The Highland Park Educational Foundation’s mission is to fund innovative projects in the public schools that will benefit of the district’s students. To meet this goal, the HPEF provides grants to teachers and staff through an application process.  There are two deadlines for applications each year, October 15 and February 15. If those dates fall on a weekend, the due date is the following Monday.  Grants may be considered at other times in special circumstances.  Application forms are available on the HPEF website  - - along with these Guidelines and the required Grant Report Form.

Small Grants

  1. Up to approximately $1500

  2. Such projects may involve one teacher or classroom, or they may be collaborative, involving several classes or grade levels.

Larger Collaborative Grants

  1. The amount can be up to $5,000, or exceptionally more.
  2. These projects usually involve several classes, a whole grade or school, and many participants.
  3. Such projects may require longer planning, a more extensive application and background.
  4. Prior consultation with the HPEF may be helpful in such planning.

Criteria for Funding The HPEF will look for answers to the following questions:

  1. How does the project enhance the education of the students who participate?

  2. How does the project relate to the current curriculum?

  3. Are the learning objectives clear in terms of the skills and knowledge to be gained by the participants?

  4. Which students will participate and how will they be selected?

  5. Are the methods, materials, and resource personnel identified?

  6. Is the budget reasonable, realistic and specific?

  7. If the grant includes the purchase of equipment, how will that equipment be housed for use by future staff and students?

  8. How will the grantee keep the HPEF informed the project’s results?

The Application Process

  1. Proposals are initiated by teachers or staff.

  2. In preparing a proposal, you may want to consult with colleagues, the building principal or previous grant recipients.   Contacting the

  3. HPEF grants committee for advice is also appropriate.

  4. Before submission, grants should be reviewed for clarity, conciseness and grammar.

  5. Once the application is completed, it is sent to the building principal for approval and then to the superintendent’s office.

  6. The superintendent then forwards approved applications to the HPEF, where they are reviewed at meetings in October and February.

  7. If the HPEF has any questions or concerns, or need for clarification, the applicant will be contacted shortly thereafter.

  8. At that or the next monthly meeting, the Trustees will vote on all proposals.  Grants may be approved as submitted, approved with conditions or changes in budget, or rejected with an explanation.  Applicants will be notified by email of the decision.

  9. Final acceptance of all grants requires the approval of the Board of Education, which usually takes place at their next regular meeting.

  10. To access funds, grantees must work through the Business Office of the Board of Education.  The HPEF is not involved in the direct disbursement of funds.

  11. If major changes are needed in a grant proposal, the grantee must contact the HPEF.

Reporting. Recipient of grants make a commitment to keep the HPEF informed about the outcomes of the project.  They do so by completing the Report Form available on our web-site and adding pertinent photos, student responses, and their own evaluation of its success.

The HPEF has funded many innovative projects developed by the teachers of our district over the last 22 years.  We encourage you to consider putting your ideas on paper so that we can all continue to support a creative and energized educational environment.  The HPEF recognizes that applying for grants takes time and energy and we appreciate very much the efforts of all applicants.HPEF Grants Chair, Michael Brailove, may be contacted at

On Field Trips  In recent years, we have received numerous requests to fund field trips.  In order to support as many as possible, HPEF will fund transportation but not entrance fees.  Admission costs for those whose families cannot afford the event will be covered.  That eligibility determination is usually made through the counseling office in each school.