Montgomery Blair High School PTSA Mini-grants Program 2017-18

The review period for Blair PTSA Minigrants is underway. No more applications are being received at this time. We anticipate that the list of Minigrants awardees will be announced on November 20, 2017.

The purpose of the PTSA Minigrants is to fund innovative, informative and enriching projects for Blair High School students that might not otherwise be feasible. Please look over this year’s program description and determine if an opportunity is in store for you and your students. 

This year, we are seeking proposals that

  1. Offer tangible benefits to current and future Blair students;
  2. Demonstrate broad academic and curricular value;
  3. Engage students from underserved populations who might not traditionally benefit from opportunities at Blair and
  4. Articulate a compelling need for funding.

The Minigrants Committee will prioritize projects that directly benefit students, over those seeking support for school infrastructure improvements or may have alternate funding.

As in recent years, there are three types of Minigrant award levels available in 2017-18:

  • Community grants – up to $600. These grants provide benefit the entire school, an entire grade or a minimum of 200 students.
  • Academic grants – up to $400. These grants benefit at least 75 students.
  • Club grants – up to $200. These grants support extracurricular clubs.

Application Process

All applicants must be current PTSA members and use the on-line application available on the PTSA website. The on-line system walks applicants through approximately 18 different questions, most of them short answer, where applicants can describe their proposed projects, how many students will benefit, and how much funding is being requested. Once the application has been successfully submitted a time and date stamp will be embedded with the application. Do not wait until the last minute! Please note that applications that are submitted late or incomplete will not be considered for funding. Applicants will receive confirmation emails when their applications have been successfully submitted.

There are two stages to the review process. During threshold review, all applicants will be screened to ensure that the proposals comply with the required date of submission, adequate supporting documentation, instances of duplication, prioritization, and PTSA membership status. Each application is expected to stand on its own merits and clearly present an accurate and complete description of the proposed project. In limited cases, the Minigrants Committee may ask for clarifying information regarding the proposed project from a faculty subject matter expert. Duringprogram review, the members of the Minigrants Committee will review and evaluate every application that passes threshold review. The Minigrants Review Committee meets to discuss the applications and determine the final portfolio of programs recommended for funding, and the funding amounts for each individual project and as a whole.

The Minigrants Chair will submit award and allocation recommendations to the PTSA Executive Board for final approval. After approval is received, Applicants will be notified of their award status via e-mail.

Minigrant funds must be used only for the project/item proposed in the original application. Reimbursement will only be paid for expenses incurred during the current Minigrant cycle. After the proposed project is complete, grantees must submit a brief impact statement describing the effectiveness and influence of the project, as well as a digital photograph representing the project to the Minigrants committee. The project may not be considered complete or funding distributed until the impact statement is received.

Please consider the following criteria when putting together your application:

  1. Completeness of information and presence of supporting documentation.
  2. Beneficiaries of the project:
    • Number of students.
    • Potential benefit for underserved student populations including but not limited to ESOL, Special Education, others considered “at risk”.
  3. Academic departmental representation:
    • Percentage of total applications and total annual awards from any given department.
    • Interdepartmental projects (including shared equipment) will be given special consideration.
  4. Enduring benefit to MBHS and Blair students.
  5. Alternative funding sources, when 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
  • Horticulture gardening projects: urban, pollinator, vegetable, and aqua-phonic
  • Mini PCR (polymerase chain reaction) apparatus and melting pot apparatus
  • Video cameras for new English and ESOL elective, Lights, Camera, Literacy!
  • Guest speaker fees for the Town Hall Against Islamaphobia
  • Graphing calculator rental program
  • Laboratory supplies for Biology, Forensics and Horticulture classes
  • Painting supplies for chemistry mural
  • Shizumi Japanese dance performance
  • New buzzer system for the It’s Academic!
  • Food and supplies for Smart Snacks Club
  • Books and manipulatives for literacy instruction.
  • Electronic balance and centrifuge shared by multiple science classes
  • Video camera and essential supplies for a designated Maker Space
  • Volleyballs, jump ropes, foam rollers, and weighted vests for PE and Athletics
  • Miniature mannequins and full-size skeleton for Studio Art, AP Art, and Fashion and Design classes.

Examples of non-covered items:

  • Projects that already receive PTSA funding
  • Hotel costs
  • Computer equipment intended for use by one individual
  • Private transportation

Minigrants Committee

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 2017-18 Chairperson is Benjamin Frey,

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.