Danville school board awards grants for teacher initiatives

November 18, 2003|HERB BROCK

Danville High School French students soon will be involved in a foreign exchange program but will not have to leave their homes. They will be taking their trip to another part of the world on the Web.

The stay-at-home exchange program is one of seven special educational projects designed by teachers that were awarded grants Monday night by the Danville Board of Education, Superintendent Bob Rowland said.

The teacher-initiative grants, each worth up to $1,000, were awarded for the following projects:

* "Virtual Exchange Program" by Margot Goodwin, French teacher at DHS. The student exchange program will be conducted entirely over the Internet between Goodwin's students and students at several high schools in France.

* "Pesos for Pasos" by Ruth Ann White, preschool teacher at Hogsett Elementary School. This will be a Spanish language and culture program in which Spanish-speaking members of the community will be guest lecturers. In her proposal, White said the project reflects the growing population of Hispanics in Danville and neighboring communities and the need to learn about their language and culture.


* "Folk Tales for Fluency" by Susie Crowder, fourth-grade teacher at Hogsett. Storytellers from the community will read folk tales to fourth-graders and have the children also read them outloud. The children, in turn, will tell the same tales to primary students, replicating the way folk lore is passed on from one group to another and from one generation to another.

* "Poetry in Motion" by Joan Haigh, language arts teacher at DHS. Students will hone their poetry-writing skills with the help of poets from the community.

* "Books in a Bag" by Laura Perry, a Jennie Rogers Elementary School teacher. Students will take home books to read with their parents.

* "Let's Hear it for Learning" by Jane Brantley, speech pathologist at Toliver Elementary School. The grant will pay for sound amplification equipment that will be used by Brantley in her work with classes and individual students.

* Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instruction will be incorporated in the health and physical education classes of Lisa Fisher at DHS.

Three nominated for Teacher of the Year

In other matters, the board was informed of three Danville teachers who have been nominated for the state Department of Education's Teacher of the Year.

The nominees are Michelle Richardson, second-grade teacher at Hogsett; Margot Goodwin, French teacher at DHS; and Patti Rowland, technology resource teacher at Hogsett.

Superintendent Rowland and the board are gearing up for the upcoming 2004 session of the General Assembly, which convenes in January. Rowland has repeatedly said that he will keep a close eye on the legislature and in close contact with area legislators as they decide how to fund education in light of continuing, large budget revenue shortfalls.

The Danville district, along with most others in the state, had to absorb two to three cuts in state funding last school year, forcing it to dip into reserves, and it may face its first cut of this school year next month, Rowland said in an interview before Monday night's meeting.

"December is when we normally receive our first budget adjustment and, based on the continuingly grim revenue picture in Frankfort, adjustment again likely will mean cut," he said.

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