Foundation Donates Thousands for Norris Teachers' Innovative Classroom Projects

Foundation Donates Thousands for Norris Teachers' Innovative Classroom Projects

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Norris Education Foundation has taken action to provide Norris teachers with thousands of dollars in support to purchase equipment and learning software to enhance their classrooms. The Foundation acted on numerous SEED grant applications submitted by Norris teachers at its September meeting. The SEED (Supporting Norris Excellence in Education through Donations) program has been in existence for years at Norris and is one means by which the Foundation has offered support “to help Norris continue to be one of the best schools in the state of Nebraska.”

SEED money was awarded to a range of deserving projects, including a “No Red Ink” interactive grammar instruction software program for the high school English department. English Department Chair Nicole Boon expressed the team’s gratitude for the support, noting “No Red Ink allows us to assign grammar topics so that important information is not missed, but we are also able to engage students and individualize instruction. We, as teachers, are excited about the possibilities this program will bring to improving each student’s potential in writing.”

English teacher Janelle Coady added, “NoRedInk provides adaptive, differentiated instruction. This means the site can adjust questions based on individual students’ needs. When learners get stuck, NoRedInk shows students a lesson to help them correct mistakes and keep going. NoRedInk is a fantastic resource to help our young scholars!”

High School Science benefited from SEED funds to acquire multiple precision balances. Science teacher Katy Dornbos noted "The science department will put these high precision balances to frequent, immediate, and long-lasting use. Consistently, 75% of the junior class chooses to take chemistry, and the entire freshman class takes physical science. This equipment will be used by our current population, and students in years to come.  These balances are the type used in a college laboratory, thus giving Norris students a college-preparatory experience.  We are grateful to the Norris Education Foundation Board for supporting science education."

Elementary Art teacher Ben Lueders was the recipient of two Chromebooks for his classroom, emphasizing that, “The Chromebooks will have multiple uses that will be age appropriate for all K-2 classes. The students can use the Chromebooks in many ways to help develop their creativity and imagination, a primary goal of the elementary Art education.”

Several teachers also received monetary support to acquire a Mimio, a technology item that takes a standard classroom whiteboard and converts it into a “smart board” to increase student interaction and engagement. The use of these at Norris was first piloted by kindergarten teacher Sandy Delzell for the Reading Street curriculum.

One of the recipients of a classroom Mimio, Elementary teacher Mila Wilcox, said, “I am extremely thankful to the Norris Foundation for enabling me to take a new step forward in the use of technology in my classroom.  I am excited to see what can be done with the Mimio, and confident the interactive nature of this device will bring new learning to life for my students!

The Norris Education Foundation strives to enrich and extend upon the learning opportunities for Norris students through scholarships and support for Norris teachers and students, such as the SEED program.

The Foundation is actively seeking SEED funds to provide crucial support to teachers’ innovative ideas that are outside the scope of the traditional classroom budget. The SEED fund needs the help of Norris patrons to continue to grow great classroom projects and ideas. To give to the Norris Education Foundation SEED fund to support innovative classroom projects and ingenious instructional ideas, send a check to the Norris Education Foundation, ℅ Norris Schools, 25211 So. 68th St. Firth, NE 68358. Donations are tax-deductible and the Foundation will send a gift acknowledgment letter. Note “SEED” on memo line.