APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN!
On behalf of the Poland Schools Foundation, the Board extends its deepest gratitude and appreciation for the hard work and dedication that the teachers and staff of the Poland School District. Poland’s profound commitment to education is one of the reasons that our local school district continues to be one of the best public schools in the Mahoning Valley.
One of the many ways that the Poland Schools Foundation works to benefit Poland Schools is by awarding Mini-Grants to individual teachers. These Mini-Grants are used to assist our school district’s educators and staff by providing financial resources for projects and classroom supplies.
For the 2023-2024 school year, applications for Mini-Grants will be accepted on a rolling basis until further notice and will be reviewed at our meetings that are held the first Monday of the month. The online Application is available here https://tinyurl.com/PSFMiniGrant
We strive to provide as much support as possible to our Local School District during these trying times. Thank you again for all that you do. We wish you all good health and a great school year!
Abbey C. Rhein
President, Poland Schools Foundation
2023-2024 SCHOOL YEAR GRANTS
$5,000, Botany, Debbie Smith, PSHS
Botany was first introduced as a class spring of 2020 at Poland High School to high school juniors and seniors. Initially botany began as the study of plants, including several labs investigating the initial stages of growth and development. I would like to move beyond this stage with the students in order for them to fully experience the planting, care of, harvesting, preparation and eating of their produce. Eventually the name of the class will be changed to reflect the farm to table aspect I am developing as the class evolves.
Building and district goals include the use of the greenhouse for other teacher projects and grade levels and a commitment to reinventing class offerings that reflect a changing world and adapting to a healthier and more self-sufficient lifestyle.
The benefits of a school garden are tremendous and reach farther than the classroom. Students learn about the natural world, conservatism, bio-diversity, healthy food choices, physical activity, communication, teamwork, caring for a living thing and feeling of well-being.
Greenhouse (10ft x19.5 ft x 8 ft high)
$1,131, Special Education, Melissa Lunevich, PMS
I would like to incorporate more sensory equipment into the classroom to create a safe outlet for students in fourth through sixth grade. Over the past few years, it has become apparent that students are having difficulty with regulating emotions and properly addressing sensory needs in the classroom more than ever. This difficulty affects their ability to concentrate, process information, and maintain/form relationships with their peers. Fidgets, a calming corner, and flexible seating have been set up for our sixth grade team, but some of our students need more in order to be successful. I would like to include multiple forms of equipment, such as sensory mats, swings, wobble boards, and a safe area to decompress and reset. Social emotional learning is an important part of the Ohio standards, and these skills are essential for students to be successful in and out of the classroom. A main focus of the Middle School is being ready to learn (i.e. participating, investing, driving). Throughout the year, the students receive lessons and participate in discussions regarding what those levels of engagement look like, and how to get yourself back to a state where you are ready to learn. The sensory equipment will provide access to students so that they can more quickly and easily return to a ready to learn state.
Materials Purchased include Sensory Tiles, floor mats, a wobble board, swing, compression canoe, weighted animals, weighted bean bags, a bean bag chair and white noise machine.
2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR GRANTS
$400 Miranda Foster - Preschool & Transitional Kindergarten – Dobbins Early Learning
Since the start of our school year, I have been striving to add more developmentally rigorous material and content to our classrooms. By having more rigorous and engaging materials, I believe that our students will become more kindergarten ready than ever before. In our classrooms we are currently using the Heggerty program on a consistent basis and have since added Launchpad through Really Great Reading and Mount St. Joseph Project Ready. If we are fortunate enough to receive part of this grant, I would like to obtain additional resources to supplement the instruction being provided.
While implementing our classroom programs, I have come across materials that would build off of our recently added Mount St. Joseph Project Ready Program and our classroom programs. To build upon our rhyming and phonemic awareness through our Heggerty program, we would like to add kinesthetic activities from Lakeshore such as their rhyming houses and beginning/ending sound word building puzzles. Along with implementing the letter formation cards from Mount St. Joseph Project Ready, I would like to connect that strategy to the alphabet writing cards from Lakeshore.
These materials will help build upon the fundamentals being taught in Heggerty, Launchpad, and Mount St. Joseph Project ready. In all three of our programs, we focus on letter recognition, phonemic awareness, letter formation, and beginning/ending sounds. By having these kinesthesis materials from Lakeshore, we can utilize them during our small group centers, and as a whole group for students to utilize and perform with the skills they have learned.
Lakeshore www.lakeshorelearning.com materials purchased:
What’s the Rhyme? Sorting Houses
Word Building Puzzles – 3 letter words
Write and Wipe Alphabet Practice Cards
$250 Julie Rhinehart – Academic Challenge Advisor – PSHS
I am requesting a mini-grant to cover the $250 cost of our annual league participation fee. This allows the Academic Challenge team to compete in the Mahoning Quizbowl League for the 2022-23 season. Not only does participation in the league give members of the team a competitive season, it also allows for the team to earn individual and team academic distinctions, which are awarded at the league tournament at the end of the season. Last year, for example, Ethan McKenzie was named Mahoning League Player of the Year and our JV team placed as tournament runner-up.
$160 Alaina McMahon, 7th Grade Math, Janice Hohloch, 8th Grade Math – PSHS
This grant will supply headphones for the 7th and 8th grade math department for classroom use for students. We are asking for 2 packages of 50 sets of headphones. Getting this amount will last us numerous years due to wear and tear and accidental breakage. We have class sizes that average 29 students.
3 years ago our students where able to get their own Chromebook and are one-to-one with technology. Even though we tell our students they need their own earbuds or headphones for their supply list, we still have students who do not have any. There are times students need to watch a video of our recorded lesson when we unfortunately have to miss school. For the students who do not have headphones, they are not able to get the lesson they need during math class time. This causes them to have to watch the lesson outside of school hours causing our students to have more of a workload at home. We hate to see our students get further behind in the curriculum due to the lack of having headphones. Having several sets of headphones in the 7th and 8th math department will be a wonderful support to our students who don't have the resources they need. We rarely miss school, but we believe it is better to have an educational lesson taught by us for our students instead of worksheets of busy work.
$665 Haley Shaffer, Melissa Lunevich - 6 Grade ELA, Social Studies, Special Education – Poland Middle
We are building a thinking classroom where the students are engaged, collaborating with their peers, and taking ownership of their learning. In order to help facilitate this environment, we would like to utilize Wipebooks in place of consumable poster-sized paper. Wipebooks are a resource that promotes collaboration in the classroom. They are vertical non-permanent surfaces that a student can write in with dry erase markers and reuse over and over again. Studies show that having a vertical writing surface encourages students to get started writing ideas more quickly than horizontal surfaces. According to research by educator Peter Liljedahl, students who are seated during instruction develop a feeling of anonymity and are more likely to disengage with the lesson. Students out of their seats, feeling more accountable, will engage within 30 seconds. Getting out of your seat to share ideas in a small group increases the positive learning energy in the classroom. In addition, the books have a scan feature that will allow me to take a picture of the page and send it out to the whole class. Having Wipeboards in the classroom would allow students to interact with their peers, share their ideas in small groups, and work together on all types of concept.
4 Heavy Duty Wipebooks from wipebook.com
Dry Erase Markers
$375 Janice Hohloch, 8th grade Math, Alaina McMahon, 7th grade Math, Abbey Aebischer - 8th grade , ELA Lori Moncilovich - 7th grade ELA – PSHS
Our classrooms are set up to encourage collaboration. We each have student tables that are often in groups of four (or more). This configuration lends itself to the student-led learning environment that is so important in today’s world. However, when it comes to assessments, students are situated right beside one another which can lead to an increased possibility for cheating.
Although we all watch our students and remind them that they need to keep their eyes on their own papers, the temptation to glance at a paper in such close proximity is sometimes too much. We’ve done some research and there are dividers that can be purchased to remedy this situation. These are either simply cardboard which doesn’t last long, or they are extremely expensive. Having a class of 34 students this year, purchasing enough of those dividers would not be cost effective. Therefore, we have come up with an alternative that will work just as well for a fraction of the cost. We just need some funding to purchase the materials to make them.
14 Smooth White Wall Panels
4 Storage Crates