providing funds for the most

innovative, educational and developmental activities

created by BVSD teachers

Classroom Innovation Grants



The CIG program focuses on instructional innovation which enhances student learning in the classroom. Innovation pertains to instructional content, procedure/delivery, and outcome and fulfills a void or unique need to be addressed with or without technology use.  CIG’s are available to educators and staff within Pre-K, elementary, middle, charter, and high schools in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), and along with individual grants, we offer collaborative grants. This competitive grant program funds the most innovative, educational and developmental activities created by BVSD teachers.

The CIG application, evaluation, and reporting processes are available exclusively online via the Impact on Education web site and will open October 1, 2019. Questions regarding the CIG program should be directed to Jen Biegen.

Learn more about our CIG Program through this video:


Background & Overview

Impact on Education is an independent, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization committed to improving achievement, equity, and innovation in BVSD schools since 1983. Unlike many traditional education foundations, Impact on Education is not governed by the BVSD Administration or Board of Education. Through its independence, Impact on Education is able to pilot innovative programs for schools, support student equity through programs for at-risk students, and engage community and business partners to support its mission.

Impact on Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, political affiliation, organizational membership, veteran’s status, disability in access to, employment in, or in the provision of any of Impact on Education’s programs, benefits or activities.

Classroom Innovation Grant Focus

The Impact on Education CIG program is designed to:

  • inspire pre-k, elementary, middle, charter, and high school teachers and staff to explore and create innovative instructional strategies and experiences
  • enhance learning for students
  • use clearly defined measurements to evaluate success of instructional goals

CIG’s are focused on but not limited to:

  • Instructional Innovation in content areas
  • Instructional Innovation in social and emotional learning
  • Instructional Innovation in the classroom setting

Classroom Innovation Grant Process

BVSD teachers and staff are invited to apply online throughout the month of October. In November, community members volunteer to “blind read” and score applications.

Throughout the fall, community members and businesses are invited to underwrite as many of these grants as possible. By late November, ClG recipients will be announced, and funds will be distributed. At the end of the school year, all CIG recipients will submit thank you letters to donors and a final report to Impact on Education reflecting on goals and achievements resulting from grant funds.

Classroom Innovation Grant Funding

Impact on Education relies upon the generosity of community members and business donors to provide the funding for the CIG program. Each grantee will receive up to $600.00 (up to $1,200.00 for a collaborative grant) to support his/her project. We ask that all BVSD school communities help raise awareness of the CIG program.

Classroom Innovation Grant Showcase

The purpose of this showcase event is to give grant recipients an opportunity to exhibit their innovative and creative projects, to share their projects with their peers around the district, and to showcase the work to our donors and school communities. This year, the showcase will be held in the spring and is open to the community.  Contact Jen Biegen for more information.

2019 Recipients

2019-2020 Classroom Innovation Grant Projects

We are thrilled to announce the 31 enriching projects receiving funding from our CLASSROOM INNOVATION GRANTS program.

But, before we reveal the recipients, here are some inspiring facts about this year’s funded projects:

8 Individual grants
23 Collaborative grants
63 educators supported

The grants will enrich the education of students in grades K-12, across 23 different schools, in disciplines ranging from social-emotional learning to science to literacy to physical education to social studies to math and practical arts.


Angevine Middle School
Lisa Omori-Jones & Robin Stone: Can You Hear Me Now?


Arapahoe Ridge High School
Carolyn Puska: Poetry-Writing Workshops: Students Expressing Their Voices and Developing Empathy Through Spoken Word Poetry


Boulder High School
Jane Moody & Mim Campos: Social Emotional Learning for Newcomers


Boulder Prep High School
Curtis Smith & Kerrin Duffey: Digital Storytelling Across Content


Casey Middle School
Mai Vu & Johanna Freund: Altitude Learning


Centaurus High School
Cacia Steensen & Kristen McDermott: Molecular Understanding Leads to Real-World Solutions!


Centaurus High School
Danielle Hesse & Lauren Laucius: Social Emotional Learning for Newcomers


Centaurus High School
Nicholas Cady, Craig Hoeltgen, Ann Root, & Mike Ross: 3D Printer–Makerbot Mini


Community Montessori School
Anna Lull: Big LEGO Project


Crest View Elementary School
Erin Shea-Bower: Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Will Power Program 2019-2020


Escuela Bilingue Pioneer Elementary School
Beth Huston & Delia Saenz: Who Am I as a Learner?


Escuela Bilingue Pioneer Elementary School
Michelle Eubank, Alberto Gaspar, Marta Quezada, & Bill Vivas: Recycled Circuits


Fireside Elementary School
David Millard, Stacy Winsberg, & Jennifer Hart: School Video News Program


Foothill Elementary School
Scott Schwartz, Kal Stumpf, & Nimia Nelson: Using TEACCH Shoebox Tasks to Increase On-Task Behaviors for Students with Intellectual Disabilities


Gold Hill School
Susan Kidder & Elizabeth Demoney: Investigating Interdependence in Nature


Halcyon School
Deb Crowell: Materials for an Activity-Based Social Emotional Life Skills Group


Horizons K-8 School
Carol Schwendener & Lisa Kihn: Snow Science Expedition: Learning the Importance of Snowpack in Our Local Water Cycle


Horizons K-8 School
Wendy Thoreson & Beth Coleman: It’s for the Birds!


Kohl Elementary School
Therese Lutkus & Fraylan Gonzales: Cinderella, Is That You?


Louisville Middle School
Kelton Kragor & Christine Hannum: Loss of Identity: The Struggle of Indigenous People


Monarch High School
Elizabeth Theole: Anatomy for Yogis


Monarch High School/Fairview High School
Claudia LaStella & Rebecca Trainor: Cutting Through the Issues


Nederland Elementary
Randy Sachter, Larissa Albright, & Brenda Theodoraka: Bringing Literature to Life Through Engineering


Peak to Peak Charter School
Andy Matthews & Belinda Garcia: Big/Little Buddies Book Project


Peak to Peak Charter School
Michelle Eckstein: Design Thinking with UBTECH Robots


Ryan Elementary School
Kha Xiong & Miriam Wright: A Reflection of Ourselves: Empowering Heritage Languages


University Hill Elementary School
Mary Gilreath & Stacie Aldana: Creating Affirming Classrooms for All Diversities in School Environments


University Hill Elementary School
Mary Powell: Weaving Connections/Conexiones de Tejido


University Hill Elementary School
Melissa Tobin, Yaneth Cortes, Pepa Rascon, & Carolina Henderson: Using C-Pen Reader Pens to Support Struggling Readers in English and Spanish


University Hill Elementary School
Steven Kless: Luces, Camara, Accion…


Whittier Elementary School
Loran Lattes & Tamar Van Vliet: Building a Culture of Readers


2019-2020 Pathways to Jazz Music Grant Projects 

This year, Impact has partnered with Pathways to Jazz, a Boulder organization that exists to assist musicians in creating wider access to music and developing their own musical and educational knowledge, to offer almost $11,000 to fund five collaborative and eight individual grants to BVSD music educators that our volunteer community readers and Pathways believe will positively impact our BVSD students and schools and enhance our students’ learning and love of music!  We look forward to continuing this partnership to further cultivate BVSD’s music programs and strive to instill and grow the love of music in our students throughout the district!


Alicia Sanchez Elementary School, Escuela Bilingue Pioneer Elementary School, Lafayette Elementary School, & Ryan Elementary School
Ingrid Parker & Jennifer Shea: Equity in Instrumental Music: Music Stands


Aspen Creek K-8 School
Ryan Laney: Individual Instrument Tutors


Birch Elementary School
Kim Hohensee: Sound and Science


Centennial Middle School
Jonathan Georgitis, Anne Paulu, & Jennifer Dunn: Mobile Music/Podcasting Studio and Audio Collaboration Club


Creekside Elementary School
Elizabeth McCord: Orff Instrument Repair


Eldorado K-8 School
Jan Osburn: Ukulele Songwriting Cafe


Eldorado K-8 School
John Kempsell: Guest Artists of Developing Individual Achievement


Heatherwood Elementary School
Lynette Schulz: Tenor/Alto Xylophone Addition


High Peaks Elementary School
Christmas Gainbrugh & Sara Weatherly: The Sound of Color: A Music and Poetry Video Collaboration


Monarch High School
Kate Klotz: All that Jazz


Monarch High School
Clare Church: Composer and Arranger Partnership Project


New Vista High School
Cory Potash & Marinela Maneiro-Goodwin: Mbira Workshop Instrument Procurement to Support Community Music


University Hill Elementary School
Kevin Goddard & Ignacio Figueroa: Creative Opportunity Through Instrumental Music



Applications will be available on this site on October 1, 2019. It is an online application.

Before You Begin

Before you begin your online application process be sure that you have read and understand:

  1. Overview page
  2. Eligibility page
  3. Dates page

Below is a list of the required components of the application.

Please take some time to draft your application offline prior to beginning the online process. A number of the questions that you will need to answer have character count restrictions; for this reason, drafting prior to beginning your online application is highly encouraged. When our online link is live, you can easily copy and paste your text into your online application.

Download a PDF of the CIG Application questions and detailed guidelines here so that you can best prepare your answers for online submission.  If you are a music teacher, we invite you to apply for a specific CIG fund through Pathways to Jazz! Please click here to download the PDF of the application questions and guidelines.

Basic Overview of Grant Application:

Type of Grant

You will need to indicate whether your grant application is Individual (up to $600) or Collaborative (up to $1,200 and up to 4 teachers).

If you are a MUSIC TEACHER, please apply through our Pathways to Jazz CIG application (link below).

About You (Individual or Lead Teacher)

  1. First & Last Name
  2. E-mail Address (Only BVSD email addresses will be accepted)
  3. Phone Number
  4. School(s) or Location(s)
  5. Number of years employed as a teacher
  6. Number of years employed as a teacher/ staff in BVSD
  7. If application is Collaborative, names and email addresses of all co-applicants


Please contact your supervisor (e.g., principal, department chair) to discuss and confirm viability and usability of your project should a CIG be awarded.

If planning to purchase or utilize new technology, please check with BVSD IT to verify technology both meets district hardware/software requirements and can be supported as well as is not already duplicated within the district.

About Your Project

Important note: from this point on in your application, do not include your name, your school, personnel names at your school, or location – application evaluators will disqualify any applications that mention names, schools, personnel names, or locations. This includes the title of your uploaded budget as well as the wording in the budget itself.

  • Project Title
  • Grade Level(s) (mark all that apply)
  •  Primary Mode of Instructional Innovation:  (Please select one.)
    • Instructional Delivery Method
    • Instructional Content
    • Instructional Outcome

Instructional Delivery refers to HOW the CIG lesson will be communicated and/or implemented. If you are seeking CIG funds for technology, this is likely the area of instructional innovation, especially if the newly funded technology is delivering the content/lesson and/or making it happen.

Instructional Content refers to WHAT the CIG lesson involves/teaches.

Instructional Outcome refers to the STUDENTS’ PRODUCT or the intended RESULT.

  • Primary Content Area  You may choose up to two
    • Literacy
    • Language Arts
    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Fine Arts (other than music)
    • Music – we have a separate CIG application specifically for music teachers; non-music teachers may apply for a music grant through the regular CIG application
    • Physical Education
    • Practical Arts
    • Career Services
    • Social and Emotional Learning
    • Other
  • Number of Students Impacted
  • Potential Impact of Project in Subsequent Years: Please explain the sustainability of your project. What is the likelihood that your school or the District may help with funding your project after this year, should you need it?
  • Abstract  Describe your project in a CLEAR & CONCISE manner, highlighting its compelling, creative, and/or unique aspects. This abstract may be used in Impact on Education publications. Maximum 300 characters
  • Goals List specific educational goals for this project.
  • Innovation Describe the innovative instructional methods, techniques, or technologies you plan to use to improve student learning.
  • Evaluation How will you measure the success of your project? How will you know if goals were met?
  • Plan Indicate your timeline and expected qualitative and quantitative outcomes for your project.
  • Create a Budget (in a separate spreadsheet) List items needed in the categories indicated. Do not include costs of items. Do not mention names, schools, or locations. Unacceptable items: Teacher release time, substitute teachers, expenses incurred prior to CIG approval, stickers, after-school programs.
    • Equipment and Materials
    • Fees
    • Honorarium
    • Transportation
  • Budgets Costs List costs associated with the categories. If total cost exceeds $600 (individual) or $1,200 (collaborative), you will be asked to provide additional information.
  • Budgets exceeding $600(individual)/$1,200(collaborative) You will need to indicate items costs covered by additional funding sources that you have secured or plan to receive. You also need to indicate funding source(s) and be sure to use generic names for institutions (e.g., “PTO” instead of “Douglass PTO”) so as not to identify/disqualify your application.

Apply for CIG


Important Dates

October 1st, 2019 at 8 a.m. Online applications open
October 30th, 2019 at midnight Online applications close
November 4th, 2019 Grant evaluations begin
November 15th, 2019 Grant evaluations close
November 22nd, 2019 Grant recipients announced
February 3rd, 2020 Thank you notes due
April TBD, 2020 Showcase event at BVSD Education Center
June 5th, 2020 Online Final Report due & unused funds returned




Each applicant must be

  • Actively employed as a teacher/employee by the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • In good standing with Impact on Education; e., if you have received a grant in previous years, you must have complied with all aspects of the grant.
  • Endorsed by his/her supervisor for the CIG application and project.

Qualified applicants should read and comprehend all CIG instructions. Applications and reports must be submitted online via the Impact on Education web site by deadlines indicated. Upon Submission of application, the applicant will be bound by its contents. In the event Impact on Education accepts the application, the applicant will fully comply with the conditions detailed below:

  1. CIG project creatively engages students and directly relates to existing curriculum.
  2. CIG General Information, Eligibility & Conditions, Important Dates & FAQ’s are fully understood and accepted.
  3. Only one application is permitted per person/group for this grant cycle.
  4. The CIG applicant is willing and prepared to initiate and complete all work outlined in his/her CIG description within the applicable time frame.
  5. The CIG applicant is willing and prepared to provide Impact on Education a comprehensive online Completion Report documenting project status and successes along with the Final Report by a strict deadline. Any unused grant money will be returned to Impact on Education by the deadline stipulated for the Completion and Final Reports.
  6. The CIG applicant is willing and prepared to appear at Impact on Education events to present CIG project.
  7. The CIG applicant will attend Impact on Education’s Classroom Innovation Grant Showcase in the spring.
  8. Amendments to the CIG after awarding are permitted upon written request by the CIG applicant and agreement by Impact on Education.
  9. If the CIG applicant does not comply with the conditions of this program, the CIG applicant will be required to reimburse Impact on Education for grant funds, up to the total grant awarded.
  10. The CIG applicant understands that any non-compliance with terms and conditions of this grant will render the applicant ineligible for future grant applications.



Below are Classroom Innovation Grant samples submitted and funded previously.

Collaborative Grant Sample

Project Title: I-GLAD
Grade Level(s): 2-3
Primary Area of Innovation: Instructional Innovation in Technology
Primary Content Area: Language Arts, Science & Social Studies
Number of students impacted: 130

Children in 3 second grades and 3 third grades will be able to hear fiction and content related non-fiction that they are not yet able to read independently using iPod shuffles. Experienced readers will provide them with a model that will help them improve their fluency, phrasing, word accuracy and reading rate, components research has determined positively impacts comprehension. Content related texts will provide students with access to academic vocabulary and higher level concepts. Students who are learning English as a second language will be able to hear books read in English that will help them improve their English language proficiency, vocabulary development as well as access concepts difficult to attain in their second language.

The goal is always to have students enjoy reading and develop a love of literature. The specific goals of this program that are quantitative will be measured by the DRA 2 and the CELA. Students will improve expression, phrasing, accuracy and reading rate on the Developmental Reading Assessment 2 by hearing an accomplished reader read high interest books that are slightly above their independent reading level. By listening to recorded texts, all students will have an additional way to access content related information and academic vocabulary that they require for building background knowledge and understanding social studies and science concepts. English Language Learners will be exposed to the English language using a different modality. By hearing texts read by a native English speaker these students will hear the correct pronunciation of unfamiliar words, gain vocabulary and improve their English Language proficiency levels on the CELA. (Colorado English Language Assessment)

There are many books that students can gain content knowledge and enjoyment from that they are unable to read independently. I-GLAD would provide students with access to texts so they are able to develop a deeper understanding of important concepts in each unit taught. The technologies used in the I-GLAD project will be iPod shuffles and Garage Band, an Apple recording program, as well as digital recordings of children’s literature and content related non-fiction. Students will be able to listen to experienced readers while simultaneously reading the text. This will improve student learning in a variety of ways. Students will be able to engage with high interest texts they would be unable to read independently. This allows all students to attain academic concepts as well as enjoy many forms of literature. English language learners will also be able to improve their spoken language and access needed academic vocabulary through hearing information delivered in a different context. An innovative technique will be to have teachers, literacy specialists, the principal, ESL teachers, librarian, parent volunteers and proficient readers from higher grade levels record both fiction and content related texts on Garage Band. These will be downloaded onto the iPod shuffles. The instructional methods will include appropriate use of the 4 shuffles that will be placed in each classroom. The shuffles with the correlating books will be located in the classroom library for easy student access. Students will be able to independently use iPod shuffles during our Daily Five literacy blocks.

The qualitative success of I-GLAD will be measured in a variety of ways. 2nd and 3rd grade teachers, literacy specialists, ESL teachers and special education teachers will participate in a survey to determine if the iPod shuffles were successful in helping students access texts that they were interested in, spend more time reading, develop fluency, attain academic vocabulary and improve comprehension. Students will complete a self-assessment about whether the iPod has helped them enjoy books more, improve their understanding of concepts, fluency and reading comprehension. Students will also complete a self-evaluation of their reading fluency on the pre and post recording of their reading. We will know if our I-GLAD goals were met quantitatively in several ways. Students’ reading level will be measured by improved scores on the DRA2 reading assessment. In addition, teachers will record each student to determine fluency levels before and after the use of the iPod shuffles. English language learners’ success will be measured on the listening and speaking portion of the CELA. Understanding of content vocabulary and concepts that are embedded in the I-GLAD reading program will be assessed by pre and post unit tests. In the spring, teachers will determine if I-GLAD was successful by analyzing the student and teacher surveys to discover if students used the resource effectively and independently. Pre and post recordings of students’ reading will be used to determine increased fluency, reading rate and accuracy.

In November, following the purchase of the iPods, lead teachers will organize the recording of books on garage band during collaborative meetings. Teachers will continue to record and add books to the listening library throughout the year. Students will begin to have access to recorded texts immediately. The texts will continue to be downloaded to correlate with various content being taught throughout the year. In April the DRA2 and the CELA are administered to students. The results of the assessments will indicate whether fluency, accuracy and reading rates and comprehension levels have improved. Student and Teacher surveys will be given in April to determine whether each group felt that the use of the iPod shuffles was successful.

Budget Items
Equipment – 24 iPod shuffles

Budget Costs
Equipment ($) – 1,200


Individual Grant Sample

Project Title: Project Runway Boulder: The Mathematics of Sewing
Grade Level(s): 5th
Primary Area of Innovation: Instructional Innovation in Math
Primary Content Area: Math
Number of students impacted: 24

Students will apply concepts in geometry and measurement to construction of lounge pants of resourced fabric. They will take body measurements; estimate yardage; cut fabric parallel to grain; recognize symmetry; and sew seams in certain widths–following printed directions. Visual-spatial and fine motor skills are also developed. Students will model their garments.

Students will “use geometric concepts, properties, and relationships in one, two, and three dimensions to model and solve problems.” Parallel lines, transformation flips and symmetry are concepts in this process. They will “use a variety of measurement tools, techniques and systems to solve problems.” Students will take body measurements to the nearest quarter inch, determine sizing with a measurement table, measure yardage, and calculate elastic for waistbands. They will “comprehend and interpret a variety of texts” as they follow printed instructions.

A traditional practice like sewing becomes new and engaging for this generation of students that is rarely exposed to the step-by-step process of manufacturing clothing. Students will take skills and concepts learned in mathematics to a real-world application that requires constant measurement and conceptualization of the finished piece. Students will use the human form for measuring and gain new skills in pinning, cutting, and sewing fabric. The process will be modeled by the teacher, using the document camera at the planning stage, and a cutting table during construction. Students will use power sewing machines under the supervision of the instructor and one-on-one parent volunteers. Students will model their garments in a runway-style stage show before family audience, and they will speak to their experience. This project also provides integration with the Social Studies study of industrialization and manufacturing that was driven in large part by cotton farming and the textile industry. This project cultivates a learning environment that promotes the taking of risks to engage in new experiences and extend skills.

The success of this project will be measured as the students meet each phase of construction. The teacher will evaluate student ability to use measuring tools and the measurement chart, ability to align pattern pieces parallel to grain of fabric, to sew seams of proscribed widths, and to follow printed directions throughout. The final garment will provide evidence of completion to requirements. The fashion show element will provide additional feedback for all involved in the project. Students will be asked to reflect on their experience and learning at the show, a la the popular television reality show, “Project Runway.” The boys and girls in this mathematics class have already been surveyed about this project, and they are uniformly enthusiastic about it. Success will also be measured in the ability of partners to work as teammates, sharing patterns and tools, and supporting each other in the process.

Week of 11/16 Grant awarded; volunteers requested for sewing machines loans and supervision. Science lab booked (for cutting tables and overhead power sources.) Week of 11/19 Supplies purchased over Thanksgiving break. Week of 11/26 Students take body measurements, study measurement tables on pattern envelopes, and cut paper pattern pieces. Week of 12/5 Students estimate required yardage, and lay out, pin, mark, and cut out pattern pieces following visual models in printed directions. Students follow directions to match and pin seamlines of fabric. Students sew seams and study transformation flips and symmetrical relationships of garment legs. Students match front and back sections and sew. Students measure elastic length and manually feed through casing of garment. Students measure, fold, and sew hems. Invitation sent to parents. Week of 12/12 Final catch-up and finish work. Students plan show outfit and make list of all supplemental clothing and accessories. Week of 12/19 Runway show on school stage with followup Q&A session.

Budget Items
Equipment – 12 sewing shears @ $12.95 each, 2 boxes of straight pins @ $3.29 each; 2 packets of sewing needles @ $1.99 each
Materials – 12 Simplicity Patterns @ $15.95, 24 yards of ¾” elastic @ $1.29/yard, 6 spools of thread at $2.79/spool

Budget Costs
Equipment ($) – 164.00
Materials ($) – 239.00
Total ($) – 403.00

Support a Grant

Brighten Student Futures with BVSD Classroom Innovation Grants

This signature program of Impact on Education creates opportunities for Boulder Valley School District educators to innovate and explore unique instructional tools to make a positive impact on student learning and engagement in their classrooms.

HELP US RAISE $50,000 by November 30th.