Apply For a Grant
SERF grants promote innovation and enrichment across all K-12 classrooms. We fund a wide variety of leading-edge projects that support the spectrum of curricula areas including math, science and engineering, literacy and English language arts, social studies and history, global languages, performing and visual arts, emerging technologies, social development and wellness, professional development for teachers, and more. SERF grants fund projects and materials that are not, and would not be expected to be, funded in the regular school budget. SERF grants create opportunities for students to acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to become well-rounded citizens and to develop to the full extent of their potential.
Educators, have a grant idea?
What makes a grant fundable by SERF? These resources will provide guidance for shaping and communicating your ideas to the Board.
Do you have an idea that would help your students learn better?
Would you like to present a piece of your curriculum in a new and engaging way?
Are you interested in providing your students with new tools not currently available at your school?
Has your creative idea been turned down by administrators due to lack of budget?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above, you are in the right place! Sudbury educators leverage SERF grants to move their innovative ideas forward.
Be sure to check these out to see if something has already been funded similar to your idea or to see if your idea builds upon a grant already funded.
What are the grant deadlines?
SERF Mini-Grants: up to $1500
SERF Mini-Grants are monthly opportunities to request funding for project proposals up to $1,500.
Mini-Grant proposals submitted by the 20th of each month – starting August 20th – will be reviewed and voted on at the next month’s board meeting. Applications received after the 20th of a given month will be held and voted on the following month.
SERF Grants: $1500 and up
SERF Grants are bi–annual opportunities to request funding for project proposals more than $1,500.
SERF Grant proposals will be accepted through November 15th and again through March 15th.
* Please note that these deadlines are for submission from the Superintendent’s Office to SERF. Please refer to your building principal and your district superintendent for submission dates for his/her approval. Only grants that are approved by the Superintendent’s Office will be accepted.
Grant applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Explores new, innovative curricula and pedagogical approaches, or deepens existing curriculum and practices, or builds upon a previously SERF-funded grant that has demonstrated success.
If the proposed project builds upon a previously funded SERF grant, the proposal includes an explanation of how the proposed project adds a new, extended, expanded, innovative idea to the earlier grant.
- Is driven by clearly outlined goals, activities and timetable.
- Has a clear plan for impacting students, either through improving the quality of instruction, instructional materials, strengthening community, or enhancing the environment.
- Outlines how it’s impact or effectiveness will be measured.
- Has potential for sustainable impact on teaching and learning beyond a singular classroom.
- Does not fall within the district’s budget or curricular commitments. However, if the project is intended to continue into a phase beyond the proposed grant’s timeline, there is a plan for the project’s continuity to be absorbed by the district’s budget or another funding source.
- Could be replicated in other district classrooms.
- Involves collaboration among educators that matches the scope of the project. This could be with other educators across grades, specials, schools, and departments, or organizations within the school or district community.
- Has an organized budget that is clear, detailed and comprehensive.
What is the Review and Evaluation process for SERF Grants?
- Go to the SERF site to find grant application criteria, examples and submission deadline information
- Complete the SERF SPS or SERF LS Application
- Click on the appropriate button to launch the Online Application (Google Form)
- Submit the Online Application to SERF through the Google Form
- On submission, an automatic notification goes to the Superintendent
- Superintendent Reviews and Notes Approval
- On approval, an automatic notification goes to the SERF Grant Administrator
- SERF Grant Panel Application Evaluation
- The Board of SERF will review, discuss, and vote whether to fully fund, partially fund, or not fund a grant based on each grant’s alignment with SERF’s mission and granting criteria
- Grant Administrator notifies applicant of SERF’s decision
How do I know if my project idea would fit better as a SERF grant or as a PTO/LSPO request?
SERF’s mission is to promote innovation and enrichment throughout SPS and LSRHS communities. Ideas that create unique, new opportunities for students to develop skills, knowledge and confidence that go beyond what is funded in operating budgets are the type of ideas that SERF funds. SERF has funded a number of project pilots which, when proven successful, have been further incorporated into the district operating budget or continued through PTO funds. Often, SERF grants are collaborations among educators across the district to impact an entire grade-level or department. SERF reviews every grant proposal in relation to this criteria – be sure to check it out!
What do I need to do before submitting my grant application?
A valuable starting point is discussion. Talk about your project idea with colleagues, the building principal, curriculum coordinators, department heads, and/or the Assistant Superintendent. Focus first on what your clear goal for student learning is, and then how your project’s idea will get educators and students to that goal. Preview the SERF Grant Application, and use SERF’s granting criteria as a guide. Search past awarded SERF grants to ensure your idea is proposing an unique or new aspect of innovation or enrichment for teaching and learning.
What happens when I submit my grant application?
Once you submit your application, your Superintendent will be notified. Only applications that have been approved by the Superintendent by the deadline will be considered. Once your application has been received by SERF, the Board will preview it, pose clarifying questions to you, where applicable, and at the following Board meeting discuss and vote on the funding of your proposal.
How will I know if my grant proposal is awarded?
The Board of SERF typically meets on the first Monday of the month. During the same week, the Grants Administrator will notify you about the funding status of your proposal.
Does SERF fund grant proposal ideas that have already been initiated?
SERF reviews grant proposals for project ideas that have not yet been confirmed, funded, or executed. SERF does not reimburse for funds spent prior to receiving and reviewing grant applications.