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Classroom Grants

GIPS Foundation announces opening of 2020 Classroom Grant Application

The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation is pleased to offer the first round of the 2020-2021 annual mini-grant cycle. “The GIPS Foundation Board is committed to investing in students. The pandemic has created different realities for learning. We know GIPS Teachers and Staff are creative and resilient. We look forward to helping them invest in students in these times,” said Kirk Ramsey, GIPS Foundation Board President.

Last school year, 17 mini-grants were funded across the district that impacted approximately 3,222 students. The mini-grant fund is established via the Add it Up to Opportunity! Staff and Board fund drive and Community Fund Drives held during the 2019-2020 school year.

Grant awards will range from $100 - $2,000.

 


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 @gips.org 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
  • January 28 at 4:00 pm - closed
  • February - awards announced
  • Projects should begin after March 1. This could include summer school and next fall.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the System Administrator with questions at cwiemers@gips.org

  • How do I create an account?

    NOTE: Only applicants with a @gips.org 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 cwiemers@gips.org.

    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 @gips.org 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 (cwiemers@gips.org).

 

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?

 

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. 

Congratulations to all Classroom Mini-Grant winners in 2019-20!

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Gina Conyers and Clint Felber, Barr Middle School, $450, “Outdoor Leisure Activities.” We would love to offer a unit at the beginning and end of every school year that features yard games that our students will most likely play in their neighborhoods, tailgating, or while camping with family and friends in the summer like:  Ladder golf, Polish Horseshoes, Corn Hole, Yard Darts and Kan Jam. This is a great unit to add to our curriculum as it is able to help us hit several standards. They will also be developing skill and knowledge of games that they will be able to participate in for a lifetime of fun. This grant will benefit 750 students in grades 6-8.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Kim McCain, Jodi Fegley, Engleman Elementary, $1,830, “Wildcats Wild about Maker Space!” With the Makerspace movement in full swing across our district, Engleman Elementary wants to expand their learning opportunities for their students. With only four large robots, adding the ability to code more often is one goal for a student body of 530. We also would like to continue developing creativity and problem solving using recyclables with Makedo: Cardboard Construction. With Makerspace hands-on learning activities, students gain problem solving skills and collaboration skills in the curriculum areas of math, science, art, language/literature, and technology. This grant will benefit 530 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Sara Robinson, Gates Elementary, $1,000, “Every Student, Every Day, A Reader!” The purpose of this grant is to provide teachers with the materials they need to design meaningful phonics lessons. The materials will guide instruction that directly aligns to the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional development. This grant will benefit 215 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Bianca Ayala, Howard Elementary, $250, “Books & Braids.” Books & Braids is a morning weekly club where the students are able to read books of their choice and have their hair styled. All students (boys & girls) are welcomed and after having their hair styled leave with a big smile on their face! Having special books and hair materials for the club would engage more students to join while building their confidence at the same time! This grant will benefit 50 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Chandra Kosmicki, Jefferson Elementary, $1,870, “Stop-Motion Claymation Movie Makin’.” Remember the Gumby or the California Raisins? In this project, students will grow their skills as a 21st century learner and become engaged in stop-motion animation by creating, editing, and sharing their very own Claymation movie. This grant will benefit 400 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Jason Zelasney, Shane Campbell, and John Faxon, Jefferson Elementary, $1,000, “Jefferson Gentleman.” The Jefferson Gentlemen will be a program focused on teaching our young boys how to be our next generation gentlemen. This program will teach our boys skills to help them feel good about themselves in every setting and have the confidence to lead by example. Our goal is to lift students up and help prepare them for the road ahead. During our group time, we plan to focus on learning proper etiquette in different settings, how to dress to impress and tie a tie, how to give a proper handshake and demonstrate respect to others, and learn other characteristics of being a gentleman. This grant will benefit 50 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Trevor Cornelius and Nancy Sutherland, Knickrehm Elementary, $900, “It Only Takes a Spark.” It can be difficult for students to transition from reading picture books to chapter books; for some students, due to fear and lack of confidence, it seems almost impossible. These obstacles can be overcome by creating an afterschool program using literacy circles, where like-ability students can gather to explore and discuss the hidden treasures found within the written word. This grant will be used to purchase sets of books from seven different genres, in four different reading levels, in order to meet our students where they are at and encourage them to grow. This grant will benefit 40 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Kevin Butters, Vicki Weseman, and Brenda Carlson, Lincoln Elementary, $1,000, “Patterns of Earth and Sky.” As fifth grade students begin the school year, they investigate what causes the daily and yearly pattern of what objects we see in the night sky. Throughout the investigations they discover how the orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, causes observable patterns. These students would greatly benefit from an end-of-unit, culminating activity that includes a trip to the University of Nebraska at Kearney Planetarium and an art activity incorporating what they have learned. Students could make connections with what they have learned, recognize many of the stars they have read about, and share in an experience which would stay with them for years to come. This grant will benefit 65 students in grade 5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Danielle Dudo, Stephanie Finnegan, Andrew Poltack, and Katie Slattery, Newell Elementary, $850, “Traveling Along the Oregon Trail.” Students will experience the Oregon Trail in a first-hand expedition across school district property. Students will face many of the same challenges that pioneers faced from traveling hardships, illness, trading and pioneer meals. Their mission is to successfully transport their family along the trail to their final destination. (Starting at Newell Elementary, stopping at Walnut Middle School and ending at Grand Island Senior High). This grant will benefit 80 students in grades 4-5.

 

View more pictures HERE

Jerome Dubas, Grand Island Senior High, $1,146, “UNDRground Contemporary Arts Marketing.” The Senior High Art Department collaborates with the Azteca Market to operate a professional art gallery- UNDRground Contemporary Arts. The operating expenses include postcard mailings, postage, and vinyl, insurance, transportation expenses, food for receptions, website hosting fees, pedestals, and other miscellaneous expenses (light bulbs, paint, cleaning supplies, hardware, etc.). Every two months we have a new show and we use the postcards to market each of the art shows, and we apply vinyl to the entry foyer wall with the artist's name and the name of the show. This grant will benefit 45 students in grades 9-12.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Corey Farlee, Shaun Willey and Maggie Mintken, Grand Island Senior High, $250, “Journals & Paper Planners for Freshman Academy.” Working as a counselor in the Freshman Academy at Grand Island Senior High we have learned that our freshmen need help with organization and dealing with emotions. We have found success using journaling strategies to manage feelings and maintain mental health with many students. We have also observed student's organization skills and grades improve by using paper planners to help them gain control of their workload, which can be overwhelming for freshman. The transition from middle school to high school can be troubling, so having these materials to assist our students with this transition would be helpful. This grant will benefit 100 students in grade 9.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Nancy Jones, Grand Island Senior High, $559, “TeamMates Lego Project.” As a school-based mentoring program, TeamMates of Grand Island's main goal is to build positive, trusting relationships between students and mentors through weekly conversations and activities. These conversations are the basis for constructive, critical life decisions that students choose to discuss with their mentor, but can often be difficult when new relationships are developing. Having a physical focus in their hands, helps students to openly talk about themselves and their lives without feeling interviewed or interrogated. TeamMates would like to purchase Legos sets for the four TeamMates schools in the district; Barr, Walnut, Westridge and Senior High. This grant will benefit 130 students in grades 6-12.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Melissa McDonald, Shoemaker Elementary, $1,000, “Every Student, Every day, A Reader!” The purpose of this grant is to provide teachers the materials they need to design meaningful phonics lessons. The materials will support instruction that directly aligns with the LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional development. This grant will benefit 280 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Janet Dobbins and Rebecca Waind, Stolley Park Elementary, $1,300, “Purposeful Play in a Kindergarten Classroom.” We are creating an environment in the kindergarten classroom whereas 'play' becomes purposeful in providing extensive opportunities for children to represent and extend their thinking through multiple modalities including, but not limited to drawing, writing, painting, movement, drama, construction, dance, technology, and discovery. Purposeful play centers will integrate standards, targets, and success criteria to naturally support learning. 'Play' will provide areas in the classroom that are ever-changing. This grant will benefit 46 students in Kindergarten.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Lauren Peitzmeier and Sandy Meyer, Stolley Park Elementary, $1,947, “Make Space for Robotics!” We would like to provide opportunities for Stolley Park students to experience robotics and coding using Ozobots and Spheros in our dedicated makerspace where they will be available for all K-5 teachers to use with their entire class, in addition to before and after school STEAM programs and clubs. The Ozobot is a small but powerful robot that is programmable using simple markers (for beginners) or block based computer programming (for intermediate users). Like the Ozobot, the Sphero SPRK+ utilizes drawing and block based programming, but adds a third level for advanced learners to use JavaScript to actually write text programs. This grant will benefit 225 students in grades K-5.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Kenneth DeFrank, Success Academy, $1,970, “Flexible Seating.” Success Academy is an alternative program that focuses on students with mental and behavior challenges. We would like to offer more flexible seating to our students, including wiggly chairs, rocking chairs, and any other non-traditional seating to help kids stay focused on their academics. This grant will benefit 91 students in grades 9-12.

 

Watch the live presentation HERE
View more pictures HERE

Nicole LeClaire, Wyandotte Learning Center, $2,000, “Building a 21st Century Crime Lab – Law and Public Safety Academy at the Academies of Grand Island Senior High.”  This grant will design and build a crime lab where LPS students would be able to role-play future careers in the fields of Law and Public Safety through crime scene simulations. The crime lab would be dynamic-scenes, simulations, and events would change and build upon unit concepts. This grant would offset the cost of supplies to build set scenes and supplemental lesson materials. This grant will benefit 125 students in grades 9-12.

 

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