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2019-20  Major Grants

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Touch IT Boards

HS | MacDonald

This grant is for an interactive Touch IT board which will allow students to use more technology in math classrooms. Mr. MacDonald is working to incorporate more technology into math classrooms to better prepare our students for changes in jobs after school. Mr. MacDonald shared that the possibilities of what this interactive board can do are endless. Students can use their fingers to draw and interact with content, they can project their work from their devices, the class can use the board to annotate over websites, powerpoints, etc., they can project document cameras, save photos from the document camera and more!


Multilingual Library

Boutwell | Conway

Boutwell was awarded this grant to create a multilingual library of children's books available for use in the classroom and homes of the students.  The aim of this grant is to improve the cultural sustainability of the school environment and practices. This grant promotes cultural awareness and biliteracy. In addition to the children book, Boutwell will purchase professional development books for staff members in order to support this initiative.  Boutwell's preschool is diverse with 1 out of 5 families speaking a language other than English as their primary language and over 11 different languages represented in the 2019-2020 school year.   Since inception this year, families have already donated additional language books to the library!


Digital Equity

MS | O'Neill

This grant provided 24 Nooks to enhance and enrich reading experiences for all MS learners, using multiple means representation and engagement.   Nooks loaded with interesting and engaging reading material are available to borrow for classroom or individual use.


Sustainable Living

HS | Gounis, McHugh

This grant is for 50 students in Spring 2020 to engage in a project-based senior experience to learn about the concept and importance of sustainability, the production and preservation of food using sustainable practices, and ways in which these practices can be implemented in their lives and communities.  Their students will learn critical problem solving and teamwork skills that they will carry with them after graduation. With climate change and sustainability being a big part of the national conversation in recent years, students will see what they can do at the community level and be introduced to local programs and farms. This course will result in the creation of a community garden on the high school campus, as well as various campus beautification projects and the implementation of other sustainable programs. This program will be shared with the Groton and Dunstable Communities for years to come.


Civics Picture Books

FR, SU | 1st Grade Teams

The Grade 1 team at Florence-Roche will lead the implementation of “Teaching Civics Through Picture Books.” The grant is targeted for K-2 teachers and students as educational supports to teach these crucial standards. This grant supports the critical importance of civics education starting at a young age in schools today. Given exposure to the civics curriculum, through these picture books, students will work to become civic-minded when establishing rules and routines, increasing expected social interactions, and become reflective of their own learning and actions while being inclusive of their classmates.


Mariposa Museum Visit

MS | Tyler

Representatives from the Mariposa Museum in Peterborough, NH, visited the Middle School in November 2019 to teach 5th graders about the Day of the Dead. Students each got to make their own sugar skull! Approximately 200 students benefited from this grant. 

2019-20 Mini Grants

NCTE 2019 Convention

MS | Patenaude & HS | Wilkins

This grant was to sponsor Ms. Patenaude's and Mr. Wilkins' attendance at the National Council of Teachers of English convention in November.

Exporing the Graphic Novel as a Genre in Dystopian Fiction

HS | Adams

This grant's goal was to find another means of examining an author's use of literary techniques in a manner that offers options that allows for student choice. Coupled with the standard dystopian novels of the unit, 1984 and Brave New World, this text, V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, will aid students to examine the key components to the creation and administration of these broken societies and allow for reflection on their own civic awareness and research into their own local, state, and federal governments. Additionally, the graphic novel provides an additional means for students to access the curriculum and work towards meeting the Author Craft and Structure component of the Reading Literature Standards.

"Speak" - Books for a Pilot ELA class

HS | Wilkins

GDEF provided class sets of the book “Speak” for the piloting of two exciting new classes in 19-20. Open Honors English 9 is an unleveled ELA class that gives every student access to a rich and challenging curriculum while offering those students who wish to challenge themselves further in both depth and breadth the opportunity to take the class for Honors credit. The Literacy Workshop is a course designed to offer support in essential and fundamental areas of reading and writing for those students who need more focused attention in order to meet standards at their grade level. Both of these classes have developed out of district Universal Design for Learning initiatives, oriented toward providing and supporting access to the full curriculum for all students.


“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the most taught books in high schools across the With a high school freshman female protagonist, a plot full of relatable and contemporary subject matter, and a high level of accessibility and engagement for young readers,” Speak” is the perfect way to have students explore what voice is and how and why to use it.


All | Leonard

The Groton-Dunstable Special Education Parent Advisory Council is planning a screening of the award-winning film Intelligent Lives by Dan Habib. Dan Habib is a filmmaker at the Institute on Disability at UNH and has won awards for multiple documentary films. The film explores the lives of three young adults with Intellectual Disabilities, following them as they navigate the transitions between high school, college, and the workforce. Each of their stories serves as a powerful reminder that limiting our expectations based on intelligence scores is a big mistake. The film is narrated by Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper whose son was born with cerebral palsy.

Reading Plus

HS | Cook & Black

This grant is to pilot a computer-assisted reading program called Reading Plus.  Ms. Cook and Ms. Black want to see if this program will help improve reading comprehension and reading rate for struggling readers. The program is adaptive, so it learns and changes based on each student's progress. It is also designed to meet the interests of HS students.

Whiteboard Tables

FR | Johnson

This grant helped to create a physical space that meets the needs of all of Ms. Johnson's learners!  She wants to promote inclusion, small group instruction, universally-designed instruction, a classroom culture that fosters responsible and independent thinkers, social-emotional learning, community-building, academic and social-emotional successes for the whole child using resources that work for them.  

Ancient Civilizations

SU | Wynn

GDEF has approved Sue Wynn’s request for a mini-grant to fund a 24-lecture course offered through Great Courses called “Ancient Civilizations of North America”. This will supplement and support the amazing work she is doing to fully implement the new 2018 History and Social Studies Frameworks.

Prosecuting Evil

HS | Reynolds

This grant provided funding for 4 in-school screenings and a copy to keep of the film: Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz. In light of an increasingly contentious political climate, rising anti-Semitic crime rates that continue to break records in Massachusetts for two years running it is important that we equip our future leaders with both inspiring messages and reliable indicators from the past. This film does both, aligning with the district, high school, and GDEF mission statements seamlessly.

Snow Shoeing at Recess!

FR | Cahill

The goal of this project is to introduce snow-shoeing as a winter activity and alternative to the playground in winter months. 

Ashfall Fossil Beds Virtual Field Trip

SU | Jankowski & Wynn

This grant is for a 30-minute program using high-quality video conferencing (Zoom) to bring students from all over the world to the Ashfall Fossil Beds. In the fall of 2019, GDRSD adopted Mystery Science as the primary science curriculum for grade 4. The anchor phenomenon for the Rock Cycle and Earth’s Processes unit is the skeletons
found at the Ashfall Fossil Beds located in Nebraska. Connecting curriculum to real-life examples heightens student engagement. Students loved the mysteries of this unit and were excited to uncover clues that resulted in them understanding what happened to the baby rhinos and other animals uncovered at the Ashfall Fossil Beds. This virtual field trip is the perfect culminating activity to bring the mystery to life.

Thinker Analytics

HS | Butler

This grant supported professional development for ELA and history faculty run by ThinkerAnalytix.  ThinkerAnalytix uses argument maps to examine and discuss controversial ethical questions in fields such as politics, biology and computer science. TA also develops practical strategies to implement materials for classrooms.

Robotomies Sponsorship

HS | Rocheleau

This sponsorship for Robotomies's, Groton-Dunstable's FIRST Robotics team, participation in the FIRST competition. The Robotomies goal is to design and build a robot capable of competing in our
two regularly scheduled competitions well enough to qualify for district championships again

Math Magic

SU | Winn

Magician Chris Herrick virtually taught 56 students magic tricks and the math behind the tricks.   Chris included tricks where students could use math to fool their audience into believing that they can read minds! 

Virtual Mad Science

FR | Taylor

This grant paid for Mad Science of North Boston's "Secret Agent Lab" program.  This program and was performed via Zoom across  5 kindergarten classrooms.

Outback Ray's Amazing Animal Show

FR | Taylor Lanctot

Via Zoom, students we able to experience an up close and virtual learning experience with exotic animals! 

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