BY KATHY KANE
The Trenton Educational Foundation has awarded the largest single grant thus far, a move expected to benefit all students in Trenton’s two elementary schools.
The “Big Idea” application presented by Anderson School Principal Douglas Mentzer, Hedke School Principal Vincent Porreca and Dr. Ginny Schroeder was awarded this spring.
The $57,768.39 grant was implemented in September by Dynamic SoundField for 55 classrooms throughout the district.
It included the installation of 55 Roger Digimaster 5000 with stand and 55 Roger Inspiro Soundfield transmitters to provide clear audio communications in every classroom.
The Big Idea is a new TEF application program to build system-wide partnerships, and is separarate from the spring and summer grant applications.
“We have been accruing funds on an annual basis so that we could do something significant.” Ed Neubecker, TEF Board member, said. “We believe this audio system is the right project to positive effective learning for 100 percent of our elementary school students.”
The systems are called dynamic because they will adjust to 15 decibels above room noise levels automatically. Staff members simply need to wear the microphone at appropriate times during a lesson and it reduces teacher voice fatigue by not having to raise their voice over the classroom noise.
Restrictions on speaker placement are minimal. All they need are a standard 110V outlet. Speaker technology lets everyone feel like they are in the front row and many rooms have been wall mounted to maintain clear floor space.
The systems work on the same frequency as the RESA hearing impaired program’s equipment so there is not a need for a redundant system or microphone. Since there are systems in all rooms, it also has reduced the awareness that there is a hearing-impaired student in the classroom.
Plug-and-play compatibility with other technology in the district to amplify sound from computers, projectors, or smart boards are also included.
“The fields work off a different frequency than most other wireless systems (radio, walkie-talkies, or cell phones) so there is little chance of outside interference,” said Trenton Superintendent Rodney Wakeham. “They do not need a direct line of sight from the transmitter to receive like an InfraRed receiver.”
According to the Dynamic SoundField produced field study teachers reported: 84 percent reported some to significant improvement in on task behavior, 94 percent observed that students understood teacher instructions better, 72 percent indicated less disruptive behavior and 72 percent observed more student cooperation.
“This Big Idea is a major step forward in growing the available TEF programs,” said Neubecker. “We have established programs for staff grants, special projects and scholarships. Now the TEF brings a “partnership-style” program to our portfolio of program offerings with the Big Idea.”
The Trenton Educational Foundation Big Idea programming has been developing for the past three years. This includes awareness, fundraising, defining the parameters of this program and how it is different than the other programs they offer, Neubecker said.
The Trenton Educational Foundation (TEF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation created for the purpose of “enhancing the educational opportunities for teachers and students within the Trenton Public Schools system” in hopes of enhancing educational achievement. The Foundation’s mission is to help achieve and maintain an extra margin of excellence. The TEF is an independent entity, not affiliated with the Trenton Board of Education. For more information or to donate, visit http://trentoned-foundation.org or Facebook page facebook.com/Tren-tonEducationFoundation.