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Now open: technology grant cycle

The Innovative Technology Education Fund’s (ITEF) 2015 grant cycle has opened, and schools and teachers in St. Charles County can now submit applications to receive grants to advance innovation and technology in their classrooms. Since 2006, ITEF has provided in excess of $1.5 million in grants to area schools, allowing them to transform libraries into “makerspaces,” introduce robotics and animation to elementary art students, and put computers with advanced software in the hands of middle school students. Last year, ITEF awarded a total of $358,543 through six grants averaging approximately $51,000 each. ITEF’s unique model allows them to use existing ...

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Peabody awards two Parkway educators

Shelly Farinella, counselor at Fern Ridge High, and Jason Lievanos, sixth-grade world geography teacher at West Middle, were surprised with Peabody Energy Leaders in Education awards. The Leaders in Education program rewards dedicated and compassionate educational professionals with awards and recognition at an annual dinner reception. Award recipients are selected throughout the school year by a committee of top educators and business leaders and each earn a $1,000 award. This year marks Farinella’s 21st year in Parkway. Before becoming a school counselor, she worked as a police officer for St. Louis County and the city of Chesterfield for approximately 10 ...

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District wins budget award for ninth year

For the ninth consecutive year, the Francis Howell School District has won the Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International. The award is conferred only to school systems that have met or exceeded the Meritorious Budget Award criteria. The award was for the 2014-15 budget, prepared by Chief Financial Officer Kevin Supple with assistance from Director of Finance Cindy Reilmann and the finance department staff. The 2014-15 budget includes over 400 pages and contains not only the official budget, but also background and summary materials. The budget material is presented via narratives, charts and graphs to ...

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Rockwood Drug-Free Coalition holds PSA substance abuse video/poster contest

Announced during Red Ribbon Week this October, the Rockwood Drug -Free Coalition kicked off its substance abuse prevention video/poster contest, which is open to all middle school and high school youth who attend school or live in the Rockwood School District area. The Coalition encourages art, graphic design and broadcasting teachers to support the contest by encouraging student participation and incorporating the project into their curriculum where possible. The entry deadline is Jan. 30, 2015. Winners will be selected by an independent panel of five judges and announced in February. Entries must share an alternative to alcohol or drug use ...

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Duchesne teacher honored with teaching award

Dominic D’Urso, an English teacher at Duchesne High in St. Charles, was one of three Catholic school teachers honored with a 2014 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award on Nov. 16. The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards program recognizes more than 100 educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – who are examples of excellence in their field.  

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SMART tables reinforce learning for the youngest students

Technology starts early at Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic School in St. Charles. Students in the junior kindergarten and kindergarten classes are utilizing SMART tables to learn letters, numbers and colors. The touch-sensitive tables are used for interactive activities through the collaborative learning center. “The SMART table allows the students to have a hands-on experience with the curriculum,” said Jennifer Albrecht, junior kindergarten teacher. “We use it to reinforce previously taught curriculum and to help with the introduction of new concepts. “The students are having so much fun, they often do not know they are learning.” The school currently has ...

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Students donate hair for children with cancer

Service to others is more than just words at St. Dominic High. More than 100 female students from the O’Fallon high school made personal donations to children they will never meet. About 124 students donated over 90 feet of hair to children suffering from hair loss due to cancer or other illnesses. Eleven beauticians from the area volunteered their time to cut the students’ hair. “We have a lot of friends who have been affected by cancer, including our own Sally Garrett who works for the school, so it was an emotional time for a lot of girls,” said Senior ...

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Cyberbullying has to stop – pin it on

Clothespins are showing up all over Rockwood with an important message: Cyberbullying has to stop. The “Character Goes Viral: Students Stop Cyberbullying” campaign started at the CharacterPlus Student Summit when 80 students from regional high schools met and collaborated on the campaign, including students from Lafayette High. They created the hashtag #StartsWithUs to use on social media and spread the message by taking the “Clothespin Challenge.” Students write #StartsWithUs on a clothespin and “pin” it on a backpack or shirt of a friend. A photo or video of the “pinning” will be uploaded on social media, and everyone who gets ...

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Rockwood teams up with others to combat bullying

Members of the St. Louis Community College-Wildwood’s honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, met with Selvidge Middle students in October to talk about bullying. “We picked bullying because it was something we all felt passionate about,” Kerstyn Larash, chapter president, said. “We all had seen or knew people who had been bullied and we felt it was something we could do that would make a difference. We also thought it would be a good opportunity to work closely with younger students.” The students participated in small group discussions and games that were facilitated by the chapter members. The games were intended ...

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Parkway West students rally support for school custodian

A generous wind is blowing at Parkway West High – as in Emily Wind, a junior at the school. When Wind overheard a troubling conversation between Scott Bollman, building manager and custodian Ollie Caruthers, she knew someone needed to take action. “I was trying not to eavesdrop,” admitted Wind. “But I heard the word ‘chemotherapy’ and it hit me hard.” She explained that a friend’s mother went through cancer treatments about a year ago and knew that if Caruthers also was facing chemotherapy it was serious. “After confiding in my dad, he encouraged me to be that person (the one ...

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