Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: Yonkers City School District
Award Years: 2018-2021
NYS LTG - Yonkers LEGO Engineering Initiative
This initial grant proposal targets approximately 500 2nd and 3rd grade students in Westchester County and their families (including 4 YCSD schools, 2 Archdiocese Schools, Andalusia School, The Orchard School and Stein Yeshiva), 9 principals and 18 teachers in year 1 of the proposal. In year 2 of the proposal, the grant targets approximately 500 4th and 5th grade students in Westchester County and their families (including 4 YCSD schools, 2 Archdiocese Schools, Andalusia School, The Orchard School and Stein Yeshiva), 9 principals and 18 teachers. This proposal has the possibility of reaching future iterations of students as the professional development and grant associated activities are turnkeyed to other teachers and schools, as lesson plans, curriculum development and pedagogy are shared, and as students move through their respective grades.
District at a Glance:
Yonkers is one of the most diverse cities in New York State and the region, with 31% of residents foreign-born, 46% of households speaking a foreign language and a school district comprised of students hailing from 100 different geographical regions across the globe (retrieved from Yonkers City SD). Recognized as one of the few district-wide choice models in the United States, the Yonkers City School District is comprised of 26,546 students - 57% of the students identify as Hispanic/Latino; 19% as Black/African American; 17% White; 5% Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; and 1% of the population identifies as Multi-Racial. 78% of all students are considered Economically Disadvantaged with 76% of these students qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch. Roughly 17% of all students are categorized as Students with Disabilities (SWD) and approximately 13% are categorized as English Language Learners (ELL). 1.5% of the population are categorized as Homeless/Displaced Students.
Research has shown that authentic, experiential learning opportunities, in which students construct knowledge in authentic settings, creates deep and effective learning experiences thereby enhancing retention and depth of learning. This proposed LTG Initiative addresses the instructional technology needs of students, teachers, and administrators while it also addresses a number of other core issues such as providing high quality opportunities for students that require differentiated approaches to learning while attempting to incorporate students into settings that will promote success and foster collaboration (such as SWD and ELL populations, for example). Based upon an evaluation that was recently conducted by our Executive Director of Science and Technology to ascertain how general education teachers were integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) into the everyday classroom, this project will effectively integrate technology to foster collaboration, deep thought, and engagement for both teachers and students across both the public and non-public schools participating in the proposed grant activities. The professional development activities associated with this project will also support school leaders and teachers in developing unique and motivating student learning opportunities by incorporating multiple learning environments both inside and outside of the classroom.