News

10 School Innovation Grants awarded for creative problem-solving among school leadership teams
By: Jane Donahue
Jul 15, 2016

The St. Louis Public Schools Foundation awards 10 School Innovation Grants for creative problem-solving among school leadership teams.

With a lead grant from Emerson Electric, and additional support from Boeing, Enterprise Holdings, and Wells Fargo Advisors, the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation is proud to launch the second round of the School Innovation Grants program, designed to recognize school leadership teams’ creativity and vision.  The school teams that earn School Innovation Grants demonstrate an innovative approach to addressing a challenge in their schools, and propose a strategy that is designed to advance key goals in the District’s Transformation Plan.

The Foundation is basing its work on a definition of innovation from the U.S. Department of Education:  “Innovation drives improvement, either incrementally by advancing existing processes or more radically by introducing new practices.”  Research confirms the connection between effective leadership and ability to innovate, though currently, school building principals often have scarce resources to use at their discretion.   “These grants are meant to fuel creativity and new approaches,” said Foundation President, Jane Donahue. “School leadership teams often know the solutions or interventions that will help their students succeed, but might not have the resources to implement.  By investing in new approaches, we hope to identify effective models or programs that can be implemented at a larger scale.”

Teams from 21 schools applied for School Innovation Grant funding, with grant requests ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.  A review committee of 6 readers helped to make decisions about this round of School Innovation Grants. With many strong and creative proposals, the review committee had a difficult time determining how to award limited funds; they express their gratitude to all who applied.

Congratulations to the 10 awardees of the 2016 School Innovation Grants:

  • Academy of Environmental Science and Mathematics (AESM) Middle School @ L’Ouverture
  • Carver Elementary School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
  • Mallinckrodt Academy for Gifted Education
  • Nahed Chapman New American Academy
  • Northwest Academy of Law
  • Pamoja Preparatory Academy @ Cole
  • Patrick Henry Downtown Academy
  • Stix Early Childhood Center
  • Walbridge Elementary School

Representatives from the awarded schools will meet periodically throughout the year to discuss what they are working on, problem solve together and advance each other’s learning.

For more information on the School Innovation Grants, contact Jane Donahue at jdonahue@slpsfoundation.org.