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Can Grants Help You Meet Your School Improvement Goals? (Yes - Here's How)

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

What do you need to reach your goals?
Take a look at your school improvement goals. What do you need to reach those goals?
By Spring 2019, all students will show measurable growth in Math as demonstrated by Quarterly Benchmarks, Moby Math, and/or Standards of Learning results.
Over the next two years, students in the high needs categories will continue to make considerable growth in academic areas, as defined by the Newton ELA and Math benchmark assessments as well as the state assessment data.
75 percent of students will demonstrate proficiency on the state assessment in the area of ELA.
By June 2016 the percentage of students in grades K-5 performing at or above proficient in Mathematics will increase by 5%.

These statements are school improvement goals from real schools. What are your goals? How will you support your students to reach higher levels of academic achievement? And how do grants fit into the picture?

Many people only think of grants for the “fun stuff”…new musical instruments, classroom art supplies, or playground equipment. Other people only think of grants for “big stuff” like a new soccer field or school expansion project. But grants can offer so much more than that.


Grab your free copy of this list of more than 40 grants!


What Do You Need to Reach Your Goals?

Grants can provide funding for training, curriculum, and innovative programs to support your students. I’ve seen a school leader use a grant to fund classroom aides and a new specialized reading curriculum to support struggling readers. Another funded a full-time teacher’s salary for specialized courses related to a school’s mission. I know a leader who provided one-on-one coaching for classroom teachers to improve math instruction, supported with grant funds. I've seen a grant fund STEM conferences for teachers to improve their implementation of STEM topics. Or a grant could pay for a consultant to help your teachers develop differentiated materials that align with your curriculum.

These projects and so much more are all possible. Take a look at your school improvement goals. What do you need to reach those goals? Here are some very common ideas:

  • Specialized resources to meet the needs of a group of students

  • Specialized training for teachers to meet their needs

  • Additional staff members to create more time for teachers to train, collaborate, and develop shared resources

  • Additional staff members to support differentiated small group instruction

  • Leadership training to improve teacher development and evaluation

  • Manipulatives and computer programs to enrich student engagement and learning

  • Stipends for teachers to work together over the summer to create new materials or common assessments

The possibilities are endless. The key is to start with a good plan. What are your school improvement goals? Do you have clear and measurable objectives? Do you have an action plan?

Great! Now, think about how grants can help you meet those goals. Grant makers want to support programs that are likely to have an impact on student achievement. They want to see your students be successful just like you do. You see the need; they have the resources. Partner with grant agencies to do more.

I know it can be time-consuming to look for grants. So I’ve gathered a list of more than forty grants to make the job easier. Start here. Look for any grants that seem to match your goals and then review the website for more information. You just may find a perfect match!


Grab your free copy of this list of more than 40 grants!


Grant Writing for School Leaders

Do you have still questions? Not sure how to write a grant? Wondering about the long-term impact of grants? I’ve got you covered.

Check out my new series, Grant Writing for School Leaders.

  1. Start-Up Guide for School Grants (Answers to the Questions You Should Be Asking) – FREE e-book

  2. Charter School Grants (Save Time and Write a Better Grant)

  3. Grant Writing for Impact (Leverage Grants to Dramatically Increase Funding, Impact, and Credibility for Your School)

Each book in this series addresses a different level of grant writing skills. Just getting started and full of questions? Start with book 1. Ready to write your first grant? Choose book 2. Interested in learning how to develop a school grants program? Then book 3 is for you. Each book offers links to free resources to help you be successful with school grants.

Thinking about school grants? Grant Writing for School Leaders can help.

You can find all three books on Amazon. Shop now:

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Peggy Downs works with school leaders who want to leverage grants to dramatically increase funding, impact, and credibility for their schools. More info and a ton of free resources are waiting for you at:

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