Our Grants

The foundation offers grants to our network of current and alumni mentors and fellows, along with principals and administrators. Grant participants must work in a Cotsen-affiliated school and district (see our schools page). For grants specifically designed to support alumni, eligible alumni are fellows and mentors who have completed the ART of TEACHING. Please see the sidebar for additional suggestions on the development and focus of grants.

The grants are designed to promote artful teaching and learning and continue the work begun during the ART of TEACHING. Funding is limited to areas that support best educational practices. This could include teaching for understanding and independence, student engagement, development of rigorous thinking and problem-solving, as well as the continuing study of teaching methods to support these practices. Each grant will be representative of high-quality professional learning while being research and data driven. Each grant should also be content-based and collaborative.

1 Strategic Opportunity Grants
2 Alumni Study Grants
3 Parent Engagement Grants
4 Alumni Conference Grants
5 Extended Coaching Grants
6 Alumni Classroom Library Grant
1 Strategic Opportunity Grants

Strategic Opportunity Grants

 

The purpose of this grant is to sustain and grow the work of the alumni by creating professional learning communities and promoting effective teaching practices within and across Cotsen schools. Projects should cultivate a collaborative culture and be focused on learning and results. Projects should be sustainable over time and promote teaching practices that are embedded in the daily work of teaching.

 

We offer up to $8,000 for an individual school, up to $18,000 for two schools, up to $27,000 for three schools, and up to $36,000 for four or more schools within a district. The principal must be directly involved from each school with at least half the staff from each school participating or either all upper grades or all lower grades. For projects with multiple schools, a leadership team of 3-5 people to implement the project is highly recommended. Grant funds may be used to obtain release time for classroom observations or workshops, strategic planning, books for professional study, and materials and resources.

 

Grant funds are not eligible to provide stipends for participants, except for those paid for planning and/or facilitating the group. During the year, the foundation will make site visits and follow up with the leadership team or main contact for the grant.

2 Alumni Study Grants

Alumni Study Grants

 

The purpose of this grant is to support ongoing teacher collaboration while improving student learning. We offer up to $500 per participant with a minimum of three and a recommended maximum of fifteen participants. Eligible applicant groups may be formed within or across schools in a district and are encouraged to include non-Cotsen teachers. The main contact for the grant must be an eligible Cotsen alumnus. More than one group of alumni may apply from one school. Current fellows and mentors in the ART of TEACHING are not eligible to participate.

 

Funds may be used for release time for classroom observations or workshops, books and materials for professional reading, and classroom materials related to the group study; funds cannot be solely used for materials. Grant funds are not eligible to provide stipends for participants. Groups must meet for study at least three times during the school year and provide a schedule of meeting days to the foundation within one month of the grant’s approval.

3 Parent Engagement Grants

Parent Engagement Grants

 

The purpose of the Parent Engagement Grant is to help parents better understand classroom curriculum and learn ways to support the academic and social-emotional development of their child at home. We offer Individual classroom project grants up to $750 and school project grants up to $2,000.Projects should be sustainable over time and promote parent and family engagement activities that develop teacher, parent and family relationships to create engagement that supports student achievement.

 

Both current fellows and mentors in the ART of TEACHING and alumni are eligible to participate. Individual classroom and school project grant funds may be used to provide meeting materials, refreshments, books, and limited additional items directly related to the grant plan. School project grant funds may also be used to pay for expert consultants planning and/or facilitating school events and must involve the school principalat least half the staff from the school, or either all upper grades or all lower grades.  Grant funds are not eligible to provide stipends for participants.

4 Alumni Conference Grants

Alumni Conference Grants

 

The purpose of this grant is to provide support to alumni attending professional development to further the work started during the ART of TEACHING. The amount offered varies depending on the conference or institute. Current fellows and mentors are not eligible to participate. Funds are used for reimbursement to cover the cost of registration and/or travel, which includes airfare and/or accommodation the night before the conference through the last day of the conference. Grant funds may not be used to reimburse per diem expenses such as mileage, ground transportation, and meals. Individuals must have proof of registration/acceptance or waitlist status before the grant application can be processed, all reimbursement will occur once expense reimbursement form and receipts have been received and will be paid directly to the individual, not the school/district. The maximum reimbursement allowed is based on attending the full conference, partial attendance may reduce the amount offered. Within three weeks after your event, please submit the reimbursement form and receipts electronically to Tyler Sanders at tsanders@cotsen.org.

 

Click here for a sample selection of eligible conferences and institutes, this is not an exhaustive list. Please contact Jodi Manby at jmanby@cotsen.org if you are interested in a conference/institute that is not listed.

5 Extended Coaching Grants

Extended Coaching Grants

 

The purpose of this highly competitive grant is to support an alumni school’s effort to sustain and expand instructional practices school-wide after the fellowship has ended through a coaching model.  Projects should concentrate on one curricular area and detail a plan for coaching. Priority will go to projects that are multi-year in scope. The amount offered varies and can be up to 50% of the coach’s compensation package, in conjunction with district/site funding.  The principal will need to identify the coach at the onset of the application process as well as provide documentation detailing the coach’s compensation package.  Grant funds may only be used toward funding the coaching position.

 

The availability of this grant is currently being determined.  The foundation will send out any updates as they become available and the website will be updated accordingly. If you are interested in exploring this grant opportunity, please contact Jodi Manby at jmanby@cotsen.org.

6 Alumni Classroom Library Grant

Alumni Classroom Library Grant

 

The purpose of this grant is to support the steady growth as well as the natural attrition of classroom libraries. Projects should be focused on cultivating a classroom library that supports student identity and interest.

 

We offer up to $300 per grant and there will be a total of 100 grants awarded. Alumni must be classroom teachers; current fellows and mentors are not eligible to participate. Grant funds may not be used for text sets or library organization materials such as bins and shelves.

 

All reimbursement will occur once the expense reimbursement form and receipts have been received and will be paid directly to the individual, not the school/district. Please submit the reimbursement form and receipts electronically to Tyler Sanders at tsanders@cotsen.org.

Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and disseminating curricular approaches begun during the fellowship
  • Refining curricular practices
  • Student work analysis
  • Lesson Study/Lesson Link
  • Learning walks
  • Action Research
  • Professional book studies
  • Content inquiry
  • Standards inquiry and mapping
  • Methods to support differentiation
  • Peer coaching/Co-teaching

Considerations for grant proposal development:

  • Supports best practices
  • Clear focus on learning and independence
  • Embedded in the daily work of teaching and learning
  • Develop and/or cultivate a collaborative culture
  • Sustainable over time
  • Clear vision of impact
  • Aligned with specific Common Core State Standards

 

Two-Staged Application

The foundation’s two-stage application begins with our Letter of Inquiry (LOI). The foundation accepts LOIs on a rolling basis (daily, no deadlines-with the exception of the Extended Coaching Grant) and applicants can expect a response within two weeks. During the review, foundation staff may reach out to request additional information and arrange follow-up conversations as needed. Competitive LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal. Those applicants will receive instructions on how to access the online application and will have up to three weeks to complete their request. Once submitted, a full proposal may take up to two weeks to review before a funding decision is returned.

Before submitting an LOI, please review each grant and a downloadable version of the LOI application. We strongly encourage you to draft all stages in a word document or to save often when working on an LOI or an application.

  • To start the process of creating an LOI, please click here.
  • To return to an LOI you began earlier, please click here.

How We Disburse Grant Funds

If your request is approved, funds are paid either to the school or district. In using the funds, grant recipients must follow district accounting and substitute procedures. Funds are expected to be used during the school year that the grant is awarded. The foundation only reimburses individual recipients directly for the Alumni Conference Grant and the Alumni Classroom Library Grant.

How We Monitor Grants

If your request is approved, our “Grant Acknowledgement” agreement will outline the terms of your grant and any reporting requirements.

Final reports are due at the end of the grant period and provide a means to share progress, learnings, and feedback with the foundation. Grantees must submit their final reports to be considered for the following school year. The final report can be found in the “My Requirements” section within your account.