Development and Expansion Grants

Development and Expansion Grants are awarded to support the development of new educational strategies that target demonstrated need and have the potential to serve as models for the rest of the district. Development and Expansion Grants may be school-based or district-wide. Projects may:

  • Support the expansion and sharing of successful pilot projects funded through the Innovations in Education grant program.
  • Provide professional development and resources that enhance curriculum and/or community in the Arlington Public Schools.
  • Support administrative leadership initiatives that enhance curriculum and/or community in the Arlington Public Schools.

Amount: $5,000-$10,000 (over one year or multiple years)

Who can apply:

Arlington Public Schools teachers and administrators. We also encourage the involvement of local strategic partners. To position the grant for best success, all funded proposals require the support and approval of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

Application procedure and deadlines:

Prior to applying, grant applicants must contact either the AEF President, the Arlington Public Schools AEF Liaison or the Assistant Superintendent to obtain an invitation to apply.  Once approved to apply, Letters of Interest including project need, project description, estimated timeline, target population, qualifications of key personnel and collaborators, how the project will be sustained after the grant period, and proposed budget are due February 15. Applicants will meet with AEF and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

2018 Grants

Trauma Sensitive Teaching Practice

As a result of this grant, Arlington will be one of three Mass. districts with a cohort of teachers certified in ‘Trauma Sensitive Practice’, providing training needed to create trauma sensitive environments that benefit all children.  This grant builds on, and is supportive of, the district’s Safe and Supportive Schools work that Arlington Education Foundation is already supporting. Ensuring a strong certification cohort helps ensure that the district has in-depth knowledge as well as confidence in appropriately educating and supporting any children who feel less than secure at school because of traumatizing experiences.

Thematic Units in World Languages

As the World Languages department moves from an achievement-based approach to a proficiency-based approach, they will develop thematic curriculum units for grades 6-12.  This grant will bring the World Languages department in line with recent trends in teaching and learning in this discipline.  Thematic units have a ‘less is more’ approach, providing time for learners to focus on fewer topics in-depth rather than many topics superficially.

Computer Science, Makerspace and Robotics across Grades 6-8

The district’s Computer Science curriculum will be expanded and updated, introducing 6-8 graders to robotics and 3D production and design.  This grant builds on the Arlington Education Foundation’s partnership with the district to create a High School Computer Science program in 2013 and re-write the 6th grade ‘Digital Media Literacy’ Computer Science curriculum in 2015.   As a result of this latest partnership, the district will now be able to provide a continuous Computer Science curriculum path from grade 6-12.

Social Emotional Learning Through Mindfulness

An expansion of a Fall 2016 Innovations in Education grant, this project will provide mindfulness training for an additional 41 staff representing every building in the district, increasing mindfulness training and expanding the district’s implementation and support of innovative mindfulness based practices.

2016 Grants

Creating Safe & Supportive Schools in Arlington

This planning grant will create a cohesive vision for behavioral health in the Arlington Public Schools. A working group will assess existing programs to identify areas of greatest need and develop a recommended action plan for district-wide services to increase support for behavioral health prevention and treatment for all students.

Maker Culture/Makerspace: Interdisciplinary Teaching, Learning & Building

This grant will provide a high-speed, high-precision CNC (Computer Numerical Control) laser cutter to enhance Arlington High School’s emerging makerspace and support interdisciplinary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) opportunities.


2015 Grants

Innovative Care Coordinator

Innovative Care Coordinators (ICCs) focus on care management of students with high absenteeism associated with chronic or acute health conditions by collaborating with families, school professionals and outside health providers with the goal of decreasing absenteeism.  This grant will expand the ICC program (currently at the High School and Middle School) by providing training to elementary school nurses.

Elementary Teacher Leadership Program

The expansion of a Master Teacher pilot program, focusing on the Common Core’s demand for increased content area and pedagogical skills, will provide personalized coaching and mentoring to participating teachers.

2014 Grants

Concentration Tools: Expansion and Acceptance

Every elementary classroom will have a concentration station with a ‘Cool Tool Box’ that contains simple and effective sensory-based self-regulation resources, which all students can use to maintain focus in the classroom.  In addition, all elementary teachers will receive training to maximize the ‘Cool Tool Box’ and better identify and support student needs.

Arlington High School Technology User’s Group

In advance of a significant technology investment to replace teacher computers, the User’s Group will  gather information and knowledge in support of the technology vision, create a long-term strategy for technology implementation at Arlington High School, and  build professional capacity for teaching and learning in a technology infused BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment

Stratton School Professional Development: Science and Literacy

The Common Core has shifted student achievement expectations from task completion towards the growth of 21st century skills and dispositions. As a result, teachers must also shift their approach.  This grant provides funding to complete professional development on science and literacy that helps teachers cultivate inquiry in classrooms and foster students’ internal motivation to learn, thereby developing ‘a culture of student talk’ in classrooms.

2013 Grants

Thompson Elementary School and 1 to1 Technology: Summer Technology University

When the new Thompson School opens in September 2013, every student in the school will have access to an iPad of their own, and every classroom will have a full suite of technology.  This kind of 1-to-1 technology infrastructure has the potential to transform education, but only if teachers get the training and support they need.  This grant will fund summer technology training for elementary school teachers at Thompson and across the district.  Teachers will learn cutting-edge strategies for using technology to enhance teaching, learning, and the curriculum. The grant will also fund advanced training for instructional technology leaders – teachers in each elementary school who are supporting their peers with technology.

Middle School Literacy Across the Curriculum

Two years ago, AEF funded the Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing in the fourth and fifth grades.  This year, we are pleased to extend the Arlington Public Schools’ partnership with Lucy Calkins into the Ottoson Middle School, with a focus on the new Common Core literacy standards.  This grant will support professional development for sixth grade English and Social Studies teachers, who will work with district literacy coaches and Lucy Calkins staff on writing, reading, and content area

2012 Grants

Integrating Student Response Systems to Tailor Teaching for Effective Student Learning

Electronic student response systems will enable Arlington High School teachers to create interactive lessons and activities that engage all students in active learning.

Preparing and Inspiring a STEM Curriculum in the Arlington Elementary Schools

Bringing the Museum of Science’s Engineering is Elementary Curriculum (introduced last year in first and second grades) t0 the third grade will help Arlington’s elementary schools move toward an integrated and participatory STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum.  Read grant profile.


2011 Grants

Lucy Calkins Writing Program for Grades Four and Five

Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing is a state-of-the-art writing program that uses a workshop approach to engage students in writing about what is meaningful in their lives. Taking students’ current abilities as starting points, the program offers a consistent, coherent framework and student conferencing method to teach narrative and expository writing with increasing sophistication. In 2011, the Lucy Calkins Units of Study were piloted in Arlington’s third grade with great success. This grant will provide funds to expand the program to the fourth and fifth grades in all elementary schools, by purchasing curriculum kits and providing professional development to all fourth and fifth grade teachers, as well as elementary English Language Learners (ELL) and Special Education teachers.

Educational Technology Investment

AEF has partnered with the Arlington Public Schools to help implement its recently published technology plan. As part of the Arlington School Committee’s mandate to “strategically and systematically provide and integrate technology into the core curriculum to promote 21st Century student learning,” AEF’s grant provided funds for the purchase of LCD projectors to be dispersed across the district. LCD projectors are a key investment in educational technology, and a necessity for other classroom tools such as interactive whiteboards, document cameras and interactive student response systems – all of which foster an engaging learning environment.

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