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Arlington Education Foundation awards more than $155K

To broaden innovation, district planning

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Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has committed more than $155,000 in support of an Arlington Public Schools' distinct vision and strategic-planning grant, in addition to  many programs that will enhance learning at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  

An investment grant for $117,400 was awarded to the public schools for district vision and planning.  AEF, in collaboration with Envision Arlington, supports new school superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Homan, as she leads the district through a strategic planning process that will enable identification of priority initiatives over the next five years. 

This grant allows the district to retain an external facilitator to engage a diverse group of APS staff, town leaders, community members and students on the visioning process. Work on the five-year district plan will begin as early as this month.

Two development and expansion grants, in the amount of $27,795 were awarded to projects that will enhance hands-on and creative learning for students at all elementary schools and at AHS.

  • At all elementary schools, robotic BeeBots will bring hands-on and inclusive STEAM learning to students in prekindergarten, first and second grades.  Young learners will program the BeeBot to do activities in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making, such as, walking through mazes, following the life cycle of a butterfly, or mapping the steps to narrate a story. 
  • At AHS, the MakerLab equipment and curriculum will be expanded to bring greater creative opportunities to all students.  A kiln, vacuum table, electric furnace and sandblaster will be added to the new building, allowing students to create in mold-making and metal casting, as well as  jewelry and metalsmithing. 

Seven innovations in education grants, in the amount of $11,830, were awarded for projects spanning classrooms in elementary, middle, and high school.

  • At Hardy, students in fifth grade will explore Chinese and Japanese poetic traditions, and increase their appreciation of poetry with Arlington’s poet laureate.
  • At Ottoson, handheld STEAM robots will bring computer-generated art to the computer science program for seventh- and eighth-grade students.  
  • At Thompson, small pianos will be added to the music room where students will learn  to create music and use electric keyboards. 
  • At Dallin, fifth graders will work with a visiting artist to create 2D and 3D wire sculptures and learn about entrepreneurial business skills from a professional artist.
  • At Ottoson, Tchoukball will be brought to physical education classes.  In this game, that promotes problem solving and creative thinking, all students can participate at any level. 
  • At AHS, one classroom will pilot a program to enhance learning through reduced cell phone use during class time by securing cell phones in teacher-monitored pouches during class.  
  • At Stratton, Decodable Readers will provide ample practice texts with diverse and content-rich materials that align with the science of reading for students in grades 3-5.  

The Arlington Education Foundation is committed to enhancing teaching and learning in all of Arlington’s public schools.  Through charitable donations and business sponsorships, the foundation grants over $100,000 annually.  To learn more or apply for a grant, visit

Oct. 8, 2021: AEF brings community, Dr. Homan together

This news announcement was published Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021.

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