Teachers in the Georgetown Independent School District roll up their sleeves twice a year to brainstorm engaging projects and creative solutions for their students to present to the Georgetown ISD Education Foundation for funding. “It never ceases to amaze me what the teachers in our schools do on a daily basis and the type of innovative thinking and stretching that goes into helping our students be prepared for the future,” said Greg Bowden, president of the Georgetown Education Foundation. Fall grants are awarded to individual teachers for projects up to $500 each. Spring grants may be funded up to $5,000 and are the collaborative effort of more than one teacher or staff member.
Spring 2022 Awardees
All of the district's elementary librarians collectively received $2,600 for green screens and stop motion animation, which will help them connect elementary students better to the curriculum and literature.
“Reading for Success” at Mitchell Elementary will help students with learning dis- abilities become successful readers.
"Decodable Reading” at Carver Elemen- tary will provide Heggerty products that help with phonological awareness, which is the ability to work with sounds in spoken language. These skills set the stage for decoding, blending, and word reading.
“Award Winning Exploration Book Club” will provide eighth grade students at Benold Middle School with Newbery Award books. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the Amer- ican Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
McCoy Elementary teachers will have eight new virtual reality headsets, which will add a new and interactive dimension to learning.
Georgetown High School science teachers Elise Lutz and Grace Lisenby received $4,500 for their project, “Light up the World with DNA.” Their award will provide an electrophoresis system and miniPCR thermocycler for forensics and biotechnology classrooms. This equipment will allow students to separate DNA fragments for genetic testing and explore the nature of crime scene analysis.
In 2021, with funding from the Georgetown Education Foundation, GHS teachers Robert Thomas and Walker Nikolas collaborated with Youth Drone Sports Championships to launch a drone program. Georgetown ISD is the first district in Texas to have a drone class and drone club. Their April 2022 proposal was worth an additional $4,900, which will fund the students' Federal Aviation Administration part 107 unmanned aerial vehicle pilot’s certification; i.e., their drone license.
The purpose of this program is to fund innovative and creative educational projects that impact student learning. Georgetown ISD Education Foundation is not interested in funding projects that have been in existence for many years but are now being cut due to budget constraints. Instead, they want to give teachers the opportunity to create new and engaging learning experience
Georgetown ISD Education Foundation does not fund stipends, salaries or teacher travel expenses to conferences or training. However, requests for staff development (registration fees for workshops, conference or substitutes) will be considered when these activities represent one component of a well-planned project, integrated with other activities that directly impact students
No. All applications are judged through a blind-review process. The first page of the application, the Signature Page, is removed before given to the judges to be read. Therefore, we ask that you NOT mention your name or your school name anywhere on your application after the Signature Page. We want every application to be judged on the merit of the proposed project.
In supporting innovation and creativity, we encourage educators to seek out cutting-edge technology that is proven to impact student achievement. We recognize that if the technology is new, it might not yet be on the district’s approved list. We strongly encourage all applicants to have their grant ideas reviewed during our February 15 Professional Learning Day at one of the grant review sessions.
A work plan lists out all of the steps necessary to complete your project. For example, if your project is to host a student art exhibition at Wolf Ranch, your first step might be to meet with the Wolf Ranch manager to agree on a time period the student work could be on display.
Another step would be to purchase the supplies needed for the art. Another step would be to begin a six -week instructional unit on watercolor painting with your fifth grade students.
Another step might be to take a field trip to a museum to see some masterpiece watercolor paintings. The important aspect of the work plan is that you are showing the reviewer that you have thought out all of the steps necessary for your project to be successful. This was not a last minute, late night idea you had, but you have developed a well-defined plan.
Yes, it is important to take the time to list out exactly how you intend to spend the grantor’s money. Of course, Georgetown ISD Education Foundation understands that there might be slight changes once the purchase is made, but go through the effort of giving the reviewer an idea of what books you intend to purchase with the funds requested.
Georgetown ISD Education Foundation awards all of the funds allocated for Teacher Innovation Grants; therefore, we often do not have extra to handle situations like this. We remind all applicants to include shipping and handling costs in their budget.
We do not encourage applicants to use a type of standardized testing as the measure of success. Therefore, we encourage you to find multiple measures of success such as a pre and post project measurement, rubric, student survey, or peer evaluation.
We are glad you asked! You can send a letter home to your students’ parents announcing your grant award and explaining what wonderful opportunities their children will receive (or future students) because of this grant and Georgetown ISD Education Foundation. You may write an article for your campus newsletter and/or update your teacher website throughout the school year on the progress of your grant project; submit a press release to your local newspaper; tell your friends and neighbors; or put stickers that say “Purchased by Georgetown ISD Education Foundation” on any non-consumable supplies purchased with grant funds. In all communications, we encourage you to include our website www.gisdedfound.org. The more you can get our name out there, the easier it will be to raise money, then the more money we can give out in grants to teachers like you!