All LMSD Home and School Associations generously contribute to the Interschool Council Mini Grant Program. This year’s program resulted in the funding of 44 projects, of which 4 were fully and 40 were partially funded, for a total amount of $13,815. A special thank you to the members of the Mini Grant Review Committee for their continued support and thoughtful input in awarding the 2022/2023 projects.
APPLICATION PROCESS AND TIMETABLE
Week of January 24th, 2023 - Invitation to Apply
- The ISC, via LMSD administration, notifies its staff via email about the opportunity to apply for an ISC Mini Grant.
- Application, guidelines and past projects are posted on the ISC page of the LMSD website.
- HSA presidents and ISC representatives are notified that the "Invitation to Apply" has been sent to the LMSD teachers and student support staff.
Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 - Deadline to submit applications.
- Staff must submit applications on or before this date.
- Please submit applications via this Google Form.
- *Note that you will need a G-Suite account (i.e., a Gmail address or Google Drive account) to complete the form. If you need assistance setting up such an account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download updated GRANT Guidelines here.
April 2023 - Application Review and Selection
A committee, comprised of a diverse group of LMSD administrators and parents, will evaluate the mini grant applications. The committee uses a blind review process: when they read the proposal and make a recommendation for funding, the committee will not know which staff or schools have submitted the applications.
May 2023 - Grant Awards are announced
All applicants will receive email notification as to the status of their application: Fully Funded; Partially Funded; Not Funded. The awardees may begin implementing their grants after they have received their letter and the LMSD Board of Directors has accepted the awards.
- The Goal of the ISC Mini Grant Program is to support creative and innovative approaches to teaching and to support the personal and academic development of LMSD students.
- Staff may submit a grant application with other staff members. Applicants may work together across disciplines and schools to submit grant applications.
- Staff is limited to submitting two grants total, either by themselves or with others.
- Grants are awarded that impact both small and large groups of students. The number of students impacted is only one factor in considering a grant application.
- All grant applications must be submitted online to the ISC Mini Grant Program by the established deadline posted on the ISC website.
- The ISC Mini Grant Chair(s) will acknowledge receipt of application via email to the Primary Contact on the application.
- All applications must include a detailed budget: items to be purchased, quantities, vendors, price, shipping and handling and tax if you are not getting a tax exemption. Submitting broad categories with a dollar amount will not be considered. For example, “Books--$250” or “Supplies--$100” does not provide the required detail. In this example, the list of book titles or specific supplies to be purchased would need to be included with the grant application.
- Grant applications may reference a website and provide a link as supplemental information but cannot be used as the primary explanation for an item or request. It is expected that you will describe your proposal as it specifically relates to your classroom or work area.
- Budget items that are typically NOT funded:
- Office equipment
- General school supplies
- Document copying
- Mailing costs (excluding product shipping and handling)
- Consumable items (including food, beverages, subscriptions)
- Transportation, lodging or conference fees
- iPads or laptops
- Outside guest speakers
- High School Senior Projects
- Items that pose safety hazards, such as wobble chairs
- Applicants may submit additional information to further support a request when completing their grant application. You are not limited to the space provided or the information requested on the application.
- Handwritten applications will not be considered.
- Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Applicants must consult with their building principal(s) or supervisor before submitting an application to ensure that an ISC Mini Grant is the appropriate funding source for the project.
GRANT REVIEW PROCESS:
- All grants are evaluated through a blind review process. Identifying information such as applicant name(s) and school(s) is removed.
- The Grant Review Committee is compromised of the ISC Mini Grant Chair(s), ISC members, an HSA president, a CSE representative, an LMSD principal, LMSD parents and other LMSD administrators according to the type of grant applications submitted.
- Technology requests will be reviewed by the Director of Technology to ensure compatibility with LMSD. In addition, applications may be reviewed for curriculum compatibility by the applicant’s school principal and/or the appropriate department of LMSD’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction. Consulting with the relevant administrators before applying and including a statement of approval in the application is appreciated.
- The review committee considers all the applications holistically to ensure equity.
- Grants may be fully funded, partially funded or not funded based upon the consensus of the Grant Review Committee.
- Applicants can be awarded funding for the same grant for a maximum of 3 years. However, grants funded during a review cycle are not guaranteed funding in subsequent years; grant applications must be resubmitted each year in order to receive multiple year funding.
- If the Grant Review Committee awards partial funding for a grant, the awardee may be advised in the congratulations letter on which portion of the grant is being funded.
- Items identified in the individual grant budget are the only items to be approved for reimbursement by the ISC Mini Grant Program. If a change or substitution is required (e.g., a certain product is no longer available), prior approval from the ISC Mini Grant Chair is required for reimbursement.
- Maximum award for any grant is $1,000. There is no minimum dollar value for approved awards. All awards will be rounded up to the nearest dollar.
- Grant money that is awarded in May of each year for the upcoming grant year will be available for reimbursement after the awardees receive their award letter and the LMSD Board of Directors has accepted the awards.
- Purchases for the project can be made either directly by the awardee or can be purchased through LMSD (items may be available from a district-preferred vendor with reduced prices). If ordering through the school’s purchasing secretary, please confirm that the purchase is to be coded for the ISC Mini Grants. Reimbursements will be made accordingly to either the awardee or LMSD Purchasing.
- In rare circumstances, a third-party vendor may be considered for direct reimbursement. The ISC Mini Grant Chair is required to approve in advance a third-party vendor reimbursement request.
- No reimbursement requests will be filled unless the reimbursement form and reimbursement procedures identified on the form are followed by the award recipient(s). Reimbursements are to be submitted via this Reimbursement Google Form. Reimbursement will be paid from receipts ONLY. Quotes are not an acceptable form of receipt.
- If funds are not spent all at one time, two reimbursement requests can be made by a teacher during the course of the school year.
- Should the total dollar amount of the items bought exceed the approved amount of the mini grant awarded, the difference may or may not be reimbursed according to the funds available.
- Should circumstances change, it is the responsibility of the Primary Contact to promptly contact the ISC Mini Grant Chair(s) for confirmed approval of funding.
- Requests for ISC mini grant reimbursements must be submitted to the ISC Mini Grant Chair by June 1st of the grant school year (e.g., reimbursement requests for 2023–24 mini grants are due on June 1, 2024). After June 30th, any unspent funds go back to the ISC Mini Grant Program.
All LMSD Home and School Associations generously contributed to the Interschool Council Mini Grant Program. This year’s program resulted in the funding of 44 projects, of which 4 were fully and 40 were partially funded, for a total amount of $13,815. A special thank you to the members of the Mini Grant Review Committee for their continued support and thoughtful input in awarding the following projects:
In the Elementary Schools, the following ISC Mini Grants have been awarded to enrich our youngest LMSD students:
BELMONT HILLS ELEMENTARY: Deena Szilezy-Oppenheimer/Patricia Breen’s Kid's Zen Den will provide an environment using relaxation tools within the nurse's office that will provide a peaceful and mindful experience for students while visiting the office. Total funding $225
BELMONT HILLS ELEMENTARY: Bobbie Moore’s Cultural Proficiency Shareable Lessons and Materials will provide Culturally Diverse Books and Materials available to Students and Classrooms, this is a start to a project that would have readily available lessons for educators to use with their students. These multicultural materials would be easily accessible therefore encouraging the use of the materials (and lessons) to all students and staff at Belmont Hills. We propose having the materials and lessons stored on a rolling moveable cart conveniently located right outside of the classrooms. The lessons and materials will be added to and grow as our building CP committee develops more lessons. Total funding $500
BELMONT HILLS ELEMENTARY: Kirsten Lawson’s Kindergarten Butterfly Garden will provide Supplies to put together a butterfly garden to go along with our butterfly unit in both the fall and the spring. We want to put a raised bed in the front of our school with flowers to attract butterflies. Total funding $301.97
BELMONT HILLS ELEMENTARY: Kirsten Lawson’s Kindergarten STEAM Innovation Station will provide STEAM Bins for Kindergarten to encourage creativity develop the inner engineer. Total funding $175
CYNWYD ELEMENTARY: Allison Gilboy’s Reading Room Replenish During the pandemic, many of the great books that we had in our lending library did not return to school. It is so important for kids to have self-selected, high-interest, and on-level texts to read throughout the school day and at home. This money would be used to help replenish the contents of the lending library. Total funding $250
CYNWYD ELEMENTARY: Rebecca Burns’s Ukuleles for elementary general music will provide a class set of 25 ukuleles and cases to be used during General Music classes. This unit would act as the capstone to General Music curriculum and incorporate all the elements of music including melody, rhythm, harmony, tone color, form and expression. Students would learn the basics of playing a fretted string instrument, experience chord progressions and then finally write, accompany and record their own song. Total funding $450
CYNWYD ELEMENTARY: Jennifer Wiley’s CYNWYD ELEMENTARY Sensory and regulation project will provide a sensory and regulation space for Cynwyd Students to support habits of mind and students needs. Total funding $500
GLADWYNNE ELEMENTARY: Jennifer Welby Gilbert’s 2G Sensory and Social Emotional Learning Focus in response to COVID will provide Flexible Seating and sensory tools to help students Total funding $250
GLADWYNNE ELEMENTARY: Stefanie Bingham’s Art/Music Therapy Bins will provide Art and Music supplies to provide the full day Autistic support students an opportunity to express themselves, de-escalate, or self-regulate during a moment of escalation or distress. Total funding $400
GLADWYNNE ELEMENTARY: Vaughan Dimaio’s Chillville will provide a calming environment to support students with sensory seeking behaviors and emotional regulation needs. The items include an assortment of flexible seating options, materials to support self-regulation of behaviors and access to sensory input, and materials to support a calm and soothing classroom environment for accessing the school day. The access to fidgets and sensory materials would allow for students to utilize different tools when talking with adults about difficult and emotional topics. These tools can also be utilized by students when in need of a sensory input or an emotional break to guide towards self-regulation and regain control of the student’s body and emotions in order to resume and access their school day. Total funding $300
GLADWYNNE ELEMENTARY: Lisa Unger’s STEM Enrichment Kits/Centers will provide STEM Center -Students will collaborate and be enriched with STEM centers’ ongoing projects during class time once they have demonstrated mastery of the standard(s) being taught in a specific subject area each day. They will also be enriched during recess time with ongoing STEM projects. Total funding $233
GLADWYNNE ELEMENTARY: Samantha Mancini’s STEM in a BOX-Refill Items will provide Last spring I wrote a grant for STEM in a BOX. My Kindergarten class and Parents have LOVED using the boxes all year. It has been a HUGE success. Some of the items need to be replaced. I'm writing this grant to replace items that broke, got lost or are in rough. Total funding $69.92
MERION ELEMENTARY: Dulcimeire Donahue’s Reading Around The World will provide Books in languages from around the world for students who speak languages other than English. Total funding $400
MERION ELEMENTARY: Alexis Vastardis’s Self-Regulation and Sensory will provide Tools to support self-regulation and sensory needs Total funding $300
PENN VALLEY ELEMENTARY: Elaine Johnson’s Realizing Achievement by Recognizing Excellence will extend the curriculum to provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful lessons, activities, and constructive discourse to develop positive racial/cultural self-identity with the use of multiple sets of flashcards that highlight Africans and African-Americans in STEM as well as journals for the students to journal and reflect on their learning and experiences in the program. Total funding $240 PENN VALLEY ELEMENTARY
PENN VALLEY ELEMENTARY: Heather Flynn’s STEM in a box will provide Kindergartners a take home a STEM in a BOX 6 times per year. Each box will include a book, materials to complete a related STEM challenge with the help of their parents or family members and a QR code that will take them to a virtual classroom where they can extend their learning about the topic if they chose to do so. Total funding $137.43
PENN WYNNE ELEMENTARY: Lisa Guidetti’s Kindergarten Sensory Path will help support the learning of our youngest students we would like to have a designated spot for students to safely and effectively "take a movement break", so they are able to able to return to leaning and work. This can be for a "brain-break", "moment-break", or "sensory break", that many children often need when asked to work for an extended period of time. Total funding $350
PENN WYNNE ELEMENTARY: Sarah Steiner’s Kindergartners Learn Chess! will provide Story Time Chess books and materials to teach kindergartners chess while also supporting essential reading skills such as listening comprehension and retell, as well as students' social-emotional development as they navigate mini games with peers Total funding $60.97
PENN WYNNE ELEMENTARY: Jordan Kofsky’s Sensory Library will provide A multi sensory approach to emotional and sensory regulation across the entire school building. Total funding $400
In our Middle Schools, ISC Mini Grants will benefit students through the following awards:
BALA CYNWYD MIDDLE: Beth Pavletich’s Promote Literacy will provide Increased reading. Each year we collaborate with each other as well as with the gifted support teacher and librarian to create a list of new books of interest at various reading levels to add to our classroom bookshelves. In addition, with the new middle school and teachers moving and changing subject matter it is imperative that we have a classroom library. Total funding $400
BALA CYNWYD MIDDLE: Jennifer Cornely’s The Abilities in Me… will provide children’s books that introduce various special needs to expand the diversity of our classroom library and allow students to make a personal connection with literature. Total funding $134.25
BALA CYNWYD MIDDLE: Nicole Malley’s Promote Literacy will provide newly recommended, age appropriate novels. This will allow my classroom to have an updated library for students to borrow/ utilize throughout the year. Total funding $350
BALA CYNWYD MIDDLE: Jennifer Cornely’s Sensory Space for students will provide Students with intellectual disabilities a benefit from additional sensory input throughout their school day. Students would benefit from the addition of a trampoline for proprioceptive input as well as a bubble tube for visual input to the sensory experiences that are already available in the Life Skills classroom. Total funding $149.99
BLACK ROCK MIDDLE SCHOOL: Christina Gancarz’s Free Voluntary Reading will provide a variety of level and age appropriate Spanish readers for students to partake in Free Voluntary Reading in Spanish in order to increase their proficiency. Total funding $200
BLACK ROCK MIDDLE SCHOOL: Jennifer Ekert’s 7th grade Team Library of Graphic Fiction and Nonfiction will provide 7th grade Team Library of Graphic Fiction and Nonfiction. Total funding $150
BLACK ROCK MIDDLE SCHOOL: Mary Beth Kadyan’s Family and Consumer Sciences STEM Stitching Project will provide STEM stitching materials include light tracing pads, stitching hoops, and pattern books that can accompany classroom materials to allow students to create cross stitching patterns. Total funding $236.65
BLACK ROCK MIDDLE SCHOOL: Dana Torrente’s project: Turning STEM into STEAM with General Music will provide The Makey Makey. It brings creativity and coding together by allowing an interactive experience for students to create their own digital instruments. By turning everyday objects into touchpads and combine with a digital interface, the Makey Makey is a simple invention kit for beginners and explore art, engineering, music, and everything in between. Total funding $699.95
BLACK ROCK MIDDLE SCHOOL: Dr. Jessica Segal’s Flexible and Fun will provide Flexible and Fun, sensory materials and activities to improve students' social reciprocity skills in the spirit of community, in a student-driven school environment. Sensory materials to enhance student's ability to regulate their sensory systems. Total funding $300
WELSH VALLEY MIDDLE: Michael "Lek" Sullivan’s Chemical Analysis and Composition will provide Moisture meter and Analysis devices for chemistry units in middle school. Total funding $100
WELSH VALLEY MIDDLE: Matthew Birch’s Wildlife Improvement Initiative will provide 7th grade Science PLC to place new nesting boxes and feeders behind the A building and Link area. Total funding $121.89
WELSH VALLEY MIDDLE: Addie Eichman’s Family and Consumer Sciences STEM Stitching Project will provide STEM stitching materials include light tracing pads, stitching hoops, and pattern books that can accompany classroom materials to allow students to create cross stitching patterns. Total funding $236.65
WELSH VALLEY MIDDLE: Lindsey Tifft’s Physical Computing will provide The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer that students can code, customize and control to bring their digital ideas, games, and apps to life. The students will customize the micro:bit to design tasks around the school like watering plants and using a stopwatch to more advanced tasks like creating robots and musical instruments. Total funding $431.80
WELSH VALLEY MIDDLE: Lauren Ruth’s Fantastic Fidgets In Middle School will provide a calm, inviting office space for students who come to see us. They have made a very positive impact on our students and adults and we are hoping to add to our collection and replace damaged/lost items. Total funding $400
In our high schools, ISC Mini Grants will support these innovative projects:
HARRITON HIGH: Andrea Wilson-Harvey’s Engaging in Civil Discourse: Teachers and Students Exercising Freedom will provide books for the club, Students Advocating for Greater Equity along with members of faculty want to promote a monthly, year long discussion using several books to study: I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times; Allow Me to Retort; and The Soul of America. Other short texts for discussion to be chosen by students and/or faculty. Total funding $250
HARRITON HIGH: Nyanthen Bantoe’s NSBE STEM Elementary Mentoring will provide the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE Jr.) with materials for our meetings with 3-5 elementary school students to enhance the activities that we perform with them as we help develop a natural love of STEM within them as well as produce future members for our club. We are in the 5th year of mentoring these students and would like to set them on a path to explore the world of STEM. Some of our current NSBE members were formerly students that were also mentored in the past and enjoy going back to work with students at their former elementary schools. Total funding $750
HARRITON HIGH: Veronica Vladimiorva-Cambria’s "Fun Box" will provide many handmade by students Latin Language games as part of our various competitive projects. Total funding $370
HARRITON HIGH: Katelyn Jaxheimer’s Rams Focus on Wellness, Problem-Solving and Teamwork will provide Board games, KEVA planks, and Buddha Boards for our Library space Total funding $350
HARRITON HIGH: Christine Kiley’s Cytosis is the Most-ist! will provide Students with review cell organelles by playing an action packed board game. Total funding $148.63
LOWER MERION HIGH: Mikell Nigro’s Apartment Supplies LMHS has an apartment which is used within our special education department for our life skills and Autistic Support Students to participate in hands-on application of skills necessary to live as independently as possible. These skills include, laundry skills, cleaning the bathroom, making the bed, cooking, vacuuming, etc.. Total funding $400
LOWER MERION HIGH: Monica Farrell’s LMHS Coffee Cart will provide Coffee cart, aprons, containers, and cash register for Life Skills/Autistic Support students to practice vocational tasks and activities of daily living. Total funding $791.82
LOWER MERION HIGH: Taryn Stevens’s EMBRACE will provide EMBRACE a school-wide event celebrating community and diversity at Lower Merion High School. The event is a teacher-driven, student-informed action step taken by the Lower Merion High School chapter of ARC (the Anti-Racist Coalition) in alignment with the district’s equity efforts. The event will be held on May 27th, 2022, but we would like for it to occur annually. We are using this year’s supply list as a basis for our grant request for next year’s event and are hoping to acquire materials that can be used from year-to-year to support this DEI endeavor. Total funding $500
LOWER MERION HIGH: Kerry Smith’s Makerspace LMHS Library: Aces Focus on Team Building, Mindfulness Activities and Problem Solving will provide Board Games, Structured Activities, Mindfulness Activities and Craft Activities for the LMHS Library Total funding $350
2023-24 Grant Documents
2022-23 Grant Documents
- Reimbursement (Google Form)
Due June 1st, 2023
- Project Feedback (Google Form)