Teacher Innovation Grants

Teacher Innovation Grants

IPSD 204 is blessed with a forward-thinking Board of Education, a supportive community, and involved, enthusiastic parents. But its greatest asset is its teachers. District teachers at all of our schools continue reaching for new ways to enliven lessons and make key concepts ‘stick.’ Their ideas often require resources to buy materials, fund outside-the-classroom activities, and bring notable experts into the classroom.

IPEF seeks to nurture and reward that innovation by funding the Teacher Innovation Grants program. Each fall, teachers apply for a grant, stating the purpose and benefit of their idea, how many students will be impacted and a budget. The flood of great ideas are carefully evaluated, and the best are awarded a grant – anywhere from $500 to $5000. Some of these funded ideas go on to become a permanent part of the curricula or annual programs.

Help us sustain and build on this leagcy



The Teacher Innovation Grants program invites ideas from across the district that can ‘turbocharge’ curricula to enhance learning. The process starts with the Teacher Grant application, which is accessed using the ‘APPLY FOR A GRANT‘ button below.


  • Applications Accepted: Sept. 11 – Oct. 23, 2023
  • Grant Awards Announced:   Mid December
  • Grant Project Duration:          Jan. 8, 2024 – May 31, 2024
  • Grant Evaluation Form Due:  June 14, 2024

The tabs below provide information that should help you prepare a great application. If you have any questions please contact us .


Teacher Innovation Grant proposals should:

  • Demonstrate innovative and creative educational experiences for students.
  • Align with District 204 Curricula and the mission, vision and objectives of IPEF.
  • Clearly define the number of students that will benefit from the project and demonstrate how funding will directly impact students.
  • Outline potential for collaboration with District peers in sharing of materials or experiences.
  • Provide opportunities that would not normally be funded through district finances.

NOTE: Requests for technology must demonstrate implementation of a new or creative project and include specific information as to how it will impact student achievement.

What will not be considered:

  • Projects that do not directly impact students
  • Professional Development and Staff of substitute time
  • Athletic Equipment
  • Transportation
  • Capital Improvements (example: a new structure, such as a greenhouse)
  • On-going maintenance of existing projects
  • Projects that have already occurred
  • Equipment/Technology purchases that are not part of a specific project
  • Furniture (seating or desks)
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Q: Is there a limit on the amount of funding that may be requested?

A: While there is no specific limit on the funding amount you may request, we ask that you keep in mind the size of our district and the dollars that are available to fund a large population. We typically receive 60 grant applications a year and strive to provide as many opportunities as possible. We encourage you to apply early and keep in mind requests over $2000 may require additional information and/or a presentation to the grant selection committee.

Q: How are applications evaluated?

A: Applications are reviewed by the Grant Selection Committee consisting of administrators, IPEF Board Directors and committee designates.

The Grant Selection Committee favors projects that:

  • Align with district curriculum and the mission of IPEF.
  • Show innovation and creativity.
  • Have a complete application, clearly describe the project and define a clear method for evaluating success.
  • Include a detailed budget and appropriate administrative approvals.
  • Clearly define the number of students who will benefit from the project and demonstrate a direct impact on as many students as possible.

Q: When will I know if my request was approved?

A: Applicants requesting funding for projects that will occur during the 2022-2023 school year will be notified of status via email according to the timetable below.

Applications Received by:
October 24, 2022
Will be reviewed:
November 2022
Notified of Status:
Mid December 2022

Q: If awarded a grant, how do I receive the funds?

A: If your application is approved:

  • Funds will be distributed directly to your school.
  • You will be required to submit an IPEF Grant Evaluation form no later than June 30, 2023.
  • You will be asked to work with us to ‘showcase’ your project within the community (i.e. Twitter, eNews, Inside 204, IPEF website)
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First, be sure to read the “Criteria” and “FAQs” tabs as they answer  commonly asked questions regarding: timelines, criteria (including what will NOT be considered), the evaluation process and notification.

  • Submit your application within the designated timeframes listed above.
  • Applications should be complete and provide all requested information.
  • What differentiates an Exceptional Application from one that just meets expectations? We look closely at information solicited by the application prompts, with special attention given to innovation and creativity, as well as the project’s alignment with the mission/vision of IPEF and District 2022-2023 curriculum. Evaluation criteria are aligned with the application.
  • Be sure to address the prompts listed within the project summary and review the “Grant Criteria” tab. Applications should have:
    • A clearly defined Purpose and Rationale.
    • Address what you are hoping to accomplish.
    • Indicate how your proposal supports D204 curriculum and the mission of IPEF.
    • Indicate how your project is innovative or creative. Consider delivery method, content, student engagement, etc. Are you engaging students in a creative way that facilitates an increased desire to explore an area of study, is the content or delivery method unique and/or innovative?
    • Define who your project will impact; directly or indirectly. Indicate if it is a one year project, sustainable or can be duplicated.
    • Provide details about implementation. This includes timelines, use of materials, etc.
    • Provide information on your expected outcomes and how you will evaluate them. Consider objective/subjective measures, student feedback, etc.
    • Provide detailed budget information. Make sure that requests align with proposed activities. Include supporting documents, quotes and links as appropriate.
  • In all areas please provide as much detail as relevant…this helps in understanding what you are requesting.
  • Make sure that your proposed project has been approved by your building principal or Department Chair. Your application will not be considered if you do not have approval.
  • Keep in mind that you may be contacted by a committee member if your request is greater than $2000 and additional information or a presentation is desired.
  • Be sure to print a copy of your application prior to hitting submit.
  • Once you hit ‘submit’, you will see a confirmation notice and a copy of your application will be sent to the email you have listed. If you do not receive a confirmation please email teachergrants@ipef204.org to confirm receipt.

What about Technology?

  • There is no specific list regarding what technology will or won’t be approved.
  • Technology requests must demonstrate implementation of a new or creative project and must include specific information as to how it will impact student achievement.
  • Request will be reviewed by the District to insure that requested items can be supported and align with curriculum.
  • If you have specific questions prior to submitting an application you are encouraged to contact the Director of Instructional Leadership for additional guidance.

What happens once you submit your application?

  • All applications will be reviewed by the Grant Selection Committee.
  • Once your application has been reviewed, you will be notified regarding its status following the timelines established on the “guidelines” page.
  • Notifications will be made via email.
  • If approved, checks will be distributed to your school by the end of the first week, following the month of approval.
  • If your proposal has been approved, you will be asked to complete a “Grant Evaluation” form within one month of project completion. You are encouraged to share specific stories, pictures and quotes as appropriate.
  • If your proposal is not approved, your notification will include information as to ‘why’.
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