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I.

Applicant Information
Scott Vonder Bruegge
800 Maryville Centre Drive
Town and Country, MO 63017
(314) 997-2900
Dr. Tom Stoner, Head of School
(314) 997-2900

II.

Grant Title
Better Readers and Better Writers from Better Tools - Utilizing
Chromebooks for more effective implementation of Reader Writer
Workshop in the 9th grade English curriculum at Westminster Christian
Academy.

III.

Grant Scope
With 187 students expected in the 9th grade class at Westminster Christian
Academy for the 2015-2016 academic school year, 42 Chromebooks will
enable every freshman to more effectively engage the Reader Writer
Workshop model of instruction implemented in every English class at that
grade level. All 187 9th grade students are part of English classes taught
by three different members of our faculty in classes that are capped at 14
pupils. If each of these three teachers has a class set of 14 Chromebooks,
they can effectively provide all 187 students in the 9 th grade class with a
uniform tool of instruction.

IV.

Grant Budget
The funds generated from this grant will go directly to the purchase of
Acer Chromebooks for each teacher teaching 9th grade English. We
currently have 10 English teachers and three of them teach the 9 th grade
Expository Writing classes with maximum class sizes of 14. This would be
a total of 42 Chromebooks. At a cost of roughly $199 each, the three
teachers teaching Expository Writing in the English department could be
outfitted for a total close to $8350. This grant does not include any request
beyond the $8350 cost of the Chromebooks for several reasons. Our
current IT budget is formulated in such a way as to allow support for all
technology in the building. Costs such as repair or replacement or any
necessary cabling, power supply needs, etc. appropriately fall under the
maintenance portion of this budget. The Director of Technology has
already agreed to vigorously support this initiative once funds for
procurement of the devices has been secured.
This is, by design, a simple straightforward request and allocation of funds.
For a little over $8000 we can effectively expand our aging fleet of laptop
carts and free up technology funds for the maintenance of that group of
laptops that are becoming increasingly problematic. It could be argued
that our current carts, outfitted with Apple MacBooks should simply be
replaced. However, Chromebooks can replace the majority of the used
functionality of the MacBooks at one-fifth the cost.

Grant Budget
Quantit
y
42

TOTAL

Item/Supplier
Acer C720 Chromebook
Sold by Amazon.com

Unit
Price

Total Price

$198.61 $8341.62

$8341.62

V.

Grant Description
A. Implementation
The purpose of this grant proposal is to supplement Westminster
Christian Academys (WCA) current iPad initiative with classroom sets
of Chromebooks for our freshman English teachers. Currently WCA is
phasing in the implementation of a 1:1 BYOD program. Students in
grades 7-9 are required to purchase an iPad for use with schoolwork
and at this point the program is slated to add a class each year so that
by 2017-2018 every student in the building will have a device. For
most of the teachers in our school an iPad represents a workable
solution for needs encountered by their students in the areas of
curriculum delivery, research, and content creation. The areas where
the iPad is deemed insufficient are localized in our English department.
The purpose of this grant is to overcome the lack of adequate
keyboarding interface in our classes that are almost entirely writing
based by providing our 9th grade English teachers with classroom sets
of Chromebooks. These would easily connect to each students Google
Apps for Education account. Sometimes a specific tool for a specific
purpose is better than a general tool for many purposes. We believe
this to be one of those times.
Toadegree,wehavecreatedaneedthroughourcurrentiPadinitiative.Nextyearwill
includetheninthgradeandwillalsobetheevaluationyearfortheprogram.WCAhas
determinedthatbeingmarriedtoaparticularhardwaredeviceformorethanthreeyears
canbeproblematicinlightoftherapidchangesintechnologybutespeciallypersonal
handhelddevices.Thus,theneedforanevaluationyeararises.Inthemeantimehowever,
studentsstillwillneedtowriteandthegreatestidentifiedneeduncoveredthrougha
recentneedsassessmentistheinsufficiencyoftheiPadwhenitcomestolargerand
longerwritingassessments.TheonlyclassesthathavedemonstratedthattheiPadisnot
sufficientareourEnglishclassesbecauseofthesheeramountofwritingthatisdonein
thoseclasses.Itisthelackofakeyboardthatisahindranceintheseclasses.The
ChromebookcoupledwithouruseoftheGoogleAppsforEducationsuiteofsoftware
productsmakesthemtheidealsupplementaltoolforourBYODiPadinitiative.Theyare

onthelowendofthecostspectrum.Theyaremadeforthecollaborativeenvironment
thatGoogleAppsforEducationprovidesandReadingWritingWorkshopmethodology
requires.

We want what is best for our students. To that end we want them to be
excellent writers. Students will become better writers through
increasing the volume of writing they are able to do. Chromebooks help
us get to that place with or without iPads.
The common platform also provides an easy entry for teachers into
something that already has a high priority placed on it, and that is
collaboration among teachers through professional learning
communities (PLCs).

B. Benefits
WCA has made it a high priority to build its English curriculum around
the basic skills of reading and writing. This sounds elementary yet is
elegant in its simplicity because as students progress through their
years at Westminster the complexity and thoroughness with which
they read and write grows constantly and in the end produces students
capable of thinking critically and speaking with authority. Ultimately
the reading and writing process results in learning expressed in
students ability to communicate in writing the following ways:
They can:
1. Explain their understandings relevance.
2. Describe how their understanding connects to or conflicts with
prior learning.
3. Communicate their understanding effectively to others.
4. Generalize and apply their understanding effectively to new situations.
5. Reflect critically on their own and others learning.
6. Ask questions to extend learning.
7. Create meaningful solutions.

Reader Writer Workshop is basically a way of teaching reading and


language arts that is an active, student-centered process giving
students, individually and in groups, an opportunity to explore ideas
and then communicate them in a way that engages them as thinkers.
Learning is also social and collaborative and this approach emphasizes
these aspects. Collaboration in the Reading Writing Workshop is made
up of students and teachers sharing responses, ideas, drafts, and
finished written products through conferences. Through shared
documents, accessed easily via Chromebooks, these conferences
between students and teachers, members of the class, as well as a
student's wider, non-classroom community, such as parents and peers
in other classes become much easier to facilitate. Students arent
required to simply regurgitate knowledge but actually wrestle with
content because it can be so easily shared and reviewed. The teacher
in these classrooms takes on many roles including that of a learner
who, in collaboration with students, constructs meaning through
reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Google, in creating its Google
Apps platform, made the whole process much more efficient and much
more powerful as all these tasks can be done in real time and with
anybody.
The strength of the Reader Writer Workshop is the collaborative nature
of the pedagogy. The strength of Google Apps for Education is the
collaborative nature of the technology. Chromebooks allow the specific
strengths of both to be harnessed quickly and more naturally by being
a device devoted to those strengths while frankly providing a keyboard
big enough to work on for long periods of time.
ProfessionaldevelopmentfortrainingintheuseofChromebookswouldcoincidewith
existingPDopportunities.Effectiveimplementationoftechnologyintheclassroomisan
ongoingpieceofourtrainingregimenandtheChromebookswouldbecomejustanother
partofthatprogram.

C. Objectives and Alignment to standards

The Westminster Christian Academy English department members,


operating in an independent school setting, are not required by law to
align with any state or federally mandated standards. Thus they have
the freedom to determine their own benchmarks and in the area of
assessment of reading and writing have placed themselves in the
position of taking cues and direction from the National Council of
Teachers of English in regards to Standards of Assessment. These
standards are not specific in form such as those found in The Common
Core. Instead, they validate the role of the professional educator while
at the same time giving a thorough framework from which to engineer
the assessment process. To this end, the English department has
determined that the primary approach they will take towards teaching
reading and writing in the 9th grade year is Reading Writing Workshops.
NCTE Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing
The interests of the student are paramount in assessment.
The teacher is the most important agent of assessment.
The primary purpose of assessment is to improve teaching and
learning.
Assessment must reflect and allow for critical inquiry into curriculum
and instruction.
Assessment must recognize and reflect the intellectually and socially
complex nature of reading and writing and the important roles of
school, home, and society in literacy development.
Assessment must be fair and equitable.
The consequences of an assessment procedure are the first and most
important consideration in establishing the validity of the assessment.
The assessment process should involve multiple perspectives and
sources of data.
Assessment must be based in the local school learning community,
including active and essential participation of families and community
members.
All stakeholders in the educational communitystudents, families,
teachers, administrators, policymakers, and the publicmust have an
equal voice in the development, interpretation, and reporting of
assessment information.

Families must be involved as active, essential participants in the


assessment process.
The collaborative nature of Google Apps for Education, facilitated
through Chromebooks and monitored more effectively by the teachers
as a result will show the effectiveness of this allocation of funds
through in an increased amount of writing done in classes as well as
increased writing skills.
At Westminster Christian Academy we have a simple goal for our
students, to become better writers through writing more. The
Chromebooks can be a catalyst for achieving that goal. A byproduct of
having a simple straightforward goal is the ability to have a simple
straightforward tool to measure the effectiveness of the initiative.
With Chromebooks, our students will write demonstrably more. With
Chromebooks, our students will write demonstrably better.