Site Innovation Grants

There are many exciting new tools and strategies being developed today and we want to bring them to our students. Technology moves quickly, and it is often impossible for public schools to keep up, given the pace of budget allocation and other considerations.

DSE is nimble enough to be able to act quickly on great ideas, and our Site Innovation Grants will enable us to pilot new, big ideas that have the potential to reach far beyond the initial school or district site implementation.

What We are Looking For

We want to encourage "outside-the-box" thinking, to promote change by giving ideas a chance to impact learning in a way that is creative and innovative, yet meaningful and effective. Our goal is to increase learning opportunities by funding alternative, experimental, and innovative tools and curriculum for students with special needs. We are looking for proposals that will:

  • Expand the breadth and/or depth of curriculum accessible to IEP students
  • Streamline and/or make the delivery of special education more effective and efficient.

Four Pillars of Emphasis

We will be looking for projects that address one or more of these basic learning areas:

  • Communication
  • Literacy
  • Curriculum (adaptation and access)
  • Technology (using technology to expand or enhance learning opportunities)

Site Innovation Grants for 2016-17

Braille Printer for Marin County Office of Education vision specialists - $8000

Upgrading the Tech Resource Center with new, cutting-edge equipment - $100,000

Learning Ally Pilot Reading Program in 6 school districts - $26,000

Grant Teams - Application and Implementation

Site Innovation Grants can be anywhere from $5000 to $75,000 in a given year. We may fund only one project or a dozen. Each application must include a Grant Team - a group of educators, administrators, technology and vendor personnel - who will implement the project. Factors the committee will consider include:

  • The scope of the project - numbers of students impacted
  • Novelty of the approach
  • Demonstration of thoughtful implementation

If your team submits a great idea, and yet the proposal hasn't been developed enough, we will work with you to give it a better chance of approval.

What is a Team?

Each Site Innovation Grant must fall into one of these categories:

  • Individual school site - where a number of special educators collaborate on a project or implementation.
  • One district that covers more than one school site
  • A number of districts and school sites.


In order to be elibible to apply, each Grant Team must have at least one member attend an informational session. We will be scheduling several of these for fall, 2017. Evaluation of the grant - quantitatively and qualitatively - is a crucial factor. How do you plan to measure student achievement at the beginning and the end? Given the scale of the funding possibilities, these grants will require more rigorous participation from applicants.


You may submit your application any time before December 15, 2017. Note, THIS IS DIFFERENT from the Classroom Grant schedule. Innovation Grant applicants will be notified by February 1, 2018, and we would look for full implementation starting September 2018.

Site Innovation Grant Application Form (pdf)