Washington Schools Foundation

FAQ



Grants will be for projects in the summer of 2012. The bulk of the work should take place in the summer so teachers can devote full time to their projects.
 
I. ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS

 1. Who should apply?

All faculty in the Vashon Island and Anacortes School District are eligible to apply for projects that fit their areas of expertise and interest. Future expansion, potentially for 2014-15 is conditional on success of the pilot. By their nature, some projects are suitable for a broad range of participants; others may need to be limited to a narrower group. Generally, a smaller group is involved in exploratory or pilot projects than in projects that focus on implementation of initiatives within or across grade levels and departments. In the latter case, broad participation greatly facilitates implementation of project work.

For group projects, the Foundation Advisory Committee will make every effort to fund all applicants, but budgetary constraints may affect the size of the group that can be supported and make selection among applicants a necessity.

 2. Can those in the following categories apply?

Can part-time faculty participate?

Yes. If selected, they are paid at full-time rate for the grant project period.

Can administrators participate in project grants?

Yes, in projects where their expertise or role makes participation desirable or essential.  As eleven-month employees, administrators do not receive additional compensation for grant project work.

Can staff members participate in project grants?

In some cases, a staff member’s area of responsibility makes his/her participation essential.  Most staff are eleven month employees and therefore do not receive additional compensation for grant project work.

Can interns participate in project grants?

Normally, participation is limited to faculty who will be returning to the school district.  However, in some instances, participation by interns is vital to a project. In these cases, the requirement that participants be returning to the school district the following year is waived; funding comes from the intern budget, not from the Foundation grant.

 

II.EXPECTATION AND COMPENSATION

 1. What characterizes all projects appropriate for grant support?

Two dimensions characterize all project suitable for funding: scope and intensity. Those proposing projects should make clear why they view this project as different from “routine” preparation.

 2.  Are faculty who have not applied ever been invited to join a group project?

Occasionally, a particular faculty member’s role or expertise makes his/her participation highly desirable. The Advisory Committee reserves the right to solicit participation by such faculty.

3.  What if I need to purchase materials for the project to happen?

If awarded a grant, $750 will be provided up front.  The remainder will be paid when the grant project is fulfilled as described in the grant application and award letter.

 
III. WHO CAN APPLY?

Any FTE or faculty of the Anacortes and Vashon Island District may apply for the pilot program for the Summer of 2012. We plan to make application available in early April, allow at least fourteen days before submission deadline, and have decision by mid-May.

 
IV. TYPES OF PROJECTS

1.  What are the basic types of grant projects?

a) Four-week: Curricular (group or individual)

b) Four-week: Faculty Development (group or individual)

c) One-week: Follow up or preparation for broader grant projects or major initiatives

For the 2012 Pilot Project, three 3-week grants will be awarded - two for the Anacortes School District and one for the Vashon Island School District. 

2. Are exploratory grants or pilot projects appropriate?

Yes, such projects are critical to exploring and testing new ideas. For example, some members of a department (or from several departments or grade levels) may want to explore the potential of a new idea or to develop a pilot program. In such cases, the outcomes of work may not be known in advance and/or implementation may be initially limited to participants.

3. Are multi-year initiatives appropriate?

Yes, although funding decisions are made on a year-to-year basis. For major initiatives, more than one year’s work in normally needed. Exploratory work or a pilot project may be the first stage. Depending on the outcomes of the first stage, subsequent work may include: extensions to broader groups; development of specific curricular materials; assessment and refinement of previous work.

4. Are grade level or departmental projects appropriate?

Yes, such projects are encouraged. They usefully support focused attention to particular curricular issues. Such projects lend themselves particularly well to implementation, since participants are transferring work directly to their own classroom practice.

5. Are individual projects appropriate?

Yes, the Foundation will support individual curricular and professional development projects.

For the 2012 Pilot Project, individual projects are highly encouraged.  However, group project applications submitted this year will be given a higher priority for next year.


V. IMPLEMENTATION OF GRANT PROJECT WORK

1. What are the expectations of the school for implementation of grant project work?

The expectations vary with the nature of the project and the stage of project work. Applicants should indicate what outcome(s) they anticipate. 

The range of outcomes could include the following:

A. Exploratory grants: outcome cannot be fully anticipated. Extremes of possible outcomes are:

  • “Aha” from the grade level, department, division, or whole school. In this instance, the initial grant project could lead to further stages, with broader implementation.
  • Do not pursue (decision by participants, broader faculty group, or administration.

B. Pilot project: Initiative to be tried out by participants in their own classes, with possibility but not certainty of broader implementation at a later stage.

C. Project whose primary benefit is to participants: reading, research designed to transform teaching, primary impact is on participant’s own classes. [Distinction from routine preparation will be hardest to make in this instance. 

D. Project which creates transferable products or resource materials.

E. Project conceived from the start – or becoming – a multi-stage process: pilot project, extension to broader group, follow up four-week or one-week project grant, or district business.

F. Project as one vehicle (among several) for advancing a cross-grade level, district, or school wide initiative. In this instance, consultation prior to the project and structures to involve full faculty following the project are essential.

G.  Development of curricular initiatives designed for broad implementation across grade levels, whole departments, or schools.  In this case, expectations need to be made clear in advance to those choosing not to participate; also, pre-planning for implementation becomes a necessity.

VI. Background and History 
Washington Schools Foundation was inspired by the FACA program developed at The Park School of Baltimore. A great deal of additional material about the outstanding success of that program and the research underlying it is available on request.