Background – The HSA has funding designated each year for grants to purchase classroom supplies and materials. Commonly known as the “Teacher Grant Program,” it is technically the Teacher-Directed Classroom Enhancement Grant Program. The HSA returned to using the longer name in the spring of 2016 to make clear that the items purchased by the HSA were property of the classroom, not the individual teacher.
In school year 2015-2016, the HSA did two rounds of grants, one at the start of the school year and one in the winter. The staff made clear that they preferred having two-rounds and the HSA was also able to spend a larger portion of the designated funds than in the past.
Note: In the past, the program was only available to classroom teachers. In 2015-2016, it was expanded to make all resource teachers, specialists, and other educational staff eligible.
Typically, a Vice President is assigned to coordinate the grant process. In 2015-2016, an email address for the grant program was created to allow for online submissions. The email address is MurchTeacherGrants@gmail.com. The President has been provided with the password to that account.
Timeline – The basic process and timeline for the grants should be:
- August – Distribute grant information and applications to all staff during the week when staff report back to school.
- Early September – Send a reminder to all staff of the upcoming deadline for applications. (This was put in staff mailboxes in the past.)
- September 15 – Deadline for applications for first round of grants
- Mid to late September – Grant Committee meets, finalizes decisions, and sends letters to staff about decisions
- Late September to mid October – HSA makes grant purchases and coordinates delivery to staff
- Early January – Information about the second round of grants distributed
- February 1 – Deadline for second round of applications
- Early to mid February – Grant Committee meets, finalizes decisions, and sends letters to staff about decisions
- Mid to late February – HSA makes grant purchases and coordinates delivery to staff
Grant Committee – The makeup of the grant committee was determined by the HSA when the program began. The committee is to include:
- the HSA President (or one Co-President)
- one Vice President
- the Principal
- an Instructional Coach
- up to three Murch parents who are not currently serving on the HSA Executive Board (to be appointed by the President in coordination with the Board Member in charge of the process
- the HSA Teacher Representative serves in an advisory (non-voting) role
Note: It was very helpful to get the Staff Representative to help with the ordering and delivery of the purchases!
The full grant guidelines and application package from Winter 2016 are available here (in Word). A sample award letter can be found here.
For more information, Manolis Priniotakis, Martha McIntosh, and Alicia Garfinkel were all involved in the grant process in 2015-2016.