District Involvement in developing Classroom Grant Guidelines
For those that award classroom grants, do you collaborate with District personnel to list the types of programs the district would prioritize as important and in need of funding?
Do you list these priorities in your guidelines so campuses/applicants have this knowledge?
Has the district identified any new needs or program ideas to be listed in your guidelines, due to the pandemic?
Randy, we do collaborate with our district curriculum and instruction department to help vet grants once they are received, but we do not prioritize or communicate out priorities with our teachers. We let them lead that process. I have asked several times of our leadership if there is anything the Education Foundation needs to do to help fund needs of the district as a whole and they have not given us anything specific so we are continuing with our normal programs. We do fund several things beyond grants and scholarships already. Hope this helps.
We seek a meeting with the school district instructional administration staff every two years to review and discuss a "funding priority" listing that we take back to the teachers for curriculum alignment. The "buckets" are very broad in scope and do not specify what instructional or enrichment opportunity might look like in the classroom. Example, Fine Arts is one of the districts funding priorities in that the district wants to expand fine art learning opportunities from k-12th grade. This led to our elementary and middle school submitting applications for student plays, musicals, photography equipment, art shows and even musical instruments. We also have a technology bucket that places some uniformity around what the technology would be and the type of technology the district was seeking to add to the instructional learning environment. I do think Theresa has a point in letting the teachers lead the process that lead to innovative and more creative applications.
Secondly, after we receive grant applications, we ask the Superintendent and Director of Instruction to review and provide a brief response that indicates if the grant was awarded, for continuation would the grant be sustainable by the district. If they feel very strongly against an application, we discuss with the VP of Programs the District's reasons and may divulge to the committee the district's input after they have independently scored so that we maintain an unbiased review process.