Since Fall 2015, Austin Ed Fund has awarded $200,000 to 47 creative teacher-generated projects in three separate grant cycles. Austin Ed Fund will award its fourth round of Innovation Grants in Spring 2018. The application will be accessible starting in February 2018.
An exciting opportunity exclusively for Austin ISD classrooms and campuses, Innovation Grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative instructional approaches to the accomplishment of learning objectives. At Austin Ed Fund, we believe that often the most transformational educational ideas come from our teachers, students, and administrators—and we also recognize that there is typically not room in the campus budgets to make these ideas a reality. This is where funds we raise from the greater community can have a transformational impact.
Who can apply?
Individuals or teams of individuals employed by Austin ISD who are involved in the instruction of students or related support services benefiting students may apply. Student input into project proposals is also encouraged.
What types of projects will be selected?
Instructional approaches or projects that benefit groups of students are eligible for support. Grants may fund instructional and classroom materials, or an activity or material which supports higher levels of student academic achievement. Austin Ed Fund has identified three priority content areas for projects:
- Whole Child Every Child (Social Emotional Learning, fine arts & creative learning, cultural proficiency, health & wellness)
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
Austin Ed Fund seeks projects that are creative, utilize critical thinking, and/or are a new way of looking at an old problem. Projects should have a clearly stated goal, related activities to support goal achievement, and a budget outlining how requested materials align with project outcomes.
Idea Grants – Grants up to $2,000 will be awarded to individual classrooms.
Incubator Grants – Grants up to $10,000 will be awarded to campus, multi-classroom and/or department projects that have the potential to replicate and/or become sustainable.
Both Idea and Incubator grants will be evaluated to find projects that best fulfill the following criteria:
- Enriching: Enhances student academic performance
- Innovative: Is a creative approach toward addressing a classroom objective
- Demonstrated need: Supports District and/or Campus goals and is specifically designed to address an area of need substantiated by data
- Alignment: Within priority content areas: Whole Child, STEM, or Literacy
- Evaluation: Has a measurable outcome that will be reported to Austin Ed Fund upon project completion
- Logical: Proposal is well-written, clear, and transparent, including
- Specificity of goals and objectives
- Clarity of description of instructional procedures/ methods
- Clarity of how funds awarded will be used, in a realistic, accurate, and appropriate manner
- Correspondence among evaluative procedures and objectives
Additionally, projects applying for Incubator-level funding will be more competitive if they include some or all of the following criteria:
- Sustainable: Measurable outcomes have potential for medium- or long-term impact
- Systemic: Project has potential to be replicable to other schools or classrooms
- Relevant: Demonstrates real-world applications
- Collaborative: Demonstrates partnerships across department/ grade level, other disciplines, schools, and/or community organizations
Responsibilities of Grant Recipients
- Use the awards for the purposes intended.
- Projects must be fully implemented and funds must be spent by the end of the spring semester immediately following award notification.
- A final report, including usage of funds, must be submitted to Austin Ed Fund by the end of the school year. The report must be submitted before recipients can submit an application for another grant.
- Recipients agree to share successful procedures in staff development sessions.
- All items purchased with grant funds become property of the campus where awarded.
- All unused grant money is subject to being returned to Austin Ed Fund.
2017 Application Cycle Timeline:
- February 27, 2017: Application window opens
- March 30, 2017 @ 4- 5:30 pm: Grantwriting Training #1 at AISD Office of Innovation & Development (CAC- 1111 W. 6th St., Suite D-300)
- April 3, 2017 @ 4-5:30 pm: Grantwriting Training #2 at Padron Elementary (2011 W. Rundberg Lane, Room E3)
- April 3, 2017 @ 5 pm: Rough draft deadline- final date to submit application to firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback
- April 6, 2017 @ 5 pm: Application window closes
- Late May 2017: Applicants are notified of their status
- August 2017- May 2018: Project implementation
- May 18, 2018: Final project evaluations due to Austin Ed Fund
When Applying for a grant, please remember the following:
- Grants are to be used to fund projects that cannot be provided in the school or district budgets. Expenses that will not be considered for funding include salaries and facility maintenance or construction costs.
- Give your project a creative and compelling title.
- All line item expenses must be tied to the overall project idea. Materials will not be funded if not aligned with project goals.
- Objectives and outcomes should be consistent with the goals of your school and the district.
- When creating your budget, be realistic. Small grants are just as likely to be awarded as large grants. Partial funding will be considered.