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Did You Know?

You probably know that with the help of families, teachers, administrators, foundations, local businesses and individual donors, we have been making steady progress over the last three years toward our goal of establishing a 1 million dollar endowment in support of innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in our district.

But …

Did you know that RSF prioritizes faculty development?
Each year, substantial funds are dedicated to faculty mini-grants and teacher development. RSF just awarded a $1,500 grant to jump start a LEGO engineering pilot program in grades 3 and 5. Sending teachers to Tufts University for a week of professional development translates into concrete curricular innovation. Using some of the robots already purchased with RSF funding, teachers at CLS will offer a year-long science curriculum directly based on what they learned at Tufts. Third grade teacher Barbara Rizzolo says it all: “by far the best professional development I have ever done!” As an educational foundation, RSF recognizes the power of new ideas and fresh approaches, helping great teachers to excel at what they do best.

Did you know that RSF made a $1,500 grant in 2010 to help re-launch a 4th and 5th grade science fair at Chancellor Livingston School, the first such fair in over six years?
Students were introduced to the scientific method—including hypothesis, null hypothesis, method, objective data collection, and conclusions. Young scientists prepared a poster session as well as demonstrations for the fair, sharing the design of each experiment and their findings with the community.

Did you know that RSF supported the CLS Math Fair for a second year in a row?
In 2010, RSF partnered with the PTSO to sponsor the June math fair for grades 3–5, investing in robotics equipment as well as programming materials. Children designed interactive math and technology games drawing on concepts they had studied during the year. RSF contributed $1,500 in continuing support of what is becoming a great tradition in the elementary school. The Foundation collaborated actively with the PTSO as well, contributing $750 to support the annual NASA scientist-in-residence program at Chancellor this past year.

Did you know that RSF is funding a unique 50k district-wide partnership with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies?
Many schools in the Hudson Valley draw on the unparalleled resources of this major research institution, but no other district has undertaken a sustainability project on the scale of the Rhinebeck Central School District’s Eco-Initiative. RSF is a proud supporter of this K-12 partnership with nationally-recognized science educators, donating a total of fifty thousand dollars to this curricular initiative. A three year project, the Eco-Initiative began in 2009–2010 to measure the carbon footprint of our schools. Water, food, energy, and waste are being measured at each campus. Conducting a “bio-blitz” in each school yard, students are learning to observe—and understand—the ecosystems of which they form a part. Participants on each campus are preparing an “Environmental Score Card” to share with Rhinebeck residents this fall. RSF was proud to fund a three-day faculty development workshop this August, allowing teachers to work intensively with Cary educators to deepen and expand curricular planning for year two of the project.