathematics. Through additional practice and meeting the needs of underachieving ELL students, students will work to master their skills and help close the achievement gap.

Linda Kadingo, Green Bay West High School, Green Bay Area Public School District, Bridging the Achievement Gap Through Technology, $4,593.
This proposal requests funding for technology and manipulatives to support a new, more rigorous math curriculum adoption in Green Bay Area Public Schools. Both the technology and the manipulatives provide options for teachers in terms of teaching strategies and adapting lessons for the various learning styles of students. The ability to vary teaching strategies and give the students the opportunity to learn in a hands-on manner reaches a broad base of students, directly impacting the achievement gap. All strategies and lesson adaptations used with these items will be easily replicated and freely shared both within the four Green Bay high schools and with other districts.

• Shirley Paulson, Green Bay Area Public School District, AVID Algebra Readiness Project, $5,320.
This project seeks to increase seventh grade AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students’ readiness for the “gatekeeper” course of Algebra 1. College students, in collaboration with district staff, will administer a pre-assessment and create interventions based on needs identified by the pre-assessment. The college students will work with small groups of AVID students matching intervention to area of weakness and then administer a post-assessment to determine which interventions were most effective.

• Amanda Gay, Meadowbrook Elementary School, Howard-Suamico School District, Increasing Literacy Proficiency Through Student-Driven Centers, $1,500.
Through this opportunity of collaborative action research, the first grade team will increase the literacy achievement of all students in the first grade by designing and implementing a structure for student-driven, independent literacy centers that engage all students in meaningful reading and writing activities instead of a teacher-driven model that is currently being used. To help accomplish this goal, the first grade team will increase professional resources available to help pursue the best practices when it comes to independent learning and literacy development. The grant will also increase students’ available learning resources to help guide and motivate students in their independent literacy learning.

Melissa Harley and Rebecca Hubler, Oconto Elementary School, Oconto Unified School District, Creating a 21st Century Classroom. $4,973.
Creating a 21st Century Classroom by using technology resources will engage kindergarten students to work on 21st century skills. These skills are a support system that will help produce positive outcomes for today’s students to help close the achievement gap. Students will be more engaged, motivated and excited about lessons. They will be able to interact with technology while working on cross-curricular skills.

• Linda Gantz, Lannoye Elementary School, Pulaski Community School District, Success for Each: Increasing Math Achievement (3-5), $2,520.
The grant will help to develop a progress monitoring and intervention plan for students targeted for remedial instruction in math. Teachers will investigate, select and implement progress monitoring tools and math interventions targeted to improve students’ achievement in math. Teachers will be trained in math interventions matched to the specific skill deficits of their struggling students. Progress monitoring tools will be used to monitor student progress and determine the impact of the interventions. The goal is to see increased math achievement with the students involved in the intervention programs. The district will analyze the data at the end of each intervention period to determine if goals are met.

Kelley Swartz, Southern Door High School, Southern Door County School District, Freshmen Transition Summer Program, $2,100.
This project will develop a freshmen transition summer program to help students with the transition from middle school to high school that targets students that have displayed academic concerns.

The Institute for Learning Partnership at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay enhances professional development for educators to improve academic achievement for all learners. The Institute brings together educators from K-12 area school districts, universities, colleges, businesses and local community leaders with the expressed purpose of improved learning for all in grades PK-16. For more information see