LBES Mosaics Project

The Alliance was excited to co-fund (with PTO) the upcoming LBES Mosaic Project! All students and staff will participate in the design and creation of a 12′ wide by 10′ high mosaic that will be installed within the elementary school. Students will learn about the history of mosaic art and then be part of the design and creation, including specific art elements for mosaic making and design, gluing techniques, use of tools, and grouting.

Leveled Literacy Intervention

The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention has a proven record of improving students’ fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. The Alliance was proud to fund the 4th grade materials for LBES. In the words of LBES teacher, Anne de Got, “We are so excited to be able to use the LLI program with our students. This program will allow our students to have access to literacy building components to help develop a stronger foundation for reading with material that the students can enjoy and discuss."

From Anne de Got, Leaning Behavior Specialist at LBES:

“We are so excited to be able to use the LLI program with our students. This program will allow our students to have access to literacy building components to help develop a stronger foundation for reading with material that the students can enjoy and discuss.”

Teacher Timers

To support executive functioning with consistent expectations across grade levels, the Alliance funded the purchase of 30 Teacher Timers. These visual timers provide a further breakdown of the day into specific blocks of time and can help manage student behavior, support smooth transitions, and hold students accountable for completing tasks within a certain amount of time.

Ukeleles Program

The Alliance for Excellence funded the purchase of 25 Tenor Ukuleles for Ms. Cvitkovic’s 6th grade music students.  This pilot program affords students the opportunity to not only learn a string instrument, but also to explore other world cultures.

While all students benefit from these instruments, those who are kinesthetic and tactile learners directly benefit from their engagement with the ukuleles.  To further integrate the ukuleles into the curriculum and programming, Ms. C. has also created a Uke Club at LBMS.  Ms. C. and her students are really enjoying their awarded Alliance grant of ukuleles!  Uke on!

Rosalind Wiseman Presentations and Workshops

On Jan. 21 and 22, 2014, Rosalind Wiseman will be presenting and providing workshops within our district.  These include: a district-wide teacher presentation, a parent presentation, and 6th – 8th grade student workshop.  Rosalind is a nationally renowned speaker and expert on the topics of bullying, social competency, strengthening relationships, ethical leadership, and media literacy.  Her approach is direct and her ability to address social/emotional issues through directness has been especially effective with middle school students.  Rosalind addresses what people “think” and how that impacts what they say and do.

Community Wellness Task Force

Accomplishments of the Community Wellness Task Force include: establishing Dr. Mark Reinecke of Northwestern University as a consultant to the task force, creating a Crisis Communications Hub for local police departments, mobilizing area pediatricians to include risk assessments as part of yearly physicals for all adolescents, training high school health teachers by Dr. Karen Swartz in the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program, training high school faculty on the signs and symptoms of depression, reinstating the Peer Training Program at CROYA, adding a Panic Link on LEAD’s website, hosting a middle school summit sponsored by LEAD and NWLFH, reviewing and revising health curriculum at area public schools, and assembling a group of local mental health providers to review mental health assessments and treatments.

Technology Infusion for Enrichment Teams

All of the departments benefit from access to technology.  Wellness classes record mechanics, fine arts groups analyze performance and science classes use on-board apps for measurement.  Hands on learning in front of and behind the technology empowers our students and prepares them for success.  This grant helped supply updated technology to the teachers.

Digital Still Cameras (6)
Camera Memory Cards (6)
Apple TV’s (3)
iPad Application Vouchers (2)
iPad Covers (2)

As part of the School-wide Enrichment Model, the K-8 Enrichment Team ensures that student learning is supported with learning tools consistent with the 21st century skills of collaboration, self-directed learning, critical thinking, and creativity.

Kindergarten Non-Fiction Writing Resources

The Kindergarten Non-Fiction Writing Resources grant allows teachers to purchase classroom sets of books about living and non-living things, sea creatures, and plants.  These books will be utilized during expository writing units and for research on various topics as they develop their informational writing skills.  The texts will help the kindergartners take notes, examine an author’s craft (how an author writes and shares information), and learn how to write informational books of their own.

Digital SLR Video Cameras

There are two Visual Storytelling classes offered to 8th grade students at LBMS.  Using the cameras, the students create visual stories comprised of both still images and HD videos.  These specific cameras provide all the necessary components such as lighting, shots, and angles for students to utilize.

The cameras are also used to document events at LBMS for use on the website and for archival purposes.

Orff Instruments for K-2

Testimonial from Mrs. Susan Haugland, K-2 Music Teacher

“I can’t thank the Alliance for Excellence enough for their support of the arts programs at Lake Bluff Elementary.

This year, the Alliance generously funded an Orff Instrumentarium (xylophones and glockenspiels) in my classroom. This allowed students in my classroom to have the same access to instruments as they do in Mrs. Ellis’ music room. Since becoming an Orff certified music educator, I have seen first-hand the benefits of this learning process and the xylophones and glockenspiels are integral to the curriculum. These are lovely instruments that not only have a pleasing sound, but also facilitate kinesthetic, visual, and aural learning of pitch and rhythmic relationships in both ensemble and solo performance.

Every student at Lake Bluff Elementary benefits from the generosity of the Alliance for Excellence. Thank you so very much for all you do for us!”


Testimonial from the LBES Wellness Team:  

“The GenMove equipment is great for our classes.  They can be used in every grade, there are so many different uses for each piece of equipment and the kids love using them.  The goals are by far the best piece for our classes. They are circles that can be scored on at a low level with a ball rolling in or the kids can shoot equipment through the top hole.  They really give kids lots of opportunity to be successful at any age and skill level.  The kids love the omnikin balls.  They are big blown up multi purpose balls that float though the air and make it easier for kids to catch, strike and even kick.  We also love the noodles and noodle pieces that came with the set.  They make for great things to collect during games and there are tons of uses for the noodles.”

Single goal (4)
GenMove Balls (20)
Stacker Set (2)
Disc Cones (30)
Noodle Pack (2)
Omnikin Ball (2)
Universal Games & Activities Book
K-5 PE Book



Language Arts Common Core Growth Binders

The 6th grade Language Arts teachers are currently working to rollout the binders with the 6th graders. The purchase has allowed for the students to keep and reflect on their work with the English/Language Arts Common Core Standards. These binders are organized by these standards within the months of the school year. As they move through the year, students will cycle through the standards three times. Specifically, each month, they will organize pieces in these binders/portfolios and then examine how they have grown as readers, writers, and thinkers. By the end of the school year, we all will clearly see how far the students have come in their understandings, applications, and syntheses of these standards. With these binders as evidence, students will truly be charting and reflecting on their individual paths towards success in Language Arts.

Virtual Summer Book Club

The Alliance for Excellence funded the organization and implementation of Virtual Summer Book Clubs for students entering grades 3 through 5.  To enrich their reading and writing over the summer, students took part in an electronic book club that required them to read a book and then communicate with other students and teachers via an online discussion.  Books, a reading schedule, and teacher feedback and instruction were provided to all students.  The books clubs helped students sustain or increase their fluency rates during the summer months, all while reading and comprehending complex literary texts independently.  Quantitative and qualitative data was use to measure the growth and success of this program.