Teacher Resources
Application Guidelines
Projects should align with the Highland Park school district priorities and fall into one of these broad areas:
   Scholastic Enhancement in the Sciences, Humanities and Social Studies
   Use Of Technology In Education
   Cross-Cultural Enrichment
   Arts Education
   Staff Development and Resources


Proposed grants should stimulate innovation, achievement, and creativity for the students and faculty. Projects should enrich—not duplicate or replace—the current curriculum and educational structure of the Highland Park Public Schools.  Projects must have the support of the building supervisor and appropriate curriculum personnel.  Projects should be based on one year of funding.  If multiple years of funding are needed, a new proposal must be submitted each year and will be subject to the same review process.

HPEF grants do not pay for teacher salaries, food (catering, meals, etc.) or consumable items (standard classroom supplies, etc.).


Grant Categories

Small Grants

Up to approximately $1500. Such projects may involve one teacher or classroom, or they may be collaborative, involving several classes or grade levels.

Larger Collaborative Grants

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


Criteria for Funding 

The HPEF will look for answers to the following questions:
   How does the project enhance the education of the students who participate?
   How does the project relate to the current curriculum?
   Are the learning objectives clear in terms of the skills and knowledge to be gained by the participants?
   Which students will participate and how will they be selected?
   Are the methods, materials, and resource personnel identified?
   Is the budget reasonable, realistic and specific?
   If the grant includes the purchase of equipment, how will that equipment be housed for use by future staff and students?
   How will the grantee keep the HPEF informed of the project’s results?


Our Policy About Field Trips

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


Grant Application Process

Completed applications must be received by the deadline date of October 15th or February 15th of the current school year. If these dates fall on the weekend, a holiday, or any other school closure date, then the application is due the next day school is in session. Only under special circumstances will a proposal be considered past these deadlines; in these instances, approval must be obtained from the HPEF Grant Committee Chair, Michael Brailove, michael.b@hpefnj.org 


Proposals are initiated by teachers or staff

In preparing a proposal, staff may want to consult with colleagues, their building principal or others.  Teachers who have previously applied may also be helpful.  Contacting the HPEF grants committee for advice is also appropriate.

  1. Before submission, grants should be reviewed for clarity, conciseness and grammar.
  2. Once the grant is completed, it is given to the building principal for approval and then to the superintendent’s office.

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

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

  5. The HPEF 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.

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

  7. 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.

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


Review of Grant Proposals

In general, applications received by October 15th will, if approved, fund grants for the Winter/Spring, and applications received by February 15th, will fund grants for the following Summer/Fall/Winter.

HPEF makes awards based on the merits of each application and the ability to fund the grants.  Each year, the HPEF Board will set a limit on the funds to be granted based on the total amount of funds available. The HPEF Trustees will prioritize the submitted grants for that period and, keeping within the funding limit, determine which grants to recommend for funding. Some of the prioritizing is based on the needs of each of the schools, as well as the priorities of the District.

Applicants will be notified via email of the funding decisions.


Teacher and Staff Evaluation of A Completed Grant

Grant recipients make a commitment to keep the HPEF informed about the outcomes of the project.  They do so by completing the Report Form and adding pertinent photos, student responses, and their own evaluation of its success, Ideally, grant recipients will provide an evaluation of the grant within 30 days of completion of program.


Additional Requirements

All purchased materials, equipment and supplies become the property of the Highland Park Board of Education.


Grant recipients, when possible, should  acknowledge the Highland Park Educational Foundation. When a notice goes to parents and guardians, for example requiring permission for a field trip, the HPEF needs to be mentioned as a source of funding for the event.  Other opportunities  - such as Back to School Night, Parent Teacher Conferences, Staff Development Days, PTO Meetings – are also a good time to mention, “This project is funded by a grant from the Highland Park Educational Foundation.”

Funds are available for eighteen months from the date the grant is approved. Any extension beyond that time must be approved by HPEF.


The HPEF has supported many innovative projects developed by the teachers and staff of our district over the last 20 years. The HPEF recognizes that applying for grants takes time and energy and we appreciate very much the efforts of all applicants.