Creating Possible
April 2014  

Sold Out Casino Night a Big Success


Thanks to all who attended our annual Casino Night on March 15th at the Elk's Club. This sold out event raised over $100,000 for SEF grants in our public schools.  


As in past years, SEF donors brought lots of energy and enthusiasm to this evening of music, gambling and bidding on donated gift packages. Auction items included sports tickets and memorabilia, an outdoor movie party, cocktail parties, golf outings, and fine wines.  Event co-chairs, Victoria Carrigan and Aimee Messer along with their committee, put together a very special evening for parents of students from each school in the district to come together to celebrate and support a great cause. 

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iPad Initiative Off to a Great Start


The iPad pilot has met with an enthusiastic response from teachers, students and parents.  Thanks to an SEF grant of $139,000, all 329 sixth graders at the LCJ Summit Middle School received personal iPads in February of this year.  The distribution of the devices followed several months of training and support for the sixth grade instructional team to prepare for the launch. 


Early feedback from teachers, students and parents has been encouraging.  Students are using software and apps at school and at home to view tutorials and videos, work with peers, create presentations, annotate notes, and check assignments. The use of the iPads as an instructional tool has created a more student-centered and collaborative learning process, and they are also enabling teachers to provide differentiated instruction more effectively. 


"We're only two months in, but the iPads have already fundamentally changed the way we deliver education," says sixth grade team leader Deborah Schwarzmann.  She reports that teachers are 'pushing' curriculum content and assignment options to students using the devices. 


According to team leader Bridgette Moore, the iPads are paving the way for more personalized teaching and learning. "It's exciting to see students downloading, using and sharing apps that work specifically for their learning style," says Moore.  "With the iPads, I can put a range of content on the devices instantaneously.  Students who need extra support, as well as those who are ready to delve deeper into topics, have the tools to guide them at their fingertips.  And I can use valuable classroom time to teach and reinforce concepts and provide direct feedback."


Doug Orr, District Supervisor of Technology, reports that the integration of the devices into the classroom has been seamless. "The students understand that they've been issued a powerful learning tool, and have shown great responsibility in using and caring for the devices," reports Orr.  "As electronic devices become more pervasive in our students' lives, it becomes critical to help them apply technology to meet educational goals." 


All iPads will be returned to the district at the end of the school year, and the students will be reissued their personalized device again in the fall as they begin seventh grade.  The LCJSMS seventh grade team is already at work preparing to incorporate iPads into the curriculum for next year.  

Spring Cycle Grant Proposals Received


Our spring grants cycle deadline was March 15th and SEF received 45 proposals, for a total of more than $575,000 in requested funds, for consideration.  The Grants Committee will be meeting over the next month to review proposals and recommend funding levels.  Stay tuned for our May grants announcement.


Thank you for your generous support. 

Together, we can make possible a reality