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What We Do

Classroom Grants


Online Application

In these unusual times, the GIPS Foundation recognizes the need for "outside the box" thinking and investment. All applications will be reviewed with a lens of understanding of the current realities facing both our teachers and students.

The application for Round Two will open on December 15. Applications must be submitted before 4 pm on February 1 to be considered.

Eligibility and Deadlines

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation awards mini-grants in two rounds on an annual basis. Mini-grants are designed to fund educational opportunities for students that are not available through the school district's general budget. Only applicants with a email address are eligible for grants.

  • Classroom Mini-grants will be considered for:
    • Classroom projects that require out-of-the-ordinary supplies, educational software (for student use), etc. NO Field Trips this Year, No GUESTS in Buildings (they could be virtual)
    • Applicants must demonstrate the impact on and the benefit to students. The committee looks favorably upon co-operative grants. No intermixing of classes or big groups.
    • Additionally, the committee is concerned with equity. A project that benefits all classrooms in a school building at one level or more will carry more points. 
    • The committee reserves the right to make exceptions. 
  • Classroom Mini-grants will not be considered for:
    • Document cameras (Elmos, iPevos, etc)
    • Smart boards
    • Teacher stipends
    • T-shirts
    • Alternative seating
    • Food (unless directly related to the project)
    • The committee reserves the right to make exceptions.

Round 1 Deadlines:

  • August 15 - open
  • September 30 at 4:00 pm - closed
  • October - awards announced
  • Projects should begin after November 1

Round 2 Deadlines:

  • December 15 - open
  • February 1 at 4:00 pm - closed
  • March - awards announced
  • Projects should begin after March. This could include summer school and next fall.


Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the System Administrator with questions at

  • How do I create an account?

    NOTE: Only applicants with a email address are eligible for grants.
    Before you can use the online grant application you must become a registered user. During the registration process you will choose your own username and password. If you cannot remember your user name that you have created, please contact the system administrator. DO NOT create another account. If you create a duplicate account, the Grant Committee reserves the right to disqualify your application.

    Create a new account
    At the login screen click To create a new application click here. DO NOT create duplicate accounts. You will be presented with a registration screen. Enter your name and email address. Choose a unique user name and a password of at least 5 characters. We recommend using the email address as your user name. If a user name is not entered, the email address will be used as your user name. Remember that the passwords are case sensitive and fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

  • How do I reset my password?

    If you cannot remember your username or password, use the link to reset your account. DO NOT create multiple accounts or you may be disqualified from the grant application process.To reset your password you must know your username or email address used to create the account.

    If you still cannot access your account contact the System Administrator at

    Complete the Reset Password Page
    Enter your email address and/or your username (you must know at least one used to create account). Click the Reset Password button. An email will be sent to your account email address with a link to reset your password.

  • How do I create multiple grant requests?

    NOTE: Only applicants with a email address are eligible for grants.

    Maximum of 5 grant requests per round:
    After you have created an account and started/completed the grant application, you can create additional grant applications to be considered during the same grant round. The maximum number of grant requests per round is five. All grant applications can be created with one user account.

    Create a new grant application:
    Log into the grant application. To create another grant request click on the Add Entry icon.

    Open grant application:
    Click on the pencil to open a grant application.

    View list of grant applications:
    Click on Forms in the top grey box. This will navigate back to your list of applications. Click on the pencil next to the application you want to work on.

  • What do the icons in my application mean?

    A green check mark indicates that all of the required fields in a form have been completed and saved.

    A yellow triangle indicates that all of the required fields in a form have been completed, but some optional fields are empty. This is only a warning and will not prevent you from submitting  your document.

    A red exclamation point is shown when at least one required field in a form is empty or contains an invalid entry. Your document cannot be submitted while any of its forms are incomplete. If you hover your mouse over the red exclamation point, pop-up text will list the reasons that a form is considered incomplete.

    A blue save diskette is shown when there is a change to a field in the form. You must click on the diskette to save the information. The blue diskette may appear at the bottom of the screen or in the upper right of the page.

  • How do I know if my recommendation is complete?

    Each grant application requires a recommendation from your building principal or direct supervisor. You will not be able to submit your grant application until the recommendation has been completed.

    Once you enter their information in the Principal Recommendation and Signature page, your building principal/direct supervisor will receive an email with a link to your online grant application recommendation form. Once they complete the recommendation they will not be able to access your application again. The recommendation must be complete before you may submit your application. Monitor closely the progress of your recommendation. It is your responsibility to ensure your recommendation completes the form. The status of your recommendation will be displayed on the “Principal Recommendation and Signature” page next to their email address.

    (Notified) - Indicates the recommendation has been sent a form link by email.

    (Failed) - Indicates the recommendation email is incorrect and bounced. You must correct the email address. Once the email address has been corrected and the page saved, a new email will be sent to the updated email address.

    (Completed) - Indicates the recommendation has completed the form and submitted it as complete.

  • How do I submit my grant application?

    Before you can submit your application, you must complete all the required questions and your recommendation must be submitted as complete. The Submit button at the bottom of the navigation menu will be clickable when all the requirements have been completed. You will receive an email stating your application has been submitted.

    If the submit button is inactive, it means something in your application is incomplete. Check your application again and complete any missing information. Once all information is complete the submit button will activate.

    Your application must be submitted before the deadline to be reviewed.

  • GIPS Strategic Plan

    One essay question on the Grant Narrative page asks "Does this project address one or more of the above goals? How? Please describe how this project will provide additional opportunities to students and meets district objectives/goals." Click here for more in depth information about the GIPS Strategic Plan.

  • How do I complete the recommendation form?

    Recommendation Forms are Time-sensitive
    The applicant cannot submit their application until the recommendation form is complete and submitted. Applicants are competing for grants.

    Reminder Emails: A system generated reminder email will be sent every three days until the form is completed.

    Confidential: Your response is confidential. Applicants will not be able to see your recommendation form.

    Recommendation Form Access Link
    Once the applicant enters the recommendation name and email into the application, the system automatically generates a recommendation request email.

    Unique Links: Each recommendation request link is unique. The link will only open the recommendation form from the application it is associated with. Multiple applicants may request a recommendation from the same person. Each request will generate an email that contains a unique link.

    Save Diskette: Click on the save diskette to save changes to fields. (navigation menu and bottom of page)

    Submit as Complete: After all the fields on the recommendation form are complete, click the save diskette and the confirmation page will appear. Click on “Submit as Complete” if you are finished. The access link will be deactivated.

    Continue Editing: If you need to exit the form before it is complete, click on the save diskette to save the changes to the fields first. On the confirmation page, click on “Continue Editing” to keep the access link activated. Click the access link in the recommendation request email to access the form again.

    Reactivate Link: If you have submitted the recommendation form as complete, but still need to edit the form, contact the system administrator (


How is my Online Grant Application scored?

Grand Island Public Schools Foundation grants are awarded through a competitive process. Each grant application is reviewed by a committee and scored.

  • Score Overview

    Grand Island Public Schools Foundation grants are awarded through a competitive process. Each grant application is reviewed by a committee and scored.

    Project title and description (6 points)

    • Has the applicant clearly followed application directions?
    • Has the applicant clearly described the project?

    Meets district objectives/grant narrative (30 points)

    • Does the project provide a learning experience/opportunity that students would otherwise not receive?
    • Is the project high impact, involving a lot of students, or one that could be duplicated across the district so that it would impact a greater number of students?
    • Does the applicant explain how the project enhances current curriculum?
    • Does the applicant explain how the project meets district objectives?
    • How many disciplines are used in the project? Does the applicant describe how the project will impact the different disciplines?
    • Does the project sound like an engaging learning experience? Would you or your children react favorably to the project?

    Outcome and measures (15 points)

    • Does the applicant explain the outcomes?
    • Does the applicant have a plan to measure the outcomes?
    • Are the outcomes realistic?

    Itemized budget (15 points)

    • Has the applicant provided an itemized budget as requested?
    • Are the expenses reasonable?
    • Is there an expense that is not in line with the Foundation priority of providing additional opportunities for our students?

    Timeline (6 points)

    • Is the timeline reasonable?
    • Has the applicant planned adequate introduction and follow-up for the project?

Extraordinary Times.
Extraordinary Opportunities.
GIPS Foundation announces Spring 2021 Classroom Grant Awards

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to release $11,174 in Spring Classroom Grant Awards. Ten classroom grants were funded this spring that will benefit 2,492 students of the Grand Island Public Schools. Read more here and watch video below.

Lauren Schumacher, Wyandotte Learning Center, $1,500, “Praxis Exam.” Seniors in the education pathway will be given the opportunity to take the Praxis Exam needed to be an educator, prior to college. The benefits include taking this exam free of charge with the necessary skills still intact, especially in the math area. This also aligns with our academy model, in the area of helping students receive certifications necessary to their field of study. This grant will benefit 10 students in grade 12.

Denise Pedersen, Barr Middle School, $400, “CUE Robot iPads.” CUE robot competition teaches students teamwork, problem solving, and coding skills. Barr Middle School students compete with others across the nation to code five missions. Barr Middle School currently has four teams consisting of 4-5 students per team. This grant will benefit 20 students in grades 6-8.

Kevin Liess, Walnut Middle School, $830, “Air Fryers.” I would like to purchase 1 air fryer for each of the 6 kitchens in my FCS classroom at Walnut Middle School (6 total air fryers). These air fryers would be used periodically throughout the school year by students in 6th, 7th, & 8th grade. They would enhance the already existing cooking and nutrition curriculum being taught at Walnut. This grant will benefit 750 students in grades 6-8.

Jennifer Skrdla, Catherine Bruer, Success Academy, $1,200, “Success Academy 3-in-1 3D Printer.” A 3-in-1 3D printer is a desktop size 3D printer with the capabilities to use laser engraving as well as CNC carving. This machine will assist the Success Academy Middle School program to engage the Grand Islands Public School's four pillars: Empower, Personalize, Design and Partner. Students will be using their imagination and creativity to design their creation while using technical skills to program the machine in order to produce their concept into a 3D image. This grant will benefit 300 students in grades 6-8.

Miranda Hohm, Engleman Elementary School, $1,300, “Classroom Ukuleles.” This project will allow the music department at Engleman Elementary to purchase a classroom set of ukuleles. This will give the students an opportunity to learn to play the ukulele. This student-friendly instrument is a great learning tool for creating and performing music but it also helps enhance fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, helps improve reading skills and benefits a student's social emotional health as learning an instrument can do. This grant will benefit 482 students in grades K-5.

Audrey Scott, Engleman Elementary School, $149, “Apple TV for ALL Wildcat Eyes to See.” This grant will enable every student at Engleman to access information quicker, and more effectively, when they are at media. An Apple TV will engage students from the moment they walk in until the moment they leave while aiding in their ability to see what is being demonstrated easier. Students often struggle with translating instructions from the teacher’s screen to their own Chromebook screen. An Apple TV will allow us to give instructions from anywhere in the computer lab, gain proximity with students, while maintaining rigor. This grant will benefit 482 students in grades K-5.

Breanna Salinas, Tonia Schmall, and Alison Zitterkopf, Starr Elementary School, $2,000, “Starr Elementary Outdoor Classroom.” This project is an outdoor classroom for all Starr students to use. It includes a concrete flooring, tables to work on and an awning for protection. This would enhance student's learning in all content areas, including social emotional learning. This grant will benefit 250 students in grades K-5.

Wendy Louder, and Jessica Whitmire, Grand Island Senior High, $800, “Raised Garden Beds for Agribusiness Pathway.” The raised garden beds will be used to transplant the plants we start in the classroom. As the plants start to produce, we will examine the growing process. Once the produce is ready, we will have a little farmers market to sell the produce, this will allow the students to go through the selling process and how to keep accurate records. This grant will benefit 100 students in grades 9-12.

Rebecca Duran Meyer, Knickrehm Elementary School, $1,985, “Drug and Alcohol Prevention.” This grant would provide Knickrehm Elementary with two evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programs: An Apple a Day and Botvin Lifeskills Training, which also aligns with CASEL's social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies. The programs together would cover KG to 5th grade to help prevent substance abuse and prevent violence. The curriculum has been proven to help increase self-esteem, develop healthy attitudes, and improve knowledge of essential life skills - all of which promote healthy and positive personal development and mental health. This grant will benefit 180 students in grades K-5.

Shelby Wallick, Wyandotte Learning Center, $1,010, “Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Training- Counseling and Mental Health Pathway.” This project will allow me to obtain certification as a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Instructor. QPR is a training program that allows participants to learn the warning signs of a suicidal individual as well as giving them the skills needed to respond to that situation. As a certified Gatekeeper Instructor, I would then train and certify the students in the Counseling and Mental Health Pathway at Grand Island Senior High School and potentially students in other pathways in the Academy of Education, Law, and Public Safety in the future. This grant will benefit 200 students in grades 9-12.

Extraordinary Times.
Extraordinary Opportunities.
GIPS Foundation announces Fall 2020 Classroom Grant Awards

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to release $6,995 in Fall Classroom Grant Awards. Seven classroom grants were funded this fall that will benefit 3,298 students of the Grand Island Public Schools. Read more here and watch video below.

Congratulations to all 2020-21 Classroom Mini-Grant winners in Round One!

Rebecca Hoobler, Barr Middle School, $1,600, “Building an ‘I AM NOTICED’ Community.” This grant will allow Barr Middle School to start the process of collaborating with I AM NOTICED LLC.  I AM NOTICED is a tier one approach to Social Emotional Learning and mental wellness.  I AM NOTICED program and product is built on the foundation of teaching intra and interpersonal communication and relationship building skills.  The practice of I AM NOTICED cycle/philosophy (Want To, Positive I AM's, Noticing Goodness, Receiving Goodness and Rippling Goodness) which leads to outcomes of more confident and resilient students, staff and family members. This grant will benefit 700 students in grades 6-8.


Nicole O’Hara, Joni Jaros, LoriaLei Thunker, and Amber High, Engleman Elementary, Newell Elementary, Shoemaker Elementary and Starr Elementary, $350, “Gifted and Talented Literature Circles.” This year the GIPS Gifted Specialist team which includes four teachers will be meeting the needs of gifted and talented students in 4th and 5th grades at all 14 elementary buildings and virtual school.  (Gifted and talented students are sometimes better known as high ability learners.)  As a team, we were challenged to think outside of the box to determine a way to provide services for these students in the district in order to enhance the program's equity without hiring additional staff.  After much consideration, we determined that we could connect with students at schools without a Gifted Specialist via Zoom once a week. This grant will benefit 40 students in grades 4-5.


Katie Soto, Academies of Grand Island Senior High, $999 x5 = $4,995, “Owl Labs for EDU – Virtual Learning for the Classroom.” The OWL is a smart video conferencing camera that captures 360° video and audio of classrooms. This technology will turn our classrooms into hybrid classrooms, allowing a more engaging distance learning experience for our students. It can also be used to connect our teachers in PLCs while we are practicing social distancing, and provide video for teacher reflection. The five grants will benefit 2,558 students in the following Academies: Business and Communications; Education, Law, and Public Safety; Engineering and Technology; Medical Sciences; and Technical Sciences.


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