School encourages teachers to use grants to improve teaching

Jesse Nadel

The school has increased its budget for betterment and development grants this year to allow for teachers to continue “honing their craft and to stay current,” science teacher and Dean of Faculty Dietrich Schuhl said.

Schuhl oversees the school’s betterment grants, which are small grants that teachers can use to attend various events across the country to improve their teaching knowledge. In the past, these events have included training conferences, leadership retreats and AP teaching workshops held by the College Board.

Schuhl has been encouraging the faculty to take advantage of the grants to improve their teaching and participate in different experiences.

“We have done a good job of using this money in the past, and I really want to make sure that we spend the increased amount of money this year for teachers to learn and do new things,” Schuhl said.

The school also offers teachers development grants, which are larger amounts of money that allow teachers to participate in events that require more capital than the betterment grants offer.

Science teacher Wendy Van Norden and a committee of representatives chosen from every department oversees these larger grants. The development grants are used for “once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” as well as for funding masters and PhD degrees, Van Norden said.

These grants can also be used for trips to foreign countries and trips for large groups of teachers to improve their knowledge of their subjects and teaching styles. For example, 13 teachers traveled to the San Francisco Bay area this year using a development grant to visit several schools to learn about new teaching styles, Schuhl said.