We are extremely pleased to announce the 2020 grant award winners for the 2020-2021 school year! This year we are awarding 12 grants totaling over $46,000 and we are excited to share the details of the grants below and in the video above.
Ordinarily we present the grants at the May School Board meeting, but with this year’s meeting a virtual affair we decided to record a video and share that with the board and on our website on the same evening. We miss presenting the big checks to the staff and school board!
Grant funding is specifically intended for projects above and beyond those typically funded by the district and schools’ budgets, PTA/PTO, Boosters and other existing Wayzata district and school resources. The grants must also align with the district’s strategic roadmap and its four strategic directions of achievement; each and every; personalization; and health and well-being.
Since our inception in 2003, we have distributed grant funds totaling more than $350,000 and are the only organization that raises private funds for innovative teaching for the entire school district. Teachers and staff submit grant applications from August through December each year and we award the grants the following Spring.
The 2020-2021 Wayzata Education Fund grants will impact thousands of students of all ages, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and physical and mental abilities from across the Wayzata School District.
The 12 projects receiving 2020-2021 funding from the Wayzata Education Fund include:
- Paws on Books, a book lending program through which each outgoing second grader will receive six books to bring home for the summer to reduce summer reading slide at Greenwood Elementary, thanks to teacher Ginny Adams
- Upgraded, easy-to-use, polar heart rate monitors for middle school students during physical education to encourage healthy habits at West Middle School, thanks to teacher Michael Brindise
- 3D printers for fourth grade students and beyond, in order to refine their creativity and engineering skills at North Woods Elementary, thanks to teacher Lisa Carlson.
- A decal printer that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration between ceramics and graphic design, allowing students to create one-of-a-kind art products at Wayzata High School, thanks to teacher Emma Carroll.
- CoSpaces that allow students to create virtual reality spaces with merge cubes for sixth grade students at all middle schools, thanks to teachers Robyn Chrast and Steve Newman.
- Sun lamps in Austism Spectrum Disorder classrooms to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder for students at Wayzata High School, thanks to teachers Renee Heiland and Nicole Delorme.
- Google Expeditions virtual reality equipment and content, allowing for global virtual field trips and the creation of virtual tours of their own, for students at North Woods Elementary and Sunset Hill Elementary, thanks to teacher Kareena Kraemer.
- A coffee cart program for special education students to learn social, math, reading, and employment skills by selling coffee at West Middle School, thanks to teacher Lindsay Nyhof
- A 3D printer for use in Wayzata High School robotics and manufacturing classes to help them design and create robots to tackle specific challenges, thanks to teacher Ken Pashina.
- A digital table saw readout for wood and metal manufacturing classes within tech education at Wayzata High School, thanks to teacher Kyle Swenson.
- A mobile Spanish library, so students always have access to a variety of literature in Spanish at Wayzata High School, thanks to teacher Alyssa Warne.
- iPads to support special education students in regulating their emotions at Gleason Lake, thanks to teacher Allison Westplate.
The Wayzata Education Fund is a community affiliate of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation. To learn more about the Wayzata Education Fund, volunteer, or to make a donation, visit www.wayzataedfund.org.
With everything going on and seemingly an endless stream of news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic we hope you are all taking the social distancing in stride. One thing that has become apparent is that the staff of Wayzata is working VERY hard to prepare for the next steps of eLearning. The entire district staff deserves a major round of applause and gratitude for the effort they’re putting forth to teach our kids for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, thank you to the staff that is working to provide childcare for our emergency workers (including providers of healthcare, emergency medical services, long-term and post-acute care; law enforcement personnel; personnel providing correctional services; public health employees; firefighters and other first responders; and court personnel)! This allows our community to be served by these critical roles. Thank you!!!
Here’s to you – staff of Wayzata Public Schools – from preparing for eLearning, to providing meals to those who need it, and to providing childcare so key folks can get their job done – THANK YOU ALL! This is a huge effort and we thank you for it!
In the meantime we’re well underway in our grant review and voting process. In fact, we have a board meeting next week. Given that social distancing is the new norm we will be meeting virtually via Zoom. We are getting excited as we will be picking out the grants to be funded in the next few weeks! We’re working on alternate plans to unveil the awarded grants if we can’t do it in person this year.
We are always on the lookout for new members of the board as well so if you are interested in joining please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to have you!