How do SERF grants work?

SERF grants promote innovation and enrichment in classrooms in grades K-12. We fund leading-edge projects in all areas of the curriculum including math, science and engineering, literacy and English language arts, social studies and history, global languages, performing and visual arts, emerging technologies, social development and wellness, professional development for teachers, and more.

SERF grants fund projects and materials that are not, and would not be expected to be, funded in the regular school budget. SERF grants create opportunities for students to acquire the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to become well-rounded citizens and to develop to the full extent of their potential.

To ensure that each grant complements the curriculum, we require that every grant application be reviewed and approved by the relevant School Principal and the District Superintendent. Read more about the criteria and guidelines SERF uses when considering grant applications.

SERF funds two different kinds of grants:

SERF Mini-Grants

SERF Mini-Grants are monthly opportunities to request funding for project proposals requesting up to $1,500.

SERF Mini-Grant proposals are due by the 20th of each month.

Apply for Mini Grant

SERF Grants

SERF Grants are annual opportunities to request funding for project proposals requesting more than $1,500.

For the 2018-19 school year proposals are due by November 15th, 2018, with a second deadline submission of March 15th, 2019.

Apply for SERF Grant

Application Process

Application deadlines for SERF Grants are November 15th, 2018 and March 15th, 2019.

Application deadline for SERF Mini-Grants is the 20th of each month.

* Please note that these deadlines are for submission from the Superintendent’s Office. Please refer to your building principal for submission dates for his/her approval, which may be up to a week earlier.

Only grants submitted directly from the Superintendent’s Office will be accepted.

Read more about the granting process and criteria.

Read testimonials from grant recipients.

For any questions, please contact the Grant Administrator at

Criteria for Successful Proposals

The project…

  • Reflects the core values, priorities, and goals of the school district.
  • Explores new, innovative curricula and pedagogical approaches, or deepens existing curriculum and practices, or builds upon a previously SERF-funded grant that has demonstrated success.

If the proposed project builds upon a previously funded SERF grant, the proposal includes an explanation of how the proposed project adds a new, extended, expanded, innovative idea to the earlier grant.

  • Is driven by clearly outlined goals, actitivies and timetable.
  • Has a clear plan for impacting students, either through improving the quality of instruction, instructional materials, strengthening community, or enhancing the environment.
  • Outlines how it’s impact or effectiveness will be measured.
  • Has potential for sustainable impact on teaching annd learning beyond a singular classroom.
  • Does not fall within the district’s budget or curricular commitments. However, if the project is intended to continue into a phase beyond the proposed grant’s timeline, there is a plan for the project’s continuity to be absorbed by the district’s budget or another funding source.
  • Could be replicated in other SPS schools or classrooms.
  • Involves collaboration among educators that matches the scope of the project. This could be with other educators across grades, specials, schools, and departments, or organizations within the school or district community.
  • Has an organized budget that is clear, detailed and comprehensive.