2020 Ellison Education Grant Recipients

The Ellison Foundation is happy to announce the 2020 recipients of the “Ellison Education Grants”. The foundation awarded 12 grants worth $50,200.00.

Janelle Bailey – Foothills Middle School – Wenatchee School District

Project Title: “Introduction to computer science”
Foothills M.S. will introduce computer science to 6th graders during the 2020 – 2021 school year. “Computer Science for Innovators and Makers” curriculum will be taught through “Project Lead the Way”.  Washington State does not provide funding to introduce 6th graders to computer science. As a result, by providing a rigorous foundational science course earlier, more students will be exposed to STEM and experience challenging and rewarding learning opportunities. 

Steve Bovington – Chelan High School – Chelan School District

Project Title: “Creating a Design Flex Space Classroom”
Students will be introduced to the “Design Thinking Process” to help develop their 21st century skills. Students (especially low-income and ELL) will benefit greatly from the critical thinking, creativity, group problem solving, literacy, leadership skills and verbal communication skills that design projects develop. Funds will be spent on re-designing his classroom into a “space/flex” format to facilitate student success.

Gretchen Cruden – Orient Elementary School – Orient School District

Project Title: “Whole Child Learning Project”
Orient Elementary students come from backgrounds rife with “real-life” trauma. As a result, trauma continues to have a significant impact on students regarding working memory, self-regulation and attention skills. This is reflected in low pass-rates especially in mathematics. Orient Elementary will introduce teachers to “Whole Child Learning” via professional development. In addition, an investment will be made to enhance the tools available to teachers in their classrooms. With the nearest school counselor 101 miles from Orient Elementary teachers will be better equipped to guide those most in need.

Randi Freeman – Scootney Springs Elementary & Othello H.S. – Othello School District

Project Title: “Quality for Teaching English Learners”
In 2017 the Othello School District implemented QTEL (Quality for Teaching English Learners) for teachers. While most of the educators in their two schools have received basic QTEL training, they now will provide on-going in-house support. To meet this need, they’ve formed a PLC for those educators supporting teachers in their QTEL work. The school will purchase needed curriculum and provide substitute teachers in support of this effort. 

Nancy Huerena – McLoughlin Middle School – Vancouver School District

Project Title: “Free Appropriate Public education”
Nancy works with students who are the most emotionally and physically challenged in the Vancouver School District. In dealing with her high-needs students she is constantly focusing on the promise of “free and appropriate public education” and how it applies in her classroom. The grant grant allows her to give her students experiences they wouldn’t normally receive at home by creating a “sensory room” at McLoughlin M.S. 

Carrie Newton – George C. Marshall Elementary – Vancouver School District

Project Title: “Math Mania”
The students at Marshall are struggling with basic math facts. Unless a student is confident in facts, learning new concepts becomes challenging. Marshall Elementary will purchase “Reflex Math” is a highly engaging computer-based program that teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and enhances the school’s math curriculum. “Reflex Math” has been used previously on a trial basis at Marshall with great success.  

Brent Perdue – Logan Elementary School – Spokane School District

Project Title: “Trauma Informed Practices”
Complex trauma plays a major role at Logan Elementary students with a free and reduced lunch population of 90%. Supporting students whose brains are on a high state of alert is a huge challenge for staff. Twenty teachers will attend the “Beyond Paper Tigers” conference remotely this summer. The conference focuses on supporting brain development and resiliency needed to transform trauma into strength. The conference builds skills teachers need to support children and families with unique pressing needs.

Tom Robinson – Pateros High School – Pateros School District

Project Title: “Advanced Placement Statistics Program”
Pateros High School is a small rural K-12 school that traditionally has not offered on campus advanced coursework. High achieving math students must drive 40 miles to the nearest community college for college level courses. The creation of an AP Statistics class is part of a school-wide plan to retain high achieving students by offering college level courses in several subjects. 

Kim Rumley-Wells – Lewis & Clark Elementary – Wenatchee School District

Project Title: “Brain Compatible Classroom”
Students at Lewis and Clark typically begin kindergarten with limited pre-school experience and score 1 to 3 years behind “expected outcomes”. The challenge is to support students in all areas of social and academic growth to prevent school failure in future years. A “re-designed” classroom will be created to integrate more options around movement during the school day. This will create a more inviting, sensory pleasing space to support students social and emotional learning needs.

Tanya Smith – Clear Lake Elementary – Sedro Wooley School District

Project Title: “Reading Intervention for Grades 3 to 5”
Over 40% of students at Clear Lake require reading interventions beyond normal class time. English Language Learners, those with disabilities and general education students all need additional instruction when it comes to “reading to learn”. Although the school currently uses “Read Well” curriculum in 1st and 2nd grade, it is not used in 3rd through 5th grade. “Read Well 3” is designed just for these students and will be purchased to use during the 2020 – 2021 school year.

Aide Villalobos – Evergreen Elementary – Shelton School District

Project Title: “Building Capacity for Science and Math in a Bilingual School Community”
School “teacher leaders” will address issues facing several novice teachers in a large dual language program. The district currently limits professional development due to costs, substitute shortages and lack of an “on-site” bilingual coach. As a result, not all teachers have adequate knowledge, skills or confidence in their ability to teach in this challenging environment. Two “teacher leaders” will attend OSPI’s “Washington State Fellows” program for science and math during the school year. This will encourage on-site professional development will take place throughout the year.

Judy Vivanco – Madison Elementary

Project Title: “First Grade Biliteracy Units”
Students come from different backgrounds and school experiences when it comes to academic achievement, language and socio-economic needs. Madison Elementary is a K-5 dual language school. They want to provide students with authentic learning experiences that deepen their understanding of social studies and science in both English and Spanish. They want to ensure all students feel represented by purchasing relevant materials to be used in all 1st grade classrooms.