The PTSA Minigrants Program provides funds to PTSA members (teachers, staff, students or parents) for projects or equipment that support the mission of the PTSA and have limited alternative funding sources.
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of the PTSA Minigrants is to fund innovative, enriching projects for Blair’s students that might not otherwise be feasible. Highly rated proposals are those that benefit many students, target an underserved population, have broad academic and curricular value, provide a compelling need for the request, and/or provide tangible benefits to current and future Blair students. The Minigrants committee will give priority to projects that benefit students directly over those for school infrastructure improvements or those that may have alternate funding.
There are three Minigrant award levels available:
- Large-scale grants – up to $600. These grants benefit the whole school, a whole grade or at least 300
- Smaller-scale grants – up to $400. These grants benefit at least 100 students.
- Club grants – up to $200. These grants support extracurricular clubs.
Minigrants are awarded once per PTSA fiscal year (July 1-June 30). The PTSA Executive Board develops a budget over the summer and allocates Minigrant funding for the upcoming school year. The PTSA general membership votes on the budget during the September PTSA meeting. The on-line Minigrant application becomes available in September with an October submission deadline. Minigrant awards are announced by November 15th. All Minigrant funds must be spent by June 30. Occasional extensions to September 30 may be granted with prior approval from Minigrants chair by June 1.
2016-17 Mini-grant timeline:
|September 19, 2016||On-line application available|
|September 20, 2016||PTSA general membership meeting, budget review and vote|
|October 14, 2016||Application deadline with electronic submission by 12:00 midnight|
|October 23, 2016||Minigrant committee meets to recommend awards & allocations|
|November 18, 2016||Award notification emails sent to applicants by this date|
|June 30, 2017||Deadline to submit reimbursement requests for 2016-17 grants|
All applicants must be current PTSA members and use the on-line application available at the PTSA website blairptsa.org. Mandatory fields are indicated, and a date and time stamp will be embedded once the application has been successfully submitted. Late and/or incomplete forms will not be accepted. Applicants get confirmation emails when their applications have been successfully submitted.
The Minigrants chair screens applications for date of submission, presence of supporting documentation, duplication, prioritization, and PTSA membership status. Clarifying information may be requested from the applicant and/or faculty subject matter expert, although the application is expected to stand on its own and present an accurate and complete description of the proposed project. Each member of the Minigrants Committee will review and evaluate every application. The Minigrants Committee will meet to discuss the applications and make award and allocation recommendations, which are then submitted to the PTSA Executive Board for final approval. Award notifications will be sent to applicants via e-mail after approval is received from the PTSA Executive Board. Minigrant funds must be used for the project/item proposed in the application. Reimbursement will only be paid for expenses incurred during the current Minigrant cycle. The deadline to utilize the award is June 30th. Occasionally extensions until September 30 may be granted with prior approval from the Minigrants chair by June 1.
After funding is received and the project is completed, grantees are encouraged to submit to the Minigrants committee a brief statement describing the usefulness and impact of the funding as well as a digital photograph of the funded project in use.
The following criteria are considered when awarding the grants:
- Completeness of application and presence of supporting documentation.
- Beneficiaries of the project:
- The number of students. Generally, the larger and/or broader, the better.
- ESOL, Special Education, “at risk” and underserved or lower visibility populations are given special consideration.
- Broad academic departmental representation:
- Percentage of total applications from any given department.
- Percentage of total annual awards from any given department.
- Historical record of departmental awards.
- Special consideration is given for interdepartmental projects and shared equipment.
- Permanent, future or enduring benefit to MBHS and Blair students.
- Whether alternative funding is available.
Examples of projects approved in the past:
- Support for Green Team and Environmental Writers
- Field trips to the Holocaust Museum and Anti-Defamation League
- Visiting authors and associated books for classroom libraries
- Support for mock AP Statistics and AP Calculus exams
- Mini PCR (polymerase chain reaction) apparatus and melting pot apparatus
- Video cameras for new English and ESOL elective, Lights, Camera, Literacy!
- Wall-to-wall white boards in the computer science classroom
- ESOL dictionaries and resources for the Science library
- Graphing calculator rental program
- Laboratory supplies for Biology, Forensics and Horticulture classes
- Painting supplies for chemistry mural
- Femur bone for Forensics and Anatomy classes
- Sensation and perception goggles for AP Psychology
- Prizes for Bio Field Day
- Shizumi Japanese dance performance
- New buzzer system for the It’s Academic!
- Food and supplies for Smart Snacks Club
- Incentive programs to support student leadership and academic performance
- Books and manipulatives for literacy instruction.
- Electronic balance and centrifuge shared by multiple science disciplines
- Perennial plants for horticulture classes
- Registration fees for music and poetry competitions
- Volleyballs, jump ropes, foam rollers, and weighted vests for PE and Athletics
- Practice foam javelins, shot puts and relay batons for new PE track and field unit
- Head sets for world language classes
Examples of non-covered items:
- Private transportation
- Hotel costs
- Fundraising activities
- Projects that already receive PTSA funding
The Minigrants Committee is a standing PTSA committee and bound by all PTSA rules and regulations. Participation is open to all MBHS faculty, staff, parents and students. All committee members must be current PTSA members. The 2016-17 Chairperson is Linda Krimm firstname.lastname@example.org.
The responsibilities of the Minigrants Committee include:
- Review the Minigrants Program annually and make modifications as needed.
- Submit an updated Minigrants Program to the PTSA Executive Board annually with application and award deadlines specified.
- Submit an end of the year report to the PTSA Executive Board.
- Assure that up-to-date forms and information are available on the PTSA website.
- Review and evaluate every application, then determine as a committee the Minigrant award and allocation recommendations to be submitted to the PTSA Executive Board.
- Communicate with applicants on the status of their applications.
- Process grant award payments.
- Promote PTSA Minigrants within the Blair community.