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Vehicle Donation

$100 Classroom Supporter  $365 A Dollar a Day Donor  $500 President's Circle  $1,000 Patron of Education  $5,000 or more Foundation Benefactor
Donations of any size are welcomed & count!

The Palm Desert High School Foundation is a nonprofit,
volunteer led, community-based organization that promotes
private support for public education at
Palm Desert High School by raising funds for the
'Grants for Teachers' program.

We are dedicated to achieving the following goals...

Encourage and recognize vision and creativity
In dedicated, innovative teachers.

Raise funds for individual classroom programs.

Strengthen, enrich and supplement the school Curriculum.

Involve parents, community members, service clubs,
local businesses and community groups
in supporting public education.

Grants for Teachers donors in 2012-2013

The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation   
City of Palm Desert              
Ace Hardware, Palm Desert     
George Argyros                                                
Bob Brown                           
Barbara &Jim de Boom     

The Gardens of El Paseo                                 
Heather Greenwood ‘00       
Peter & Linda Greenberg        
Kay & Paul Gerhardt                                         
Mayor Jan Harnik                 
Kenneth Hodgkins, D.S.S.  
Michael Homme                                                 
Dr. Janet Kerrigan               

Kathleen & Mary Helen Kelly   
M.B. Lacy, Inc.                                                   
Allan Lehmann                    
Douglas & Donna Martin      

Matt & Marry Monica III

Adam Ochoa, C.P.A.                                      
Roland Reinhart, M.D.         
Roemer & Harnik                  
Larry & Michelle  Patton                                    
Dinah & Nolan Sparks         
The Standen Family           
Maureen Thompson                                          
Wendell Turner                   
Dr. Sam & Diane Weiss              
Lynette Wohlmuth                                             
Magdalena Zepeda

2012-13 Grants that are making a difference to the students!

The Engineer/Science Pathway        Patrick Healy   $3,037.00 - for Solidworks Software STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).     210 students will benefit annually

Mr. Healy: Solidworks was an instant hit with my students. The built in tutorials were clear to the kids, who soon started designing their own objects. The additional seats of the network license allowed students to “check-out” licenses on their personal laptop computers to continue their work outside of the classroom. With the hopeful addition of a 3D-printer next year, students will be able to print out parts that they design.

The Recording Studio                        Craig Gahnz    $1,479.17 - for Apple Computer & software
80+ students will benefit annually.

Mr. Gahnz: The funded grant purchased a MacBook Pro laptop and ProTools  professional recording and editing software.  The equipment is to be used by the PDHS Fine Arts Department for recording, editing, and producing high-quality sound recordings of the PDHS music and drama ensembles.   It is also intended to educate interested students in recording and editing techniques, and as a career path to employment in the recording engineering field.

To date, the equipment has been used to record and produce the PDHS and PDCMS Choir concert CDs and DVDS.  There have been voluntary ongoing classes in recording techniques, music production, song writing, and the use of the ProTools software.  The mobility of the recording equipment allows flexibility to record and produce performances off site.

Alive in Dance                                    Tisa Kopstein     $441.08 – Green Screen used for recording and critiquing student dances.   135 students will benefit annually.

Tisa Kopstein: With all of the budget cuts to our Departments, the Grant for Teachers program is very valuable in allowing us to purchase items to enhance our educational programs.  The grant process is straightforward and the purchase and delivery of our granted items is speedy and efficient.

Our PDHS Foundation is so welcoming, supportive and encouraging,  it easy to present to them.  This year we filled out the paperwork, presented to the Foundation, and attended the grant recipient reception.  It was a bit more time consuming than I remembered, but for good reason.

Thank you so much for providing this opportunity for our Dance classes at PDHS.

Human Anatomy Slide Series            Mercedes Alou-Hicks   $1,142.75 - Replacement of 27 year old PDHS Human Anatomy Slide Series used in the Anatomy and Physiology classes.  180 students benefit annually.

TCI World History                                Kristen Albinson, Hank Sprinkle, Michelle Jones   $606.00 - for registration for TCI World History to evaluate the instructional program in preparation for future funding.
500+ students will benefit.

Ms. Jones: This grant permitted me to acquire the TCI teacher’s subscription for one year.  TCI is a program for the teaching of history.  It is a phenomenal program; I have utilized it many times since I started my teaching career.  This grant gives me access to various activities and curriculum I will use as I teach world history here at Palm Desert High School.  The TCI material is designed to help students access history in a way that is comprehensible and memorable.  For example, in the “scramble for Africa” activity, students compete with each other for “natural resources” within the classroom.   They complete this activity in groups.  One group is given a slightly different version of the directions, allowing that group to get a head start on acquiring natural resources (England).  This helps them understand the reasons for New Imperialism, as well as the reasons why England had so many more colonies.  Activities like this one are experiential.  These literally allow the students to experience history on a small, but comparable, scale.  It is activities like this one that I will now have complete access to.  In addition, I will have access to the student text, which will allow me to use that along with the various activities from TCI.  As I stated above, it is a phenomenal program.

Mr. Sprinkle: The grant will allow me to utilize material that is very helpful in teaching of world history; such as topic summaries, activities, simulations, etc. I am very grateful to the Foundation for the consideration of giving me this grant. I will be using TCI over the summer as I plan for next year.

As mentioned already, with the lack of varied resources available to us as teacher, TCI is a great supplement with the expected potential to the MAIN component of instruction of standards, versus the textbook The dynamism of TCI will increase the involvement and interest of each student because of the participatory nature of the curriculum. This implementation would have a positive impact on the student’s retention and interest in the subject.

Math Skills & State Standards           Ruben Monasterios, Shaw Zaidins, and Jill Grant   $828.27 – for increasing Math Skills and understanding new State Standards. 540+ students will benefit annually.

Ms. Grant: The grant money allowed for attendance to the CMC-South conference, which emphasized CCSS throughout.  Particularly beneficial was the ability to attend CCSS workshops involving Algebra 2 and Geometry where activity based lessons were shown to be key to successful implementation of the Common Core.  Other beneficial workshops attended involved writing and using rubrics in mathematics. I anticipate the need to attend the CMC-South Conference in the fall of 2013 to keep CCSS skills fresh.

Advance Placement Classes             Alissa Marshall  $900.00 - AP Workshop  400+ students benefiting annually.

Academic Decathlon                           Ruben Monasterios    $575 – Academic Decathlon Competition support for student team. 30 to 40 students benefiting

Turn It In                                               Sharon Kalkoske  $2,009.00 - Turn it In Software to assist students and parents with Homework and teachers with instruction strategy. 2,000 students benefit!

Sharon Kalkoske: The Turnitin software allows our school to utilize a plagiarism detection service.  Moreover, the software serves as a learning tool for the students as they may submit multiple writing drafts.  Additionally, the service provides access to Grademark, an algorithm based computer program that makes editing suggestions on student drafts.  This grant allowed our renewal of the Turnitin license for our school and all of the teachers, across the disciplines, have access to this tremendous service. 

As mentioned above, the Turnitin license provides a plagiarism detection service as well as a student learning tool.  My evaluation of the grant is that the money is well spent for such a valuable service.  The Turnitin helpdesk/support people respond quickly and efficiently to solve any technology problems or questions.  There are sometimes posting date issues, but otherwise the software seems to work seamlessly.  The successes are in student writing improvement.  The students are able to receive immediate feedback (matching) of sources they are using in a draft of a paper and whether they have inadvertently plagiarized any of the material before making a final paper submission.  Similarly, the Grademark editing feature allows the students to examine their writing and make corrections before the final draft of a paper is submitted.  The long term goal is to have students become critical thinkers and evaluators of their own work and that of their peers (there is even a Peermark feature on the Turnitin set up page).

Teachers can also work from home and look at paper submissions; thus, technology usage becomes universal for everyone.  In essence, writing will improve with the assistance of the Turnitin software/license.  As we move further into the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the hope for the future is that all of the teachers, across the disciplines, will ask their students to submit papers utilizing the Turnitin software.

HOBY Conference                              David Kato  $475 – Registration for two students to Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference.  2 to 4 students benefit.

Mr. Kato: The Hoby Grant provides two PDHS sophomore students the opportunity to gain valuable, lifelong leadership development opportunities that will empower them to achieve their highest potential. This years Hoby will be held at Chapman University in Orange, CA June 7-9, 2013.

Career & College Planning                Carol Daiberl  $1,179.86 – Eureka Software to assist freshmen, sophomore and junior students with career options and college planning.  2,000 students benefit

Ms. Daiberl: This year we were able to implement Eureka with a greater number of students and for different purposes. Freshmen were introduced to Eureka through their English classes. They completed a self-assessment and career interest inventory. Sophomores in World History conducted research on specific professions and specific colleges/universities or workforce training programs that specialize in the area of their career interest. Juniors in US History were asked to begin building their resume and conduct scholarship investigations via Eureka. Counselors used the information generated to help students build and adjust their 4-year plan. Student feedback was mostly positive with 77% indicating it was a useful experience and 80% saying it was easy to navigate.

Aztec Impact                                        Laurie Buompensiero   $10,000 Support of Aztec Impact, a program which recognizes and encourages student academic achievement.   2,000 students benefit          


Ms. Buompensiero: Aztec Impact touches all of the students and staff members on our campus. Each month, students in all areas of our campus receive awards for outstanding performances and excellent effort. On a weekly basis classrooms compete for the HAT award, in which students are recognized for great work in the areas of homework, attendance and tardies. On a monthly basis students are recognized for perfect attendance and we also select a boy and girl from every department the exemplifies excellence in academics for that subject.

At the end of each grading period students with GPAs at 3.5 or above are recognized, and students are also able to earn “GPA Jumps” for improving their GPAs. Students receive “Star Cards” for improving or maintaining proficient and advance standardized test scores in their core academic areas. Staff members are recognized for their work with the students via the inspirational teacher program. In the spring, all of the students who have received academic recognition thoughout the year, are recognized at a school-wide assembly. Funding is used to pay for awards and certificates throughout the year, T-shirt for award winners and a recognition assembly at the end of the year.